PRINCE Xandur trudged closely behind the younger heirsen, as the latter led him to meet Dalleon Prince of Waterfort.
And Xandur thought to have a small talk with the young fellow leading him inside the Castle. He wanted to know who exactly he was.
Yet the old prince hesitated. For as much as he was curious to know who the daring young chap was, he wished to keep the small dignity he’d got left.
Xandur considered the situation silently.
This rude kid just came up to me blurting out all sort of things… without the least bit of regard or courtesy!
And to cap everything, he also knew so much about me. Knew what I was thinking, too. What sort of kid is this by the way?
Xandur wasn’t willing to stoop lower. He wasn’t ready to go lower than this and ask the boy who he was. He was already following him sheepishly as it was – and only because he desperately wanted to meet with Dalleon.
Yet Old Xandur never knew it. He never knew that that mystery fellow around him would be made his watcher and custodian.
And never knew, too, that he was called Celson Prince of West Stongate. Xandur never knew anything.
Now the two heirsens entered the Grand Castle building. Then they mounted the spiral stairs that led up to the uppermost chamber.
Prince Xandur observed the stone-built castle. He saw that the design was quite similar to that of his city’s Grand Tower.
Yes, he always climbed up a set of stairs similar to this back home. But still Xandur couldn’t help that uneasiness. That disquiet he’d started to feel inside him, as he mounted the steps to meet Prince Dalleon.
The old noble’s mind flipped over from Celson leading him upstairs now, and it went over to Dalleon the host of that evening banquet.
Xandur wondered about the Waterfort prince, whom he’d barely seen earlier.
‘What does Dalleon look like?’ he softly mused. ‘What does he want from me, really?’ he wondered.
Xandur considered the thoughts a moment. Then he remembered what led him here in the first place. He remembered he was the very one in a desperate search. So he decided to face that fact.
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I didn’t come here because they needed me to come. I’m the one desperately searching. I am the one with the desperate need.
And if I’ve stooped this low already… if I’ve stooped low enough to follow this little brat to this point, I should go all the way now, I suppose.
I should go all the way, and get what I am here for.
Eventually the two nobles reached the doors of the huge chamber where they were headed. So Celson announced their arrival from the doorpost.
Prince Xandur took a quick glance around as he waited for the doors to be bolted open.
‘The Grand Tower here is definitely different from Olde Glassfield’s,’ he muttered silently in a moment of wonder.
‘And these people here. No these people here aren’t my league at all,’ he added quietly.
The doors were soon flung open for the two. And Celson led the older heirsen inside.
Right then as Xandur stepped into the governing chamber, he was greeted by a great floodlight shining against a seated Dalleon.
The floodlight that shone against the noble’s armour of glass, blindfolded his entire appearance with its piercing reflections…
Just the same way floodlights were beamed on princes speaking from the High Altar of Words, just so no heirsen would see their patched-up glass.
Now Xandur heard Dalleon’s voice bellow out from within the lights.
‘Welcome Prince of Olde Glassfield.’
The Glassfield noble was thrown off-balance in that moment; and he didn’t know when he leaned right over, and bowed.
Yet midway into Xandur’s submissive bow he remembered himself.
He remembered he was a noble prince who shouldn’t bow low. Who shouldn’t ever bow to any heirsen.
Xandur hesitated in that moment. But reverencing the Waterfort prince seemed too hard to resist.
And so he leaned his full frame over in a reverent bow.
Still the old noble wanted to do more. He wanted to request something. He’d been able to sum up his desires into one thing.
And that one thing was honour. Irresistible honour.
Xandur wanted to be reverenced and feared like Dalleon. He wanted to be admired and envied. He wanted to be honoured… and irresistibly so.
The noble recalled that it was in a bid to retain his pride that he first covered his glass shoulders with golden laurels. When he sustained a painful crack on his right shoulder.
He recalled that it was on that matter of honour that he gilded his two shoulders. And then went on to extend the floral paintings to cover his entire glass chest.
Yes, it was honour that was most important to Xandur. For that contemptuous glare from Arstol when he fell… that glare only stuck to him whole.
And he felt trodden and trampled on where he’d lain fallen.
But here was Xandur at the Waterfort Castle, vowing to buy back his pride and honour. Vowing to step on heirsens who gazed on his fall with contempt.
And now he waited for Dalleon to speak.
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