A faint breeze stirred the air as Loreck entered quietly not wishing to disturb Thorin’s outwardly peaceful rest. He stood outside the curtains watching her- there was no doubt she was a beautiful child, Mortas had chosen well. He frowned slightly at the thought that Larion and those who call themselves his loyal followers may not accept her into the clan, because of fear and superstition, but she had the potential to save their world. Mortas will have to bear his soul to her if they are to succeed and there are things even the young prince did not know about himself and his initiation. Loreck did not want to dwell on those dark thoughts; he had to remain confident for all their sakes. They have a long and uncertain road ahead.
Thorin awoke to the smell of scented candles, Jasmine she dreams, opening her eyes to see Loreck seated cross-legged studying a map intently.
“Good evening, I trust you slept well?” He enquired without looking up.
“Yes thank you” she lied. Loreck glanced at her, studyingly. “I hope that we can talk some more this evening,” she ventured avoiding his gaze.
“What do you wish to speak about?” He asked the question slowly and deliberately.
Taking the direct approach Thorin took a deep breath “I want to know the truth, if I am to be used as a concubine to provide an heir and if so why was I chosen?” Her words came out surprisingly composed, which was far from how she felt. Thorin was looking at him directly she did not want to miss anything.
“I cannot answer your questions in a manner that may prove satisfactory to you,” Loreck said quietly.
“Why not?” asked Thorin trying to control the anger threatening to overwhelm her. “Look at it from my point of view I am a stranger here, I don’t know your rules, the way you live your lives, I’ve been taken from the home of my friend like that” she snapped her fingers her anger that she had been carefully keeping in check was beginning to escape “I have been vanished off to God knows where, to meet God knows whom, and in the interim, I am being told my body is to be used for the greater good and you can’t confirm or deny it.”
All the pent-up anger and frustration coupled with her fear and uncertainty of the unknown future was gushing out of Thorin like a tidal wave. Loreck looked taken aback by the torrent of rage emanating from the beautiful woman before him. He looked away, avoiding the intensity of her stare.
“I would tell you if I could, but you must understand that it is not my place to do so without permission.” Sadness coloured his voice “I know that Gadzara must have related something to you, but you must believe me when I say there are many things that she does not know or understand.” Thorin bit back a retort, Loreck raised his hand silencing her comment “she acted out of spite and for that I am truly sorry, I will go to see Mortas this night, it is my charge and I will ask him to settle this unhappy matter.”
In one fluid movement Loreck was on his feet, reminding Thorin of his bulk and she wondered how she could have forgotten her fear to speak to him in the way she had. Loreck departed Thorin watched him leave, aware that she had a decision to make.
“What do we do now Gadzara?” Thorin asked the other woman who looked well prepared as if expecting a visitor. “I will take you in my personal chair to a friend who will help you.” She answered smilingly.
“But first we must prepare my dear, perhaps you ought to change your attire, you should appear a little more becoming.” Gadzara said continuing to hold her smile
“Let’s just say it helps the negotiation process, the way is dangerous and we will need an escort, you understand.” She did not but Thorin nodded her agreement. “My maid will assist you.” Gadzara continued “I’ll just make us a little drink to celebrate your impending freedom.” She left while Thorin was attended to.
Gadzara hummed while she dropped a Zen pod into the wine goblet, when she returned, she was astonished to see Thorin’s attire, she felt her uneasiness return, but she crushed the thought with a smile.
“You look perfect my dear, now for a little celebratory drink.” She held out the goblet Thorin clasped it and took a deep hearty drink, while Gadzara raised the goblet to her lips watching her above the rim.
“There must be 100% proof in that,” she giggled. Gadzara gave her a confused look. “Never mind let’s go before anyone comes.” Thorin put the goblet down feeling a little dizzy.
“Of course” Gadzara said smiling. They departed with Gadzara flying while Thorin was carried on an elaborately ornate chair between two servants.
Thorin awoke to the sound of voices and laughter around her. When she opened her eyes she became aware of some of the faces and was afraid.
Gadzara leaned over her. “You are with us again; it’s amazing how much you sleep.” Turning to the others she said, “I gave her a Zen pod, so she has no notion of where she is or how she got here.” Turning back to Thorin Gadzara pouted. “This is a special evening for you, you see I knew you were coming and when my Lord Devron expressed an interest, well I could not disappoint him, after all when he saw you at the gathering, he sent word as to his partiality.”
She stepped back allowing a Diak to step forward. Thorin gasped he was the one at the gathering claiming she was a spy; a cold smile touched his lips as Thorin became aware she was bound.
“Now I must go before Loreck returns, I must be prepared for him and my darling Mortas” and to Thorin Gadzara laughed harshly “you must get to know your new master,” she held Thorin’s chin drawing her closer “you wanted to be out now you are, granted Devron is not Mortas, but I dare say he has all the right qualities that you simply must learn to love.” She stressed the last words pointedly smiling and Thorin could see the glee in her eyes.
“My Lords this gathering is essential to our people, my father being absent, as urgent business calls him to the Badlands, to protect our vested interests. I am here in his stead to conduct deliberations on strategy, tactics, and advantages for trade as well as peace talks.” Mortas opened the floor to discussions among the leader Diaks. From his tier seat Lord Devron silently observed.
“We thank your Highness for his regard in these matters and would state the first concerns on our minds, for I do believe we are of one mind, when I say it sits uneasily with us that your Highness should see fit to invite a Cayjun here.” Mirach was first on the offensive. Mortas raised his hands to his loyal supporters silencing their outraged protests.
“Allow my brother Diak to speak, we are all one here and we cannot sever any part, simply because it does not please us, but accept the differences it represents.”
“King Larion has chosen well in you to lead us in his absence, your Highness.” Mirach conceded. “Still I do wonder if it is in our best interests, that one so young and inexperienced should be solely responsible for such advanced matters and decision-making.” He continued slowly.
“As adviser to my father, Lord Mirach, he has always valued your opinion and wise counsel and I shall endeavour to do the same, pray tell, what is your view on attempting peace to avert war?” Mirach shifted uncomfortably he was surprised that Mortas was adept at word games and all were watching him closely to discern his position.
“As your Highness is well aware I am not a politician but a simple Diak, who has always valued the interests and benefits of my people first.” Mirach said stiltedly, there were murmurs of approval and he was encouraged. “Further, we have always welcome peace, where such actions are clearly stipulated that the other party’s intentions are so interested, by openly acknowledging their interests and not in secret.” He stiffly concluded.
“Such actions are an admirable trait and may be best actioned, where sanction does not dictate a need for careful and quite proceeding. It cannot benefit the people if every action was made public before a mutually beneficial decision was reached and so I say that, it is clear that not everything can be explained openly, but partially, through time when there is absolute certainty as to the benefits for each individual Diak.” Eon smiled proudly at his brother’s defence. Mortas understood Mirach.
Standing in the background Loreck listened carefully, Ataron was reborn in Mortas, those could only be his words, and none would dare sanction, not even the King himself.
“As you say your Highness, we are not in possession of all the facts, but you ask very much of us without equal recompense.” Lord Devron interjected reluctantly; the single braided General Commander frowned under the ossein carved chaplet on his brow, wisps of teal coloured hair obscured his eyes and his fine boned face was contemplative while his lips were in a critical curl.
“King Larion has never lost sway to Effieron nor will his heir.” Eon had interceded before Mortas could answer. The eloquent charismatic Prince with the shaved beryl mohican waved a sophisticated hand.
“Then we will allow the matter to rest.” Mirach said steadily and bowed but each knew with certainty that it could not be for long other matters was then deliberated on. Lord Devron smiled, Mirach was a useful pawn. He watched as Loreck whispered to Mortas.
Prince Mortas was no fool he was young to be sure, but this was only his outward appearance. He told himself he must continue to monitor the young Prince, by comparison the King was predictable and Devron was better suited to comfort. After all given the right motivations one could be leader without being King.