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   Chapter 103 No.103

The WeatherMaker - Prince of Light By Lady Lilium Characters: 5424

Updated: 2018-07-11 12:03

Valery wanted to argue, to make them change their minds. But she knew nothing could be done. This was not in her mother's power, and her father, would not allow such protests from her. She did not feel for him as she did for her mother and brother, and she knew that he felt the same.

Her father had never seen her as a daughter.

He stood there now, watching her with scrutiny.

'Here' her mother said, handing Valery a small doll.

It was a thing she had made herself to give to her daughter when she was very young. Her father had disapproved, saying a queen should not be doing such trivial things. He had taken it away from Valery, and looked as if he wanted to do so now.

'Please' Valery begged him before he could speak. 'Please let me keep it. Please.'

The king frowned furiously down at her, pursing his lips with his hands upon his waist. He huffed irritably, at last relenting. He waved his hand at her dismissively, and Valery sighed, hugging the doll to her chest.

It was hers.

Her parents stood before the steps of the palace, the palace that was now no longer her home. They watched as she climbed into the carriage that waited at the foot of the steps before the palace, her luggage, all her clothes and most valuable possessions, were carried in after her by two servants.

Valery leant back in the seat within the carriage, watching her parents as they stood side by side.

Her mother's eyes were red, and she clutched a handkerchief in her hand. Beside her, her father looked bored.

The carriage rocked as Jadon entered, sitting opposite her.

The door of the carriage was slammed shut from the outside, and the servants backed away, heads bowed.

The coach driver snapped the reins, and the carriage jolted into motion. Valery fought back tears, watching her parents, her attention fixed on both of them.

She knew this was the last time she would ever see them again, and Jadon, who was only accompanying her until they reached the ship that would take her away from this land.

Cam was on his knees now, head bowed and hands together, praying before the statue of Kachi. A depiction of the goddess of the sea, where it was believed all life began. Her head was thrown back and her arms extended, she was enveloped by two great eels which curled around her scaly tail. This room was one of many dotted throughout the palace, little sanctuaries, hidden in quiet corners here and there. Cam found comfort in these places, and peace. Not even Brioke came here to look for him. Not yet anyway. Since he had become king, Cam spent less and less time with the books he loved so much, and more and more time here at the shrines.

He spoke to the gods often now

, and would pray, asking for, begging for favours, begging for things to change.

'Please let me go outside' he spoke quietly to the goddess before him. 'Please. I have not left these walls for far too long. Please, let me see the outside world again, to be free as I was when I was a child. I want to be far away from here….I want to leave this place…and never come back.'

Day after day he prayed for the same thing, hoping that one day perhaps his prayers would be noticed by the gods, and perhaps even answered. The gods were busy, and many people prayed to them. He had to pray often to stand out from the others.

Cam raised his head, drawing his hands apart.

He rose to his feet, regarding the statue before him, staring at it intently.

I had hoped at least some things would have changed for the better once I became king he thought miserably. But they are just the same as before…if not worse……

He turned from the shrine, and strode out of the room.

Outside the palace, all around the city were stationed lookouts. Single men, who appeared at a glance to be completely unremarkable, and anyone whose attention would linger on them, would swiftly move on to something else. There were sixteen of them, positioned in an unbroken circle all around the city, even to the north-west where there was the sea; they waited, posing here as lone fishermen in little rowboats. But all of their bows were strung and ready to fire, hidden from view beside their arrows. Here they waited for many days, even throughout the night, often changing shifts, but never leaving their posts abandoned.

On one day, one of the men who had been leaning against a tree outside the city, gazing up at the sky, saw at last what they had been waiting for. It was a messenger bird, a falcon, heading for the palace. The man rose swiftly to his feet, reaching for his bow and nocking his arrow, never taking his eyes off the bird.

He stood tall, drawing the string of the bow back.

He fired, and a moment later, the messenger bird fell from the sky.

The lookout concealed his bow again swiftly, before running as fast as he could to the spot where the bird had fallen.

He was just outside the city, beyond the walls and the streets, and so no one saw what he did. The man untied the little leather roll from the bird's leg, taking from within it the small piece of parchment and reading it quickly.

He was frozen as he read, then slipped the piece of parchment into a pocket, taking the dead falcon with him also and returning to the city.

The lookout, when he reached the building that could have been called their base, placed the dead bird upon the table. Before him, the queen looked up.

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