Monday

The Smoking tree

After the princess declared me to be a friend, the soldiers finally settled down, although I noticed that they still glanced at me suspiciously from time to time. My habit of feeling my sword periodically served only to increase their distrust of me.

I strayed my gaze to the princess Salema and I could not help comparing her to my own princess. They are both beautiful, but in  different ways.  My princess  is a delicate woman, who knows not to handle any weapon. She is strong, not with her hands, but in her spirit. She lived in a world of peace and prosperity where women are protected from the dangers of war. But she remained strong when  peace was broken by the usurper Rajnar.

 Princess Salema, on the other hand, seemed confident and ready for any fight. By the vests she wore, I concluded that she is a warrior. The more I look at the princess the more I noticed that embedded in her beautiful face are signs of fear, anger, sorrow and worry. This realm I was in seemed to be hiding danger in its beautiful facade, because only in such condition would a lovely princess be forced to bear arms.
    "What are you looking at?" Salema asked, catching me by surprise. " Are you smitten by my beauty already?" She said  with a smile in her face.
    "Nothing, I am just thinking about something else, I wasn't looking at you princess.", I lied.
    " Oh that's too bad," she said faking a pout, " I thought you are going to sing your love songs for me.like a fantasy hero falling for a princess."
    I was forced to silence, So i just focused my eye on the tree at the distance.  A few hours had past since I woke up in the flying nest and now that we are near, I can see the whole extent of the tree where we were going, it is enormous, spanning miles. It is the biggest tree I have ever seen! I also saw  smoke on the top of the tree, which in my mind meant that there is  a feast going on, which was a good sign since I was starving.

    "Princess Salema, is there a feast in your kingdom?" I asked.
    " I do not know, why do you ask?" She answered.
    "Because by the look of that smoke at the top of the tree, it seems like a huge feast is being prepared"
    "Are you kidding? We only eat fruits, and we do not use fire for our food" She said.
    "Well then what is that?" I asked pointing at the smoke.
    The smile drained from the princess' face, and rapidly her  eyes filled with alarm.

I looked again at the smoke and I smell danger.