You all voted and we have the results! The wife you picked as the hottest wife in the realm is….
It’s the Birth of an Empire. The Young Sultan eager to make his mark on the world, to make his late father proud, to be the leader that Europe needed. As he raised to the world, men were proud and quickly to pledge their loyalty to a man who knew what a gift God had given him, for his family was picked by God himself to rule.
As the Young Sultan began his campaign to show the people of Europe what a better life they can have under his control, he ran into some ungodly men who believed that God gave them his favor. With thousands of soldiers behind him, the Sultan overthrew man after man, took castle after castle, and pacified unsettled and unwary villages. The loyal viziers who pledged their lives to serve and protect the Sultan cleared and welcomed each and every new town, city, village, and castle under the ever-growing Ottoman Empire, myself included. I have seen my Sultan have countless victories in his campaign. Many brave soldiers have given their lives in the name of our Sultan, to see this unstoppable Empire expand. I remember watching my Sultan fight hard in his battles alongside those soldiers, alongside of his viziers. He was graceful in his art of battle. He would come back to his palace and visit his wife and heirs, take care of the state matters, visits the envoys, attend royal feasts, and even go out into his cities to meet his people. Our Sultan was a man everyone was happy to serve under.
There was one particular campaign that changed my life. It was early on in the Sultan’s reign. I had bent the knee a few months before and was quickly climbing the ranks of the military. I had proven my skills to the Sultan and to the other military viziers, so I was asked to join them on their campaigns. We had been chasing an enemy across his lands for a month or two and our forces were growing tired quickly, it one was of more difficult sieges.
We had made relationships with the people of the lands to pull the favor of the smaller farms and markets when we across an unsettling situation. A young lady in a blue, gold-laced dress. She wore the most extravagant gold and sapphire necklace with earrings and a headpiece to match, it resembled a crown in a way. Her dark hair flowed down her back and was ruffled in many directions, looking as if someone was pulling on her hair for a while. She had tears rolling down her face as she screamed at the people holding her. Her focus was on an older couple who shared her features, her parents as I later came to discover. The older couple were being dragged by these men dressed as soldiers and were being yelled at by one man in particular to hand all the deeds to their estates, farms, and their daughter’s dowry. The woman was screaming for her husband to do something, but he was restrained and outnumbered. I couldn’t just stand there and let something like this happen. I took a step forward and let my presence be known.
“Let this young woman and her family go. You have no business doing this, as well as no authority.” I had stated, my soldiers behind me ready to advance at my command.
“Off with you! This isn’t any of your concern.” One man’s voice had rung out, he looked to be the leader of the group.
My hand found the handle of my Kilij. “Under the new reign of the Sultan of the great Ottoman Empire, I order you to cease and desist.”
The men laughed and turned their attention to my unit. With a forward motion of my finger, my men ran forward and put up a quick fight. Four of the Six men were slain as we held the leader and one other captive for the husband to deal with as he pleased. The young lady ran over to her parents and hugged them as she cried and thanked my unit. I walked over the family and held out my hand to help them from the floor.
“Is everyone in one piece?” I asked. I wanted to make sure these people knew that their new Sultan would protect them under his rule, I needed to make a good example.
The man grasped my hand firmly and shook it with a grand force. “I cannot thank you enough, sir. I am getting too old to deal with these damn outlaws. Cerine, my dear, remind me to hire more security for our estate.” He looked over at his wife as she pulled him into a hug. Then the man and his wife motioned for their daughter to step forward.
“This is our daughter Cecilia. This is my lovely wife Cerine, and I am Laith. I own a few horse stables, farms, and manor houses in this city. We were recently given these lands by my late father, bless his soul. These men thought they could just take everything for us, possibly even our lives if you haven’t shown up. We are forever in your debt, Sir…? I’m sorry, what was your name?”
I tipped my head in respect to the women and gave my best smile. “No debts sir, all I ask is that you pledge your loyalty to your new Sultan. My name is Lufti of the grand Ottoman Empire. I serve the Sultan as one of his trusted military viziers.”
The Laith’s head shot to look in the direction of his family, eyes wide and a smile sneaking its way to his lips. His wife must have had the same idea, as they both turned to their daughter, Cecilia.
“Our Cecilia is of age and is looking for a suitable husband. She is a great beauty, as you can see Sir Lufti. Take her to your Sultan and he will be pleased. We will talk to our friends who run other stables and farms across the land about our new ruler in return.” Cecilia smiled and nodded her head. She didn’t say a word to me, but I could see the burning fire in her eyes to get away and live a life she was destined to have.
“I will see what I can do Laith. You have my word.”
I took that man’s daughter back with me to our camp set up in one of the more protected castles we sieged earlier and let her rest. The Sultan was there to meet her as she arrived, as I had sent one of my men to give the Sultan the news. He was overcome by her beauty the second he saw her. We all rode back to the palace, within the week, the Sultan and Cecilia were married. It was just as grand as his wedding to his first wife, Canfeza. I have watched Cecilia grow and have kept in touch with her family since that day. I even send some of my own personal men to watch over their estates. She’s a kind girl, has a kind heart and a profound sense of humor. I knew my Sultan would fall in love with her, who wouldn’t? She was a diamond in the rubble, and now she could become an Empress.