Getyora looked across the table at King Emota “My Lord, the woman is strong, she has dispelled the Hourons. They have fled before her.”
“Yes Getyora, I see that very clearly. Give me some information I do not know you old fool.” King Emota watched as the cloud of Hourons fled to the sky in fear of Sarah’s powers. The two of them had watched the attack unfold in the seeing room, Getyora summoning the King when outer ring sentinels detected them entering the valley.
“Old man, I need to know if these are the chosen.” The old sorcerer had been in the kingdom’s service since Emota was a boy and Getyora served his father, and when Emota’s Grandfather was a boy, Getyora served his father, and so it had been for all time any could remember. Getyora himself would only say he had been in service since the beginning. Nobody knew how long ago that was.
“Sire” said Getyora “others have come this far, only to find death at the hands of your many servants. They have far to go. It is too soon to tell.” But Getyora knew this wasn’t entirely true. Others had found the valley, but none had come through the Labyrinth, none had freed the Minotaur.
“You’re an old fool!” Emota stood at Getyora’s face sending spittle on to Getyora’s lips. Getyora’s patience for Emota had been spent well before he summoned him to the seeing table. He had suffered Emota’s insolence since Emota took the throne by slicing his fathers sleeping throat. Getyora viewed Emota as a coward, the only in a long line of strong rulers. But Emota was king, and king’s command armies. Getyora walked carefully with Emota but not in fear.
“As you say my Lord.” Getyora nearly choked on the words, biting back the bile in his throat as he heard them leave his lips. “But might I suggest that if the King were to see it so, the forest keepers could make short work of these fools who dare venture here.” Getyora moved his hand across the seeing stone. The air shimmered above it as the forest came to view, in the forest along a wide path, Adam, Seth, Sarah, Ujor and the Minotaur made their way across the valley.
They had not come too far their first day, the Hourons scaring them that they moved slowly with little sleep. “See Sire, they move slowly. They are tired. The forest keepers would enjoy them as a child a toy. Trapping them like bugs in a jar, then giving them a slow and painful death.”
It was true. They were tired, but confident in their ability to survive as Sarah had beaten back the first assault. Her powers grew more under her control with each passing hour. Seth too, had begun to take on new physical strength and agility. He quickly adapted things he found around him to weapons. Though tired, he still found the strength to test each new weapon he created.
“The boy there, he has grown angry with the leader. I watched has he lunged at his throat, nearly killing him. This could also be used to your advantage sire. True, blood is thicker than water, but blood of family boils hotter than water. We could use the boy against the others.”
Emota was not fool enough to think that Getyora was wrong. For as much as he despised the old sorcerer he knew he was filled with experience and knowledge, though he would never admit it to his face. In Emota’s eyes, Getyora was a threat to his kingdom, a problem to be dealt with. Emota only needed time, and a suitable replacement for the old man.
“What do you suggest old fool.” said Emota.
Getyora swallowed hard. “Sire, soon night will fall and they will seek shelter. When they make camp we can send the forest keepers as visions in their sleep. We can turn them against one another. They will die at their own hands and we shall have some entertainment.”
Emota admired the old man’s cruelty. If nothing else, he liked the idea that he could imagine many ways to bring death. Emota had suspected that if he were to show weakness to the old sorcerer, he himself would be shown such talents the old man had. But as long as he retained the power of his servants he kept the old man in check. It was a balance of power and he knew it. At the moment the balance was even, but one mistake could lend more weight to the old man.
“Yes Getyora, I should say that would work very nicely.”
“Then let us get supper and let them find their way and be tired. We have time, no need for our discomfort. Let’s dine together tonight. We should consider the kingdom in these new times. It would not do well for the King to appear as unprepared and disorganized.” Getyora looked steely eyed at Emota. He could guess in his eyes that Emota had suspicions. Perhaps at dinner he thought, he could have the King tip his hand.
“I would like that Getyora.”
Emota clapped his hands loudly. Servants appeared from the passageways surrounding the room. “Have the cooks make a meal for two, the Sorcerer and the King will dine together tonight. Have them make one of the finest young lambs from the flocks of the serfs. If any of them complain, have them killed.”
The servants dashed from the seeing room, leaving Emota and Getyora. “Come Getyora, let’s have some wine before dinner. I have some new skins fresh from the vineyards. Join me.”
“Very well Sire.”
Emota and Getyora walked to the dining room and took two seats near the fire separated by a sturdy drinking table. Emota took two glasses and poured wine into both. Getyora grabbed one of the glasses. The two stood there face to face, Getyora with no trust of the wine, Emota with no trust of Getyora. “Go ahead Getyora, drink.”
“But Sire, it is rude for a servant such as I to drink before the King. I insist I wait until the King has satisfied his thirst.”
Emota smiled. This old man is smart he said. “For a fool old man, at times you have your manners.” Emota raised the glass to his lips and took a long drink. Getyora followed. Emota topped the glasses and the two sat before the fire. “Dinner will be soon Getyrora, then we will solve our little problem.”
“Yes Sire, yes we will.”