“I will promise you a favour from my hands that be redeemed at any time in my life.”, said Muqadas.

“Very well.” came the witch’s voice, “I accept your payment.” As she said those words, the light in room flared and nearly overwhelmed  the Princess eyes.

“Come, my dear Princess, and receive the reading of your fate!” intoned the gravely and rich voice of the witch. The witch led Muqadas up to her altar in the very back of the hut. There rested a bowl filled with an iridescent swirling substance. “Look into the mists of time, princess and add three drops  of your blood. Use this Athame.” said the witch handing Muqadas a wicked and curved dagger with jagged edges.

Muqadas took the dagger with heart racing in her chest, she held it to the tip of her finger and was about to slice when the witch’s voice said, “When you cut say three things about your fate that you wish to know. Otherwise your reading will be muddled with unnecessary things.”

Hearing this, Muqadas took a deep breath, sliced into her finger with the dagger and asked, “Who will I marry? Will I have the power of a true ruler? What will be my greatest mistake?”

As she said the words, the drops of boss fell into the bowl and swirled together to show her visions of her future. In one vision she was radiant in a wedding gown and marrying a tall, handsome man. As she watched, in the vision, the man leaned towards her and whispered something to her after the ceremony, causing her to breakout into peals of laughter. A voice whispered in her ear, “This is your other half, Mustafa Salustan, First Emperor of the Sheryaar Empire.”

The scene swirled and shifted to show her in great palace sitting on a throne besides the same dark haired man, both of them resplendent in jewels and crowns. She watched as they passed judgement together, as her husband and her shared the duties of ruling equally. Then the scene shifted once once more and this time she looked much older and she was sitting on the floor with a young man lying in her arms. The man was bleeding out, his head cradled in her arms and tears streaming down her face. The voice spoke again, “Your first son, the Crown Prince, dies at the hands of your third, the second son dies to stop him and in one night you lose three children.”

The vision fades and Muqadas falls to knees, “No, no, why did this happen, what should I do, she frantically questioned the witch. The witch replied, this is the pitfall of knowing the future, you can only know the things and three you have seen. This is nature’s law.”

Muqadas walked out of the hut in a daze, running into Asma standing nervously in front of the hut, accompanied by her brother Abid,  who wore a stormy look on his face. He scolded her all the way back to the castle, and on the way, a steely determination settled itself into Muqadas’ spine, she thought, I will not let my children die because of my mistake.

Over the month of meeting prospective suitors, Muqadas rejected them all, one after the other, until one day three months later, the Crown Prince of a small and Prosperous nation called Sirtara came to ask for her hand. He was tall with her black hair and intense black eyes, instantly capturing her attention. She told her father that she would marry him and no one else and her father who always indulged her, agreed. In this way Muqadas set out to meet her fate, steely determination ringing in in her veins.

Together, Muqadas and Mustafa conquered the surrounding restless lands and consolidated the Sheryaar Empire.

The end.