Chapter 6

The city of Seizar, originally a little Arabian town that was merely a spec of sand within the vast deserts of Middle East, at least that was what it once had been. Now it had been transformed into a prosperous city where both trade and military power flourished, openly, in the bare sight of the world. All thanks to the adopted son of the late emperor, the commander of the army and first adviser to the empress of Amathak, whom rumored to the outside world to have more supporters than the empress herself. The man’s of mystery, some media say that he was a old heartless dictator who ruled by fear and blood, others say that he was a young man in his prime, ruling with wisdom surpassing his age. But no photos of him had ever been shown to the outside world. He was also the tyrant against whom the rebellions were fighting. And into his military camp, Zynhia must go.

“So is this lengdary guy scary?” Zynhia asked.

“Some say his cruel without mercy, but some might beg to differ.” the general said casually, as if he was talking not about one of the most powerful and mysterious man in world, but about the weather. He calmly waved his favourite dagger above Zynhia’s hair, in a terrifying manner, trimming of pieces of her hair.

“But I read in the newspaper, that he kills innocent civilian without even blinking an eye. And that if one is found guilty of anything, it practically means certain death!!!” she said nervously.

“You definitely read too much of what you guys call the newspaper.” he said indifferently, still concentrating on the job at hand.

“Well, actually...hey!!! Are you sure you know what you are doing to my hair!!!” Zynhia asked loudly, suddenly noticing the pieces falling that once was her hair.

Not long before this, did the general taught Zynhia the basics of controlling her power. He was a strict teacher and Zynhia was a talented student, so within the limited time, though Zynhia could not control her power with ease, she at least managed to control her hair to stop growing at a maddening rate.

The general didn’t reply, but continued with his work. After he was done, he shoved the dagger into Zynhia’s hands and walked towards the horse to prepare it for the next part of their journey. It took Zynhia a while to figure out that he gave the dagger to her so that she could have a look at her hair through the reflection of the blade. It was a disaster, it was disastrously short! It made her appear at least four years younger. She groaned in frustration and tried to remember what he had taught her not long ago. She concentrated and searched for the inner glow of her power, gently probing it, and then back away. She opened her eyes and looked again at her hair in her own reflection, it was satisfyingly resting just below her shoulder. With a chuffed smile at the new control she gained she almost skipped to the general who was already waiting on the horse.


They had arrived at the City of Seizar, after two days of riding. He picked a decent inn, and they lived in one room acting as a just married couple. The inn was not like the hotels that is seen everywhere in the developed countries, but resemble the era of middle age. The city was prosperous, but there was not sight of modern technology. It was like walking into an historical film. Upon arriving, Zynhia could only gape at the sight before her. It was nothing she had ever expected. Women were walking around in exposing clothing like those in the Latin fairy tales and instead of dying people of the street like the media had conveyed, the city was full of joy and flourishment.

For two days the general would leave in the morning, leaving Zynhia to rest and only come back late at night. One third day, he came back just as dusk was falling.

“I have to WEAR this?!” Zynhia almost screamed her discontent, “there really isn’t much to wear now, is there?”

“You will have to blend in.” he stated simply.

“But...but...I thought, you people from the desert are conservative! This, this will make me look like a belly dancer!” already blushing from the thought of wearing the two piece, a silver, lacy tube and a matching skirt with a dangerously low cut and a slit from the thigh on the one side, which would provide great view of her shapely legs if her movement’s a little too violent.

“That’s how people dress in Seizar.” he said looking out the window, then added, “I know you are shy about showing your body, but I promise you, no man would really be interested in looking at a child’s figure. So you are safe.” his tone was so flat that the words was painfully hurtful, as it was he was merely stating the most obvious truth.

“Fine! I’ll change into it!” Zynhia grabbed the clothing from the table and stormed into the room. She would have thought twice about acting so rashly, had she seen the slight smirk that played at the corner of his mouth.

Never been so used to exposing so much of her body to the blatant sight of others, she was almost as red as tomatoes when she timidly walked out of her room. Too embarrassed to even look at him, she wished there was hole on the ground where she could just jump in and bury herself.

“Good.” he didn’t even glance in her direction. He stood up calmly and signaled her to come closer. She idly walked up to him, pouting a little for his lack of reaction to her outfit. “go have dinner, I will join you shortly.” hiding her tiny disappointment, she charged out of the room and went down stair to the dinning room.

He looked at her as she stormed away from him, upon hearing the intentionally loud footsteps, he chuckled lightly and shook his head.

In the dinner room she decided to take out most of her frustration on the innocent food that was torn into pieces then chewed with utter hatred. Other men practically stopped and stared with admiration when then saw her coming down the stairs, but that did not matter to her, as this outfit did not win the attention of the person whose attention she wanted the most. And most importantly the attention she’s getting from wearing this outfit was making her rather uncomfortable and actually very uncomfortable. A man of decent status, judging from his attire, came by her table and sat down in the empty seat before her.

“Why would such a beautiful lady eat a meal all by herself.” he asked silkily, his voice made Zynhia wince with discomfort.

She did not reply, or even look up from her food, but chewing silently and enjoying the delicious success of the cook., while wondering if she could remake such miracle in her own kitchen. The man did not back away from her lack of response, instead he boldly extended his hand and reach for Zynhia’s free hand which was resting on the side of her plate. But something flashed silver, in front of her, and before the man realized what had happened, he was rolling on the ground holding his hand and screaming his forefathers’ names.