The clearing in the woods went silent. All were looking at the woman.
"Who sent you?" asked Mithraos.
"Karivayis," said the woman and in that moment two warriors in the Mauraye side cut their own throat.
All understood the seriousness of the situation.
"What was the plan of Karivayis?" asked Rishi.
Karivayis are the darkest of the group in Arthanava. They are believed to be living like animals. They leave only bones and skeletons after a war. They are also said to be the most blood hungry ones.
"To poison the winner," said Viyahi, the woman, now in a choke hold.
"An army waits in the outskirts," said a guard who came running almost falling.
"We need a peace treaty. Now," said Samarth.
"Yes, we do, Prince Samarth is right," said Guardioni and looked at Mithraos who gave a curt nod.
"An eight level formation and we want a fortress of warriors," said Eloy and the guards moved to the frontiers.
"Artillery will guard the other frontiers of Mauryae and Maheraya," said Shikhar nodding to Eloy.
"I do not trust her words that Karivayis sent her. They are not the kind to send a spy. It's a well taught lie," said Eloy to Mithraos.
The woman managed to get her hand on the poison with her. In a moment she was dead.
The emperors looked at each other.
"We can implement the traditional 'arravónas'. However, who does the Maheraya empire has of equal value of a King," said Pahlan.
Atharva silenced Pahlan with a hand and looked at Eloy as he ordered the troops. Mithraos saw where Atharva's eyes were and snorted.
"You can dream about it. I will not give you my head warrior," said Mithraos.
At that Eloy turned, having heard the statement and looked in shock between the emperors.
"I am not asking him to strengthen my army but to be my High King," said Adharva.
At that Eloy looked at Adharva in shock. He was processing the conversation between the emperors.
Mithraos narrowed his eyes.
"Giving him to you is like giving you one half of the Kingdom. El is not just my warrior. He is also my childhood playmate and the only family I have. You are a fool if you think I will part with him no matter how distant we are with each other now," said Mithraos.
This time only Adharva heard him as both emperors were now on their feet and standing closer, one was furious while the other was vindictive.
"Exactly why I am asking for something important to you, King Mithraos. You realise that is the point of 'arravónas'. Where do you stand in the peace treaty, King Mithraos," asked Adharva.
"Given that you are the King of Mauraye, giving you Warrior Eloy obviously will have Mahareya at a disadvantage. Why don't we go for a more viable solution," said Rishi.
"If there is going to be a peace treaty my claim is not going to change. Warrior Eloy it is," said Adharva.
Rishi gave him a look.
"I was not suggesting that you make another claim. However, I think a 'matrimoniu di trè' will suit the situation," said Rishi.
At that Mithraos looked at Rishi incredulously and pointed at Adharva.
"With him?" sneered Mithraos.
"That would actually balance it as both Kings will have an equal say and you will have a partner to keep you both together," said Guardioni, nodding approvingly at Rishi.
Adharva looked at his brother, annoyed. However, Shikhar stood before Rishi and gave him a patented glare making him calm down knowing better than to anger the man.
Guardioni had been a parental figure to both Mithraos and Eloy from childhood. There was not even a question of them not listening to him.
"Are you suggesting a unification of the Kingdoms?" asked Mithraos looking at Guardioni.
"Yes, with clear laws and restrictions. But, yes I am suggesting a unification. Given that the other powers in this land has taken interest in usurping both of you together, I think unification is the best option before us. When we do that, we will be the most powerful and only Empire in Arthanava," said Guardioni.
Mithraos looked at Eloy who was standing with his head bowed and in his usual stance. Adharva followed him and his eyes also landed on Eloy.
"What do you think about this Warrior Eloy ?" asked Mithraos.
"You must do what is good for the people, your highness," said Eloy , eyes still trained down.
Mithraos looked at Adharva and back at Eloy.
"Do you have demands Warrior Eloy?" asked Shikhar glaring at both Adharva and Mithraos.
"I do," said Eloy.
That got the two Kings' attention. Eloy was silent for a moment, gathering his thoughts.
"There will be no harems now or ever. I do not want the future princes to grow up in those situations. I commit to my land with my everything. I want the same commitment from the kings, not only to me but also to each other," said Eloy looking at them both now.
"My father dissolved our harem and I agree to your terms Warrior Eloy," said Adharva.
"As you know, you personally ensured that the harem was dissolved. I agree to your terms Warrior Eloy," said Mithraos. They were surprised that Eloy did not ask for fidelity.
"You did not ask for fidelity," said Shikhar.
"I promised my fidelity. Following that and returning the respect and courtesy is the prerogative of the kings. It's not something I have to demand from them, but rather given atleast as a sign of respect," said Eloy.
The kingdoms looked at each other. Finally they agreed on something.
"A bond of u legatu di fedeltà. We would prefer that," said Mithraos and looked at Adharva in askance.
"I agree with the King," said Adharva.
Eloy looked at them both in surprise but did not let it show. The bond is the rarest of the rare ones and the ceremony of their marriage will vary according to bond chosen.
Eloy was still in shock to process what was happening and just went with the flow.
u legatu di fedeltà - Bond of Fidelity (You guys know I have a thing for it) (Corsican)