Mia stood between Cale and Anubis
before huge double doors. She was wearing a
flowing kimono around her and her hair was done up in an intricate design.
headdress rattle a little as she glanced from one Warlord to another.
They had explained some things
to her but not all. She was told that this
was the proper
attire to wear for an audience with the Emperor. Both Warlords that flanked
her were in
full armor, standing at attention, waiting for the door to open. When the
opened, even Mia stood up straight.
"You are not to speak during
this whole thing," Anubis told her, barely above
"Let me and Cale handle this."
Mia nodded and started walking
forward, following both Warlords. She was too
about tripping over the material of her kimono to really look around. The
floated next to Talpa while fire burned at the corners of the room, its only
source of light.
They stopped just before Talpa and both Anubis and Cale held a closed fist
"I heard that there was
a mortal woman in the castle," Talpa started. "I
didn't know that
you brought her, Anubis."
"It had to happen, Master
Talpa," he answered. "She has something that could
be of use
"Really? And what could this mortal woman offer?"
"Her child, Master."
Anubis bowed his head. Mia could hear the strain in
his voice, or
was that her imagination?
"Did you not hear me my
Warlord? She is only a mortal woman with nothing to
Perhaps you have let beauty cloud your judgment."
"You have not yet felt
the child's power." Anubis quickly looked up. "Even
at this early
stage, the child's energy if unparalleled. Concentrate, Master Talpa, on the
being that is
yet to be born. You will feel why she is worth keeping."
Talpa paused, thinking the proposition
over. He couldn't say that this was a
Anubis was one of his most loyal and trusted Warlord. It was suspicious,
find him taking such an interest on this woman just on the account of her
child. Indeed, his interests were touched upon.
A blue aura radiated around
Talpa and reached out towards Mia. It surrounded
she could feel it searching for something. She could also sense jealousy
The blue light began to slowly close in on her. One touch on her skin,
enough and the aura went back to Talpa.
"Impressive indeed," he said. "Who is the father of the child?"
"I don't intend to tell," Mia spoke up before Anubis could answer.
"Ah, she speaks. Tell
me, why do you not want to expose him? I will find
out sooner of
"Better to find him later
than now. I still have to prove that this child
can do something
other than repel you. My mate's identity will remain secret until then"
Talpa looked at her. She had
unconsciously stepped forward and that amused
was serious about what she said and it was true. The child had something to
"You have fire, I like
that. I'll honor that request until after the child
is born. By that
time, the child's father will be evident on him."
"I would also request that you not punish or apprehend my mate."
"I have no intention of
doing such a thing." Talpa waved a hand at her. "If
he was the
father, then I would rather have him on my side. The child would be a
Mia nodded and bowed down.
Again Talpa was amused by her boldness. If he
smile he would have. The woman herself would be an asset to keep.
"Anything else Warlords?" Both were silent. "Very well, then you can leave."
Mia backed out first and Cale
followed. Anubis bowed low and started to
follow but got
"The woman's child is exceptional. It makes me wonder how you found out."
"All those times spent
in the Mortal Realm, Master," Anubis answered as he
"Whatever the circumstances,
you were the one that discovered her. It would
right that you be her guardian."
"If it pleases you, my lord." Anubis bowed low again.
"You are to keep an eye
on her and the child during all this. If the child
is as powerful
outside her womb as inside, then we could use him against the Ronins."
Anubis nodded and bowed low
one more time before leaving. His blank face
grew into a
wide smile as he exited the room. A single eye in the shadows grew red at
the look in his