The princess sat still from the time the covered wagon left the castle to the time it reached the border defense area where the First Army was camped out. Enemy soldiers had crossed over and raided communities in the area. The Republic of Tilaska had been given every warning to keep their troops to themselves and soon they would face the reprisals.
The soldiers stared as she left the wagon and walked to the tent of General Koregan, she wondered how many of them might have seen a royal before and whether her brother was among those foot soldiers this day.
“My Princess” the General said putting his hand on her naked shoulder. “I'm sorry it became necessary for you to travel this far”
“I am but a humble servant to my people, General, I do as I am required” she answered. He nodded and sighed before he shooed his aides and attendants from the tent. “It gets cold at night and hot in the day, you should really wear clothes out here”
She told him “You know as well as everyone else that the Queen and her daughters do not have the same rights and privileges as the people. We are never to wear clothes, we are never to choose our own mates, we are never to quibble about food or other trivialities. We are the servants, not the rulers. Not really”
Ever since the powers manifested themselves in only the females of the royal line they were destined to become little more than tools, such as was the arc of history for their world. By this law the Queen was wed to the Commanding General of the Armies. That was General Koregan at present but if he were replaced the Queen would have a new mate.
“Our scouts are reporting that the Tilaskans are massing their troops on the other side of the Blue Twin hills. This sounds like more than a raiding party, it sounds like they are preparing to try and seize territory” The General told her “The Queendom could be in danger if they are not stopped quickly”
The Princess nodded “I see”.
“You arrived just in time for dinner” he told her “Since you have to accept what I give you, I am going to give you the best meal I can and all the wine you can drink”
“You spoil me, General, as much as you have my mother” she said as he led her to the back room.
“Get some rest in my bed, I will wake you for dinner or if the enemy attacks unexpectedly” he said, she climbed into the bed and then he shut the leather doorway and went to see the steward. Soon enough she was awakened to a meal befit normal royalty. She bit her tongue instead of criticizing the meal while she knew the soldiers were probably eating jerky and crackers.
Immediately after the meal a scout returned and reported movement of the enemy forces. Sure enough s they went outside they could see dozens and then hundreds of soldiers coming through the gap of the Blue Twin Hills. The General suddenly had a bad feeling that this was all a feigned attack.
“Princess, I think the castle and queen might be in danger!” he told her “Tilaska would never attack our territory by itself, the Rovards are their top allies. We need to safeguard the Queen!”
Rovards was on the far side of the Queendom. The General and his men would never make it there in time if they were also attacking. Colonel Yong led the 2nd Army in that region, he should be able to keep any invaders occupied.
“We should stay here, General.” she told him “Move your troops a little closer, then tell them to stand in formation”
As the troops marched forward the Tilaskan forces that were just standing there started looking more and more nervous. Then the princess moved to the front ranks.
“Soldiers of Tilaska” she addressed the enemy in a loud voice “You have one warning, this one, to get back to your families. You cannot defeat the forces of the Queendom, you cannot even defeat me, by myself. Let me show you!”
She raised her arms, her hair was buffeted by a wind that hadn't been there before and she became a fireball, other fireballs left her and shot into the sky and began raining down on the Tilaska troops who broke ranks and ran in the opposite direction. The all-male Queendom Army cheered this, taunting the enemy forces as they ran away.
“I think you can handle it from here General” she told him “I will return to the castle now. I will give mother your regards and tell her that you are healthy and strong.”
He crossed his arms “and if the Rovards are invading? Then what?”
She nodded “If they are attacking then I will join Colonel Yong and drive them off”
The General was confused by this. “I know you are the most powerful princess in memory, but you cannot defend all the borders by yourself all the time. You are also heir to the throne, I am sure the Queen would rather not have you fighting wars”
She shook her head “I am a servant. I do what I can and when I can.”
He walked her back to the covered wagon and with a quick hug before boarding she was off. The General hoped she was right, he hated to think the Queen would be in any danger.