“Coward,” Kalest berated that part of himself that should have prevailed. “Unreliable coward,” he mumbled against his own frustration.
He reflected on his actions towards the Erbonian Princess and the reason for the ominous problems coloring his future darker than ever before. He reacted without purpose and reason which was a dangerous thing. His head and heart were now at odds. Calla was the recipient of one of his greatest moments of weakness and it filled him with shame. Many would pay the price when war ravished this land he loved so dearly for that weakness.
Calla, princess and priestess of Erbonia and heir to her father’s throne, was a guiding light to her people. She was also the one person he knew with every fiber of his existence, to be his closest friend even though he could not admit to that truth at this moment. She had come to Opallace with an offering of peace for their nations whose treaty had been abused to the point of non-existence.
In return he interrogated her, treated her as an unwanted guest, ignored her, and at best insulted her. Then, as a final blow, he threw her out as though she were a thieving beggar. His inner battle began to roll into a full war. Ironically, he now longed for her wisdom and wondered if she would be in the dream-walk world they shared.
Part of him knew he would never see her again. It was easier before he knew who his best friend was in the waking world. Why did she have to pull their friendship from the shadow world of dream and fantasy and throw it into the ugly light of this world that has no mercy?
He could not tell if it was pride or self preservation that had dictated his actions. “My dear marue Du’at, what advice would you have for your wayward son?” Kalest asked into the cool of the night but his personal doubt over shadowed his thoughts. “And what would the great marue, one of the seven keepers of the world, have to do with me?”
He had lost track of time as the sky was beginning to pale with the morning’s embrace. He began to wonder if any of the good people of Opallace were aware of all these untidy events that had taken place under their noses. The immense crowd that had gathered to enjoy the King’s feast in honor of Princess Calla had to have had a few unplanned spectators for the unpleasant and unexpected event in which he evicted his royal guest without ceremony.
The King continued to brood over which twin sister it was that held his heart captive. His consciousness constricted a little tighter as he set his jaw and entered the main banquet hall. The man who had bid the King a good night the evening before was in the center of a small circle of people who were being entertained by his animated story. Kalest checked his countenance and sauntered over to stand against the wall, listening to the man’s tale.
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