A woman sits in a throne room, on cushions to one side of the throne with the rest of the king’s harem. Like the others, she is wearing beautiful clothing made of costly and exquisite fabrics. Unlike the others, she has concealed on her person a small but deadly weapon. She is a trained assassin, placed in the harem as part of a plot to kill the king. She is the failsafe, the guarantee that the plot will succeed.
She is in place on this day, as on so many days before, wholly unsuspected. A delegation of merchants from a certain city is announced, and she knows that today is the day. The members of the delegation are also assassins; she is to kill the king if their plan does not succeed.
She was raised to think the king a cruel tyrant, but her time in the harem has shown her that he is a just ruler and a wise man. Although her entire life has been dedicated to the fulfillment of this mission, she finds herself questioning the righteousness of her cause. A squabble breaks out among the merchants as they approach the throne. All eyes are drawn to the growing commotion; the moment is at hand. She leaps for the throne, weapon in hand.
“It’s a plot to kill the king!” she cries, assuming a defensive stance between the king and the would-be assassins. Once the guards have neutralized the threat, she turns, drops to one knee, and lays her weapon at the king’s feet. “I know because I was part of it,” she adds with bowed head. She did not expect to survive this day in any case. It is enough to know she has acted with integrity.
Instead of ordering her to be executed, the king asks her to be his personal bodyguard. Amazed and overjoyed, she agrees. She realizes that she has truly found her life’s purpose.