Chapter 41

Heat Rising (Part 3)

It was depressing to Saarang to see the landscaping completely gone from the water palace. Alfran true to his word had brought every last man and woman still loyal to the emperor that he could to aid in the building. The walls were taking shape, yet it may still not be enough.

Admiral Davi had assured Saarang that Korv would not attack until the Autumn, a Hot Summer was a quick way to lose troops and morale. Call him what you want, he wasn’t stupid.

A month had passed since Alfran had passed on the news of Pyroxius. The temperature was already beginning to climb and workers were collapsing due to heat exposure.

Saarang joined the admiral as she was discussing the new defenses with Commander Voxx.

“You’ve done well to get the wall up in just a months time Admiral.” he said to her cheerfully.

“I doubt it will be enough Your Imperial Majesty, your nephew will attack the second the cease-fire ends. Our defences will be rudimentary at best, unless we work through the Hot Summer – but for every soldier we lose preparing the defences is one less to actually defend.”

She summed it up so quickly, so easily. That was probably why she was the Admiral, she saw the big picture. She saw that it was a piece of a puzzle of an even larger picture and was able to piece it all together and make sense of it all.

Saarang left the two officers to their work, content to walk the yard and supervise the work.

“That’s a funny looking cannon.” said Vynette Charo, a Helsian pilot and one of two remaining members of Shaela’s Stormers on Xaabos – here at the Admiral’s request.

“It’s not a cannon, it’s a crate!” replied Ensign Wexlor.

“That’s a funny looking crate.”

“Oh shut up you!” cried the Ensign, which only served to make Vynette chuckle.

“That’s a funny looking cannon.” added Keth Wenlu, the other Stormer.

“It’s a crate!”

“Funny looking cr-”

“Oh piss off, both of you!”

Emperor Saarang burst out laughing. And they say that Helsian’s have no sense of humour.

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