Reach for the Light


The Princess and Her Sultan, Chap 3, part 3

The Princess and her Sultan

It had become tradition for both of them to end their letters with a poem, even while arguing, they always added an affirmation of love into it. One thing that tantalized Gul, and also frustrated her, was that they had never actually confessed to each other, always just implying and brushing past words of love poetically. 

Dearest Gul,

As always, your fire and passion inspires me. However, I will now use the words of a master statesman from your own country to back me up: “He who does not follow an advantageous position with swift action, leaves room for schism within his state.” – Sikandander Khan Gibrar. 

I love your fiery arguments, but I remain unconvinced, I believe the Emperor to be the pillar of the Nation and He must be firm and powerful for the empire to flourish. I have seen firsthand what a soft lord does to a land. My friend Abdullah had to face a lot of adversity reinstating his Dukedom’s importance after his weak and sickly father got tricked by his younger brother and lost their wealth. He went through years of strife and finally had to kill his own uncle to recoup the Dukedom. 

It was exceedingly difficult, but he hardened his heart and ended his uncle’s male line to put an end to the conflict. Not only did he suffer, but also his family and countless vassals of his estate.  His experiences were traumatic and he still dreams of them to this day, but he would have died if he hadn’t. Not only him, but also his mother and brother, whom  he loves deeply. 

Speaking of which, it warms my heart to hear the relationship between you and the Duchess, she is a lovely lady and very close to my own heart. She loves honeysuckle tea, so if you send her a bottle of that, she ought to be fully in your grasp, my dear scheming politician. 

Unfortunately, I must leave you here, my friends are nagging me to go hunting again. I must be off. 

I am off to hunt, my love

To earn and strive, my love

Though I much rather stay, my love

Your gentle embrace clinging, I must away

Even as I go, your words burn behind my eyes,

You scent lingers, my love

Not only in the air, 

In the formerly empty cavern, 

I call my heart. 

Ever Yours 


Gul’s own heart beat faster as she read his letter, alternatively indignant and blushing, she clutched it to herself, reading it again between the tedium of her duties. A week later, just as she was putting finishing touches upon her reply, news came that put all thoughts of frivolity out of her mind. 

Her father had called her into his private parlor to tell her the news. “We have received news from the Empire, Anousheh, His Majesty was injured in an ambush upon the Barbarians. The maneuver was well planned, but somehow they got wind of his plans and had people lying in wait.” 

“Wait, father, how is His Highness? It wasn’t serious, surely?” Gul interrupted. Her face pale from anxiousness. 

“Nay, Emperor Mehmed merely suffered a flesh wound. However, several of his close advisors were also with him and one of them, a Duke Abdullah I believe was mortally wounded.” Explained her father. 

“Oh, no, the poor soul, Mehmed must be devastated!” Even in this situation, though she felt sorry for his friend, Gul could only be relieved that Mehmed himself was safe and sound. 

“Yes, yes, of course our felicitations must be sent, but more importantly, His Majesty has requested that your wedding day be moved up.” Continued Gul’s father. 

“But why, father?” Gul asked, confused but not unwilling. 

“He wants to quickly reaffirm our alliance and sign the new trade deals, my dear. Also, he fears the barbarians would attack here.”

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