“You are lying, you are the daughter of the King, the granddaughter of the King, and you claim to love a servant? What does he have, and what has he saved to provide for you? You are Umm Salma, and I don’t understand what kind of heart you have.”

Umm Salma cried as if she had received a death sentence. Prince Anas knelt down and grabbed her shoulder, saying, “Umm Salma, why would you, a princess, fall in love with a servant? Who is he? Who is his father? He is a nobody, the son of no one. You are a princess, and you can marry the prince of Zaftare or the future king of Sawwa, but you insist on this lowly servant.”

She stopped crying and replied, “My cousin, Prince, please understand. I have always obeyed your commands and never disobeyed you, but this time, I cannot obey. I love Salman, and I want to marry him. I want to be his wife within two weeks. If not, I will run away to Fomwa town and seek a humble life there.”

Prince Anas stared into her eyes and said, “Umm Salma, you are causing great turmoil in the kingdom. Even Ammi is disappointed with you. This servant is not suitable for you.”

She responded, “It’s not my intention to cause turmoil, my cousin. Since I was a child, Salman has held a special place in my heart. I love him, and I want to marry him. Please, marry us.”

Prince Anas got up and left her, and she continued to cry. Afterward, she composed herself, washed her face, and sat down to eat. While she was eating, she spotted Salman nearby, breaking ice.

She instructed one of the maids, “Go and fetch my beloved.”

The maid hurriedly ran to call Salman, who was working nearby. Salman, upon receiving the message, walked towards Umm Salma. She met him halfway and said, “Salman, please come. The princess is waiting for you.”

He turned and saw her sitting on a chair. He approached her and greeted her respectfully, saying, “Welcome, Princess, daughter of the king.”

Umm Salma stood up and gestured for him to sit beside her on the bed. She said, “Please, have a seat. It’s not fitting for you to sit on the floor.”

Salman smiled and replied, “I appreciate your kindness, Princess, but I must be cautious. What if the prince were to see me sitting on your couch?”

Umm Salma said, “Salman, you doubt my love for you.”

He remained silent for a moment and then admitted, “I love you, and I know you love me. However, our union is impossible due to my status as a slave.”

Umm Salma persisted, “Then let’s run away and get married secretly.”

Salman shook his head and explained, “I cannot do that. What would happen to my Ummah, and if we were caught, the consequences would be severe. Moreover, everyone in the kingdom would despise me for eloping with the king’s daughter.”

She pleaded, “Salman, I cannot marry anyone else. You are the one I love.”

Prince Anas suddenly appeared and overheard their conversation. He was not pleased and confronted them, saying, “Every time you fall in love, I see nothing but trouble. I know it won’t be long before you are married off to someone else.”

Umm Salma retorted, “Then I will marry a poor man.”

Prince Anas was furious and yelled, “You are defying me, Umm Salma!”

As the confrontation escalated, Salman knelt down in submission. However, Prince Anas was not satisfied and began to physically assault Salman, tearing his shirt. Salman maintained his composure, apologizing for any perceived wrongs, but he refused to reveal any secrets.

Umm Salma interjected, “I’m the one who loves him. If I choose to marry him, it’s my decision.”

Prince Anas became even angrier and pushed Salman. He threatened, “I should have sold you to someone else, even if it meant receiving a small sum.”

Salman’s love for Umm Salma had only deepened, and he remained resolute despite the consequences he faced.

Prince Anas left the scene, seething with anger, leaving Umm Salma, Salman, and a tense atmosphere behind.

The narrative then delves into the background of Princess Ummu Salma, describing her family, upbringing, and the political context of the kingdom of Fomwa.

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