Natas growled impatiently at his magi.
They knelt at the foot of his throne, not daring to raise their eyes. It angered him that their eyes were cast to the floor. They only ever did so when they had bad news to give.
“There is one who comes that will topple your empire, my king,” said the first of the magi.
“Is that all your prophecies have to say,” he asked coolly.
“There is mention of nothing else, my king, save the color purple.”
Purple he mused; the color could stand for nothing else but royalty. It made him wonder who could challenge his throne as he had no living relatives. He was the only child of his family, born to a man who was also an only child.
He dismissed the magi with a flick of the back of his hand and waited for them to leave the throne-room, before getting up and passing through an arch leading to his favorite balcony. The icy air descended on him from a starless night sky, yet he did not feel the cold, as matters more pressing commanded his attention.
He looked beyond the silhouettes of the mountainous bush-land, which spread, east, west and north around him. Somewhere out there was a man who would end his rein; more than likely a usurper; the color purple was mentioned.
Perhaps another king, he reasoned, but snorted dismissively at the thought. Vindavia was the only combined nation of the known world; his neighbors were no more than a scattering of clans. To the west was Soravia, a vast desert with nomadic tribes who warred among themselves.
Beyond to the northern border, were the Nusalleans, a hospitable people in general who dwelt in peace, but still lived separately.
His cupbearer suddenly appeared in his peripheral vision, bowing with a filled cup in his hand. Even before picking it up, he could make out the aroma of Pendaran Rum and ignored a second bow from his servant before he left his presence.
Natas drew his purple robe about himself, watching the rain clouds billow, then erupt small arcs of lightning from its core, making them appear as veins in living tissue. He was about to return to the throne-room when he noticed his personal seer standing to the corner of the balcony; a gaunt man with olive skin, jet-black hair and hawk nose, defining him as a Soravian.
“I have never known you to be wrong, Estron. What say you; will I be dethroned?”
“Aye my king, but not out of treason as you suspect; there will come a foreign king.”
“From where; across the sea?”
“No, my king,” said Estron somberly, as he stepped from the shadows.
Estron nodded to the lightning.
“He will come from where the clouds grow purple in the north.”
“A Nusallean,” Natas sneered disgustedly. “Even if that uncivilized land crowned a king, he would still be no more than a savage.”
Estron smiled smugly.
“You speak truly that the one to come is to be a savage, but he is to be so much more.”
Natas restrained the urge to take hold of the seer by his robe. On many occasions, he had proven to be invaluable. He waited, allowing Estron his theatrical pause.
“This king will be greater than all others. He shall be a Nusallean born, with the black locks of his people, but not with eyes of brown, but jade-green.”
“There is no such thing,” Natas said hotly.
“The stars have spoken, my king. They say that his eyes reflect his very nature, as wild as the bush that becomes his home. This one shall be raised by dogs, yet he will lead the pack, becoming stronger and more savage than all feral beasts.”
“And this one they will crown?”
“Aye, my king,” bowed Estron. “His name will be whispered in awe by the other nations, Tonunda the Savage. Fear him, for he will one day be your doom.”
“And when is all this to come,” said Natas angrily.
Estron looked to the clouds, suddenly illuminated under the next arc of light, making them appear to glow purple like a shaded lamp.
“I believe it has already begun, my king. The child will be born tonight.”
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