In the previous episode, Gremlaw figured out that the Lavashian Emperor has plans similar to that of his predecessor and wonders if killing him would make any difference. Though a tough decision, readers decided Gremlaw should return home with his wife and daughter.
Huleta stared at the man she had loved since childhood, sharing the thoughts which were plainly written across his features. She watched in despair as he considered killing the Emperor in hopes that it would change the future of Lavash.
His gray eyes flashed to her face for a fraction of a second before his expression softened and the corner of his mouth turned up in a tiny smile.
Huleta let out a breath she had not realized she was holding and her insides seemed to unclench, she swallowed and reached for the wine before her.
After an hour of idle banter and chat, Gremlaw led his wife and daughter back to the tent they had been appointed and Huleta surprised her husband by launching herself at him, hugging his body tightly to her as she shook and cried.
“Why did you decide not to kill him?” she eventually asked, shocking Neevis, who stared at her parents in disbelief. Gremlaw stroked his wife’s long blond hair and looked deeply into her green eyes, “I couldn’t leave you,” he said. “I couldn’t bear the thought of never seeing you or touching you again.” Huleta smiled, warmth running through her, even though she knew he was partly lying.
“You were going to kill the Emperor?” Neevis’ voice was, luckily, strained and did not carry to the guards. “Why?” she demanded.
Gremlaw took her hand, “What I’m going to tell you must never go any further,” he told his daughter, “Marshi is the product of a forced pregnancy.” Neevis paled, “Her mother was repeatedly raped until she had a child, Marshi, who was then taken from her. Kavash will do the same to Zhul-Quin and I thought, just for a second, if I killed him it might change things.”
“What stopped you?” Neevis wondered.
Gremlaw sighed deeply, “Nothing’s changed in the last twenty years, Neevis, and the death of one man won’t make any difference to the future. Besides,” he grinned, “you two wouldn’t last long without me to be your guiding light.” All three laughed.
Forty thousand dead Lost Ancestors littered the borderlands between Lavash and Trathlain. The Lavashian army had given no quarter, shown no mercy and taken no prisoners, slaughtering men, women and children as they tried, in vain, to defend themselves or run.
The stench was overpowering as the Emperor’s guard escorted Gremlaw and his family towards their homeland. All three kept their eyes averted and said nothing.
Reigning in, Laz-Tuin-Kavash said, “While I have the army so close to Trathlain, maybe I should pay a visit?” His expression belied his cheerful tone – he was serious. Gremlaw glanced towards his homeland and shook his head.
“I don’t think King Lormenio would allow that,” he replied, nodding to the group of riders who were slowly approaching with the army of Trathlain behind them. “Goodbye, your majesty,” Gremlaw said. “If I ever have to come to Lavash again it’ll be too soon.”
Gremlaw led Huleta and Neevis home.