A knock comes at the door. I check the clock on the wall. He’s late. “Come in,” I call.
The door swings open to reveal a dark haired youth dressed in an ill-fitting pair of breeches and a yellow tunic.
I raise an eyebrow. “New trick?”
Kalegos half-smiles, sauntering into the room and taking a seat in a tattered arm chair. My cat, the usual occupant of said chair, glares at Kalegos from under the coffee table. “Old trick,” he replies.
This slip of a boy has been named Sorcerer by the Sacred Flame. Little bits of magic are to be expected. “Welcome,” I say, standing from my desk and coming to settle in the chair opposite Kalegos. “How are you finding Lahiba?”
He shrugs. “Dirty.”
“Right,” I reply, dragging out the syllable. “Tell me, where were you born?”
His grey eyes are guarded. “A town two days’ from the coast. Sylorah.”
He nods, his mouth twisting, as if tasting something bitter.
“Tell me about Lygea, your life there.”
“What do you want to know?”
“Whatever you want to tell me.”
He picks at a loose thread hanging from the armchair and stays silent so long that I begin to wonder if the interview will be over before it has really begun.
“Well,” he begins. “It is not like here, not like Lahiba.”
“Lygea is green. The hills are covered in pines, the gentler slopes in grass and the sea…the sea is like an opal. More colours than you can imagine, swirling in one body. Here everything is orange. The baked mud buildings, the dust, the bricks, the sun.” He pauses, and meets my eyes. “In Lygea, there is only one God. She lives in white churches perched high on the hills and Her bells can be heard across the peninsula.”
“You believe in this God?”
He shrugs again, a deflective gesture.
“What of the gods of Erelda, do you believe in them?”
“Maybe. They are the reason I am here.”
“Would you rather still be in Lygea?”
He looks away again, his thick brows furrowed. “No. There’s nothing for me there anymore.”
His jaw clenches and his long fingers dig into the arms of the chair. “Because in Lygea, they kill people like me. They killed my father and then my brother and then they came for me.”
“But you survived.”
“We knew they were coming. My mother, she…she hid me away and told the soldiers that I had died. Of plague. As soon as they moved on, she smuggled me out and took me to a scholar. Gyran.” Kalegos smiles fondly. “He took me under his wing and taught me how to hide my magic, to conceal it beneath layers of knowledge. History, languages, mathematics, astronomy. It is a different type of magic, I think.”
“Your mother is a brave woman.”
“Was,” he corrects me. “She was killed by the king’s soldiers. And Gyran, too, is probably nothing more than a crow picked corpse.”
“But you are safe now, in Lahiba,” I assure him.
His mouth curls into a wry grin. “Let’s hope you’re right.”
Next week – the final interview with the folks from Sorcerer Soldier Healer King,. the somewhat highly strung Zri.
After that, I’ll be interviewing some of the characters from Queen of Hearts.
- Hrithur (Tiemil)
- Ailig (Alexandru)
- maybe even a villain or two 🙂