Zounkla was furious; he had been humiliated by the treatment received in the infirmary. Without an insignia to present, they had treated him like a mere soldier. His wounds were cleaned and disinfected without any care or consideration and they had refused his petition of having a healer speed his recovery. They had thrown him out with just bandages for his wounds, no medicines or treatments, not even a follow up date.
He couldn’t allow things to go like that, he needed an insignia and he wasn’t going to take the brat’s insignia. He was going to march to Isen and demand him to fix things. He had changed sectors so he could be a major, not to be stripped of his rank.
He went directly to the offices, but he couldn’t even walk fast, the pain kept him from pushing himself, his practically worthless leg didn’t allow him to walk with dignity. How was possible that the brat had been able to beat him? He was more experienced and his power had been cultivated and perfected through the years, he was one of the Empire’s best illusionists.
Distracted by his own thoughts, he didn’t notice the commotion until he was standing in the hallway on his way to Isen’s office. The place was a disaster, pieces of wood and other things littered the hallway and one of the offices had lost its door. Zounkla was startled when he noticed a pair of soldiers dragging Isen’s body out of the office.
“What happened here?” Zounkla asked a woman that seemed to be in charge.
“Isen tried to take advantage of his new major and she decided to kill him,” the woman answered.
“Who? Kaiserin?” No, it was impossible, the brat couldn’t have killed Isen. Even if he didn’t win his fight, he was sure he had injured her, in her condition, there was no way she could have fought Isen and win. Zounkla was well aware of Isen’s power, he knew that all he needed was a touch and his enemies were defeated.
“Yeah, I think that is her name, a very interesting young woman,” Modra said, noticing who it was that was asking the questions. “But I’m sure you know her already, I heard that you had your opportunity to know her this morning.”
“That’s right, that’s the brat who took my insignia.” The more Zounkla thought about it the less sense it make, it wasn’t possible.
“Well, you are a very lucky guy,” said Modra, bringing back the black mood Zounkla had been carrying all day since his fight. He was definitely not feeling lucky.
“May I ask why do you think so?” He asked with deference, using all of his autocontrol not to snap at his superior, even if she was clearly mocking him.
“Well, now that Kaiserin has Isen’s insignia she doesn’t need yours, there a good possibility that you will get your rank back.”
Modra was right, he realized, changing his course of action. With Isen dead, and Kaiserin in his place, his old post was free for him. If he had read the situation correctly, she didn’t have allies among the captains, if he went to her and acted respectfully, maybe they could become allies. And even if at first Zounkla had liked to think that his defeat was just a matter of luck, Isen’s death was a good sign that she was a capable warrior.
Zounkla decided to put his pride on hold and went looking for Kaiserin.
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