Temple of Ukla (Stories on a Theme – “Weak”)

“Can you not pray away the rain?” Zivami asked as he paced around the table in the centre of the tent.

“That’s not how it works,” Valite replied, adjusting her cloak, “and you know it.”

Zivami snorted.

“Could at least try,” he said.

“You’re lucky the wards are still holding up around here,” Valite said, “the oncoming storms are weakening them.”

“I know,” he replied, running his hand through his hair. Valite sometimes forgot that he was a General, she still remembered when they played together as children. He had been an unruly energetic child back then, and in some respects was still one now.

Which was why they were camped on the edge of the Makaven Scar, waiting for the rain to subside. Only then could they descend downwards to the Temple of Ukla and make offerings. Or more, Valite would make the offerings on behalf of Zivami and his damn King.

The only reason Valite was here was because of Zivami. She couldn’t give a rat’s arse about the inter-kingdom politics, or their bloody wars that they fought to keep themselves entertained.

It was dumb. Zivami knew it was dumb, and yet he followed the orders of his dumb King.

“You know,” Valite said, “we could always ask Ukla for more than good weather.”

Zivami’s head snapped up, eyes widening in fear.

“Valite,” he hissed “you can’t-“

“I’m not governed by anyone except Ukla,” Valite said, “and she’s told me your king is dumb. Time for a new one.”

That wasn’t completely true. Ukla had said that King Angeot was a fucking incompetent fool and that death would be too kind to him. But Zivami didn’t need to know that bit.

“Valite,” he whispered, walking to the door of the tent and sticking his head out to see if anyone was around-

“I put up anti-listening wards,” Valite said, “no one can hear.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Zivami said, “you can’t go around saying stuff like that.”

“Why not? It’s true.”

“Because it’ll get you killed,” Zivami said.

Valite shrugged.

“I just get resurrected,” she said.

“It won’t be you,” Zivami said, “you’ll be different.”

“Nah, I like this face,” Valite said, stepping forward, “and seriously, you can’t tell me that you don’t think the same.”

“Thinking and saying is very different,” Zivami cautioned.

“Ukla can help you,” Valite said, “she’s got sway in the court of Gods-”

“The Kingdom’s can’t afford another War of Gods,” Zivami said.

“But they can afford another year under Angeot’s rule?” Valite retorted.

Zivami paused.

Hah, you know I’m right, Valite said.

“I can ask,” Valite said, “just ask. Nothing more.”

Zivami ran his hand through his hair again. A good sign.

“Fine,” he agreed, “But asking, nothing more.”

Valite nodded her head.

“I promise,” she replied.

Ukla, however, won’t, she thought, Ulka want’s war. And, my friend, you’re going to be leading the fight.

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