OOC - well...I'm kinda late, aren't I? Sorry guys...I done it again :p
Jadis wryly noticed the one apprentice hanging back, an uncomfortable expression on his face, and the other one seemed uncertain whether to follow his example or not. Being uncertain how to deal with it, he decided to just leave it for now. Light knows they hadn't exactly had the best introduction anyway.
It was irritating. On the one hand he knew Nigal was right, but on the other, he was utterly sick of the games of the nobles, vying for power. The war was BLOODY OVER WHY did they have to start trying to undercut each other? It was difficult enough getting people to actually head out and explore the world; things seemed so strange without the constant threat of the Darkness, even now one was constantly looking over one's shoulder, unable to believe they were actually safe. Well, safe from shadows anyway, as Jadis was so quickly discovering.
Running a kingdom was even harder than he had already anticipated. Honestly he didn't know whether to just accept that it was all his responsibility now or curse his father's line.
No. No he'd never do that. But it still seemed unfair that he'd gone from irresponsible orphan to king's son within seconds and without choice.
"Shaddoc," he said finally. "Take these two to the training grounds - find something for them to do while I finish refusing this petition." Smiling wryly, he added, almost apologetically, "Hope you get over that cold soon."
Nigal, mounted on his aging but still quick horse, was currently racing across the open field before the castle, aiming towards the great mountain overshadowing it. He rode quickly, that unpleasant feeling still prodding at him from the back of his mind. He could not get over it, that strange sense of wrongness that seemed to have settled over this. True, Ethinine could have just been late for once, but something still bothered him, feelings similar to back when the Darkness was still strong. Feelings he'd learned to never ignore.
Worried, he urged his horse faster.
He entered the woods, stray branches reaching as if to hold him back. Many of them snapped at his passing, some whipping back into place while others broke. Soon, he found his way to the base of the mountain, and the hidden passage by which one could enter the mountain, and the home of the Grand Sage.
He left the horse there, making his way up the path hewn in the rock; it was impossible to tell if it was man-made or not. It got steep in some places, forcing him to tred cautiously, but soon he reached a place where the path was more noticeably carved to be like a staircase. Thankful, for he was getting on in years, he followed the winding trail, soon coming upon some corridors that were a little more obviously man-made. Choosing a road further on ahead, he came upon living quarters, the smells of cooking filling his nostrils. Smiling faintly, he ducked under a lowered doorway and entered a space that could only be the kitchen, where a black-haired girl was quietly working away on some sort of lunch. "Hey," he said, his gruff voice softening slightly. "Long time no see. You should come down more often."
She turned, her bright eyes widening in surprise. Her mouth opened, but only a weird gaspy noise came out. He chuckled. "Still getting used to having a voice kid?" Blushing from embarrassment, she nodded.
"Did you...need something?" she asked, her voice finally coming out though it was still quite quiet. "You don't usually come here..." He nodded slowly, mentally crossing his fingers.
"Yes, I just wanted to check on Ethinine, see how he was doing."
"Ethinine?..." she looked confused. "He went to the castle this morning...didn't he?"
And now Nigal could not hide the grim exterior that replaced the hopeful smile on his face.
"No...no he did not."
"Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day." Psalm 25:4-5
"Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.
Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.
Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.
O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.
Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles." Psalm 25: 16-22
Thank you. Have a good day.