The Warlord's Secret (CHAPTER FIVE, page 2 of 21)

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"Her people will not recognize such a claim," he said.

Part of him reeled at the turn of events that found him sitting with a man who had never before acknowledged him. They and Memon's son, Vara, were alone in a small room together. Taran knew dozens of ways to kill a man. He could not help but consider several of them as he took in Memon's inky black eyes and relaxed frame.

He forced himself to be patient, to ignore the blood pulsing through his veins at the thought of leaving Memon's lifeless body on the dirt floor and walking away. Killing Memon here would not win him armies or Rissa.

"You would be surprised what support this claim will win you," Memon said. "My first mate was the queen of Landis."

"Then you killed my mother and took the kingdom," Vara muttered with a dark look at his father. The prince shifted in his seat, his large frame tense. The lanky youth had grown into a muscular man with icy green eyes, curly black hair, and chiseled features as cold as his father's. Taran sensed the tension between the two men.

"But he speaks the truth, Taran," Vara added. "It's not normal for a woman to rule. The people know this."

He was not the same untried princeling who had saved him from the catacombs several years before. Taran had heard the quiet rumors about Vara's growing independence and couldn't help but wonder if Vara would help him plot against his own father. Many warriors believed the wound that caused the scar running down the side of Vara's face occurred when he fought off his father's assassin.

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