Chapter 2: History.. Page 10

Posted: April 1, 2007 in Good Reads

Chapter 1: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7, Page 8, Page 9

‘So, who’s this Ishar anyway?’ asked Wykka, as they trudged throught the mountain pass. Max was in the lead, followed by Wykka, then Paplo. Eladred brought up the rear. All were laden with full backpacks, for the expedition to the Citadel of Ice.

Paplo said, ‘Do you mean to tell me that you’ve never heard of the Ice Queen?’

‘Should I have?’

Paplo made a sputtering sound. ‘Should you not?! She’s only the most powerful wytch that ever lived! Generations of parents invoke her legend to cow their children into submission. Surely, your father had employed the dread name to scare you off to Her sacrificial pits!’

‘Actually, my father used a whip,’ said Wykka, ‘I should think it more effective than mentioning someone who’s been dead for a thousand years.’

‘So you do know about the Ice Queen !’ Paplo said, as if proving a point.

‘I only managed to catch that bit of information from the old man who hired us.’

‘You mean the King of Delysia.’

‘I mean the old bore who wouldn’t shut up. We had to stand for hours in that draughty hall, before he deigned to talk to us.’

‘That draughty hall was the Royal Court of Delysia! There were a host of petitioners who had waited for days to see the King! It’s pretty reasonable for us to wait our turn.’

Wykka sniffed, unconvinced, ‘We didn’t go there asking for anything. It’s the old fool who wanted to hire us. Shouldn’t he make himself available to us, instead of making us wait for him?’

‘But… he’s the King!’

‘So?’

Paplo shook his head, ‘The King doesn’t wait for other people; it’s the other people who have to wait on his pleasure. Don’t you know anything about the government?’

‘I know about taxes. For what I’ve been paying, I expect better service.’

‘Service?!?!? You’ve never been out of that farm of yours, have you?’ Paplo asked.

‘Actually, I used to go to the market every fortnight, before I met Max. My father always said that all the lords are bunch of useless parasites not worth a fart. Everyone at the market agreed.’

‘I’ll bet they never said that in the hearing of the King’s Guards,’ said Paplo.

Wykka thought about it. ‘True. But there aren’t any Guards at the market, except when it’s time to collect dues. My father told me that we must pay them promptly.’

Paplo laughed. ‘See, your father knew how the government worked. Unfortunately, he didn’t teach you sufficient respect for that institution. The King could have you beheaded for calling him an “old bore”, or for just about anything he fancied. Max wouldn’t be able to save you then, because the King has an army to back him.’

Wykka blinked.

Paplo sighed, ‘I’m surprised you’re still alive, Wykka. How did you survive before Max saved you? And how could you have learnt so little, since then?’

Wykka shrugged nonchalantly. ‘Max and Eladred don’t talk much. But enough about me already – are you going to tell me about Ishar, or not?’

 

                                                                to be continued…

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