Published February 25, 2019 by

Khan and the Kingdom without Gods Chapter 2

Outside our world exists one of gods. A place where gods reign supreme and humans live like days of old.

Khan is a dashing thief who travels to a small kingdom without gods in the hope of seducing their beautiful princess. He is instead drawn to her unusual bodyguard who has a few secrets of her own. The battle between mortals and gods has only just begun. 

Click here for chapter one!

Chapter index

Khan awoke hours later to find himself alone in the empty square with a throbbing headache. There were also bruises on his chest and the magic fan had mysteriously disappeared from his hand. He sat up to find Gono and Daisy looking at wooden dolls of Princess Lili at a nearby store. Most minions would have exhibited more concern for their injured boss, but Khan passed out at least twice a week so they started shopping to pass the time.

"Are you gonna get one too boss?" Asked Gono as he cradled a doll of the princess to his chest like a human child.

Khan sat up and glanced inside. There were wooden tiaras, long green dresses, and small figurines of Lili that nodded their heads up and down. Even the elderly store owner had dressed himself up in the merchandise. The entire store looked like a shrine to the young princess and it was freaking him out.

"What's the next plan boss?" Asked Daisy. "We could always try that act where you get cursed by an evil god and fall into a never ending slumber that can only be ended by the kiss of a princess."

"Nah, I think I'll pass," said Khan as he rubbed his head.

"Are you just gonna give up boss?" Asked Gono. "That's not like you."

"But in the desert you said that you always wanted to do a prince-" Said Daisy before Khan cut him off.

"Shhh," said Khan. "That was two days ago, the plan has changed. That woman in the blue dress," he said with his eyes glazed over. "The way she angrily beat me into the wall, felt the way that I've never been beaten before."

"Boss, don't do this to yourself again!" Cried Daisy. Khan had a habit of falling for crazy women who only brought him pain. The last girl he chased ended up stomping on his hands. What Daisy still couldn't understand was why Khan looked so happy when it happened. Daisy suspected that all the beatings Khan received from women had driven his boss insane.

Daisy and Gono even made up their own nickname to refer to the man when he was out of earshot, The Great Masochist.

"Right, it's settled," said Khan and he ignored his minions' tears of anguish. "Our new target is the woman in the blue dress!"

Of course Khan wouldn't directly approach Mei, that was insane, instead he planned to ask around town (maybe stalk her a little) and then research all her weaknesses before coming up with the best way to appeal to the young woman. You may view this as a terrible plan, but Khan was a little strange in the head, so to him it seemed like a great idea.

The closest person to Mei seemed to be the princess, but with her locked away in the castle the next best option was the boy he saw in the square. Khan was certain that the fastest way to Mei's heart would be through manipulating the people closest to her.

"Hey old man?" Asked Khan to the man selling dolls. "Where can we find that little kid who was with the princess?"

Nawaki always trained outside the palace with Mei in the afternoon. Mei may have been hired to keep the princess safe, but Lili's public appearances had drastically decreased since Mei showed up, so the doll seller and Lili's Sparkling Fanclub secretly plotted to get rid of the bodyguard for months. Khan was their only hope, so the merchant happily drew the thief a map and sent him on his way.

Khan and his men easily found the place, but the gate was so tall that Khan had to stand on Daisy's shoulders to get a better view. It appeared to be a training ground for soldiers and guards. There were rows of wooden targets along with blades, arrows, swords, and a group of palace guards who were wearily watching Mei and Nawaki train.

"I don't get why you had to beat that guy up today Mei," said Nawaki as he threw small knives at a target. His aim was terrible so they all bounced off and landed in the bushes. "He seemed like a nice guy."

"A nice guy?" Questioned Mei. "That man was obviously a con artist. He probably makes his living off stealing things and then bragging about it."

"But you didn't even let him explain himself," said Nawaki. "Maybe he's actually a really nice con artist or something."

"That's just what they want you to think, and then once you finally let them into your life they destroy it and crush your heart into a thousand pieces!" Yelled Mei and she threw a knife with enough force to make the target crack in the middle. "There's no way that I can allow trash like that to get anywhere near the princess."

The more Nawaki kept talking about Khan the more Mei began imagining the thief's face on the target. She threw another knife and pictured it slicing off his nose. Although Mei was kind and reasonable to her friends, she had difficulty getting along with others and had a reputation throughout the kingdom for being angry and mean. Which was probably the reason why she had few male admirers, except for the few rare guys like Khan who seemed to enjoy that sort of thing.

"That's all for today," huffed Mei and she walked over and began pulling the small blades out of the wood. "You can go practice your calligraphy for a few hours."

"Again!" Huffed Nawaki. "But I want to practice throwing more knives, I'm finally getting good at it!"

"Being able to fight is all well and good," said Mei. "But once you learn to read and write properly it's like-"

"Opening up a whole new door, " said Nawaki and he turned to leave. "You've only told me that like a trillion times already."

"And make sure that you take your bath!"

"I get it, I get it. I'm not a little kid anymore, you don't have to tell me what to do."

"And he used to be so cute," Mei muttered to herself as she watched Nawaki walk away. She secretly missed the days when Nawaki followed her like a puppy and did whatever she said.

Khan jumped down from Daisy's shoulders and casually leaned against the wall beside the gate while trying to act natural. He wasn't certain if Nawaki would notice him on his way out, so Khan went out of his way to speak especially loud.

"And then I pulled that poor little orphan boy out from the river," said Khan as Nawaki walked past. "Along with his mother, father, pet duck, and stinky tofu cart."

Just like Khan planned Nawaki immediately glanced over his shoulder and noticed the three thieves standing there.

"Hey! You're that guy from the square!" Said Nawaki.

"Who, me?" Asked Khan while looking around and pretending that he didn't know if Nawaki was speaking directly to him.

"It is you! Is it true that you did all those great things like talk to animals and stuff?" Asked Nawaki.

"My fans may have an unfortunate habit of exaggerating my brave deeds," said Khan. "But I would never lie to you my friend," technically he hadn't directly lied to Nawaki yet so he was still in the clear. "How would you like to hear more amazing tales of my adventures?"

"Wow!" Said Nawaki and his eyes seemed to sparkle. "That would be awesome!"

All thoughts of studying suddenly evaporated from the young boy's brain.

"And I know just the place," said Khan.

In his defence Khan didn't know much about children, so he just took Nawaki to the same place where he conducted all his business meetings, the local tavern. He naturally gravitated to the most suspicious one in the lower town which was hidden behind a knife shop that was hidden behind a fried chicken stand. Like most of Khan's favourite places it was dark, dusty, and had a strange smell. The bar was mostly empty, but the customers sat there silently sipping their drinks like they were working out the best way to run off with Khan's gold.

"Your strongest alcoholic beverage for me and my young friend," smiled Khan to the owner as he and Nawaki took seats at the bar.

"Can't serve drinks to children," said the barman. He was a large man affectionately named Stingy Lu by his customers for reasons which are easy to guess.

"Then anything else you have," requested Khan and Stingy Lu handed him a glass of potato wine and a cup of water to Nawaki.

"Wow, this place is great," said Nawaki while looking around the room in awe. "Mei never lets me come to this part of town, let alone drink at a bar."

"Sisters," huffed Khan. "I had seven of them, and they always ordered me around like they owned the hut."

"Mei isn't my sister," said Nawaki. "We're not even related, she just looks after me. For now anyway."

"What about your parents kid?"

"I don't have parents."

"Oh," said Khan and he awkwardly sipped his drink. "Well, if it makes you feel better my parents were so shitty that I was better off without them. How did you end up shacking up with that chick?"

"It's a long story," said Nawaki. "And I mean it's a really really really long story."

"I have time," said Khan. "Why not share a few stories with your new best buddy Khan?"

"I don't know. Mei doesn't seem to like you, so maybe she'll get mad if I tell you stuff about her."

"Well, I understand how she may feel, but I might just be able to sneak you some of this stuff if you tell me all her deepest darkest secrets," said Khan while subtly indicating to his drink.

"Done!" Said Nawaki without a hint of remorse. "It all started about two years ago."

Chapters: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06

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