Within no time, the carriage driver was waking her up, “We’re at the next town Miss Nakia, but I don’t think these people want us around here, they sure don’t look too friendly.” “Well, we will just have to see about that.” With that in mind, Nakia walked up to the gate, and said, “Hello, I and my driver would like a room for the night and a place to stable our horses if it’s not too much trouble.” “What is your name and the nature of your business, Miss?” the guard asked looking down at her as if she was a small child. “My name is Nakia and I from the City of Agra and we are just needing to stop for the night, we are on our way to Qurac to retrieve some items for the Sultan.”
“Very good, and your name Sir?” “Yes I am Rahman, I am the carriage driver for this young lady, she is my charge and it is my sworn duty to the Royal Vizier to ensure that she returns safely to him.” “The Royal Vizier huh? You mean Haroun?” “Yes Sir, she is newly engaged to him. They are to be wed upon her return.”
“Oh! Oh! Well in that case, please Miss Nakia, come in! Our apologies!” With those words, the doors swung open and Nakia and Rahman were escorted safely inside. “Thank you kind Sir’s, but there is no need to make a fuss over me. However, if you could direct us to the nearest Inn it would be greatly appreciated; after all we have had a long journey and are in need of food, drink and rest. Our horses will also need tended to in the stables.” “Of course! The Inn is straight ahead on your left, it is the third door down from here, and the stables are connected to it. Just tell the innkeeper you need to stable your horses and he will help you get everything squared away! Have a pleasant night and stay as long as you like!” “Thank you very much.”
With that, Nakia and Rahman headed off to the Inn to get themselves settled in for the night. Nakia thought the guards’ behavior strange, but chose to shake it off as coincidence. Surely it was just because of how polite they both were and the mention of Haroun’s name that got them such a welcome. Suddenly, Nakia found herself rousted out of her thoughts as she realized Rahman was gently shaking her shoulder and telling her they were at the Inn.
Nakia looked up and realized that this inn was far out of their price range. There was no way they could afford such a place! But Nakia resigned herself to the thought that maybe the semi-privates or common rooms weren’t as expensive. Sighing in exhaustion, Nakia headed inside to the front desk, hoping at least for a good meal and a chance to relax before they headed out tomorrow.
As Nakia started to head over to the innkeeper, she realized that she had several sets of eyes on her again. Feeling slightly nervous and ill at ease, Nakia suddenly puffed up her chest and stood a little taller to try to look more intimidating. But all it served to do is make her look more comical in her efforts. Nakia sighed at this realization and just proceeded to head to speak with the innkeeper without trying to draw too much unwanted attention, albeit her efforts were in vain.
The innkeeper, without looking up from his bookkeeping parchment, said, “Can I help you miss?” Nakia looked up and said, “Yes, I need two rooms please. One for me and one for my driver, semi-private are fine for both.” “Okay miss that will be … OH! MY! I’m SO sorry Miss Vizier! I didn’t know it was you Milady! I’ll get you two rooms right away!” “But, I’m not the Vizier… I’m only…” the innkeeper abruptly cut her off, “No Miss, no trouble, no trouble at all!” And with those last words, the innkeeper handed her two room keys to the finest rooms in the inn.