THE blood ink was ready. Along with the blank linen scrolls and the writing quill.
Seated in the central palace library, Ragun and Jakan were more than prepared to start penning the kingdom’s invite… to a long list of allies.
Jakan was the one to put down the content on the ancient linen papers, with his glorious and decorated calligraphy.
It was an incredible combination of sort. As the hot blooded war chief Ragun and the introverted chief priest Jakan did set out to work together on the king’s business.
The gentle Jakan was well aware of Ragun’s temper. And so, the elderly priest had learnt to save himself some stress. By avoiding every form of contention with Ragun.
Ragun had insisted he’d already compiled the list of nations intended as guests for the festival ceremony in his head.
Well, since that so-called list would still be subjected to the King’s scrutiny when written, it only made sense that Jakan made no further suggestion nor correction to his temperamental partner.
Besides, thought Jakan, Ragun as the war chief wouldn’t take an enemy for an ally, after all.
And so, Jakan decided not to bother himself with such a needless hassle as commenting on the list in Ragun’s head.
Jakan was just there to compose and pen down the content of the letter. And those two things were enough work themselves, he reasoned.
The two elderly men settled down to work early that morning, and a cool breeze blew through the open windows of the classic library. It had rained all night and the young day was left all cool and breezy.
Just when Ragun set out to write down the list of dignified guests and ally kingdoms to send the invitations to… just then, his flammable cannon fired its angry balls in a loud, big blast.
‘Cowards, lazy cowards!’ Those were the words he roared. And a nervous chill ran down Jakan’s spine for one small moment.
Jakan raised his gaze to be double sure Ragun wasn’t reacting to anything he did or say. And he remembered he’d only stayed as quiet as a little lamb all the way through.
Just then, he saw that Ragun had lifted the bottle of ink up to his nostrils, sniffing the ink made out of blood.
Jaiye typically made its writing ink from blood. With an added anti-clot portion extracted from a wild tropical plant, called Nu’yueya in Jaiye kingdom. And which is native to Jaiye’s vegetation.
‘Lazy little cowards!’ Ragun snarled again.
Jakan was now certain Ragun wasn’t referring to him. Why would Ragun even talk to his noble colleague in such a manner. He was sure it wasn’t him Ragun’s words were being hurled at.
But then, Jakan was content with not asking about anything. He knew how to tread quietly by the stall of an angry bull.
Ragun didn’t stop either. ‘Those cowards went to fetch me the blood of chicks,’ he yelled. ‘This is not what I demanded, is it? This is not the blood of a full grown peacock! Huh!’
A few days earlier the war chief had given his minions the order to get him the blood of an adult peacock.
But the war chief found out here that what his servants brought him was the blood of baby peacocks. Rather than that of a grown one.
Jakan was amazed. He’d always known Ragun was a hot tempered man. But he didn’t know he was an irrational being too.
He wondered. What difference does it make if it is the blood of a baby fowl, or that of an adult? Who on earth cares if the blood is that of a grown peacock or the peachick?!
But then, the chief priest himself knew he dared not give words to his inner thoughts. Lest he got the crushing fury of the mad bull.
At this point, Jakan couldn’t help wondering how the war chief even differentiated between bloods. Between the blood of dead animals, in fact.
Even with the number of decades the chief priest had spent slaughtering horses for sacrifices, he was more than certain he couldn’t even identify the blood of a horse and that of a donkey.
Let alone differentiate between the blood of a fully grown horse and that of the young.
But here was the war chief who knew so much about the blood. So much he could even differentiate between the blood of slaughtered fowls…
As though bloods do have a recognisable face.
Jakan muttered to himself. ‘No wonder he’s named Slayer of the Dead!’
Ragun stopped instantly. For his ears tingled at the faintest sound of his praise. ‘You called me?’ he asked, his eyes fully lit with interest.
Jakan shook his head forth and back. ‘Not at all,’ he smiled broadly.
‘Oh I thought you called me,’ Ragun said as he packed his things.
Jakan didn’t mind repeating his words. ‘Not all, Ragun,’ he said quietly.
Ragun had no problem with Jakan at all. He got back into his angry feel. He stamped his feet at once, lifting up the jar of ink in the air.
‘I will feed this to my dogs,’ he blared. ‘I can’t stoop so low to write with this. Not me, Ragun,’ he growled.
The war chief jumped to his feet at once. And he stormed out of the decent library…
Leaving the gentle priest in an incurable state of wonder.
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