- Oct 16, 2009
The Red-Eyed Prince.
The Red-Eyed Prince.
Peace was sweet. As was wine.
This particular drink was from Portugal, from Hovhannes' little realm. The king's uncle had sent it, along with many other lavish gifts, to show his continuing loyalty to Affonso and his happiness at the Georgian victory over the pagans of Itil and Cuman.
The wine was the perfect accompaniment to the victory feast. Georgia had gained some territory near the Crimea, and a small amount of money from the Tribe of Itil. Never mind the thousands lying dead in the Volgan mud. Tonight was a time for good food and good cheer.
Affonso, now twelve, sat at the top of the table. He remained oddly quiet, a faint look of loathing on his face as he surveyed the rancour of the nobles seated around the table.
How they loved to be merry, to get drunk. He wondered if they'd be laughing if they had to work for fourteen hours a day for every day of their lives, slaving away to get enough food to survive the winter.
On the right of Affonso sat the Greek. He, too, was observing the table- but rather than with Affonso's contemptuous distaste, he was thinking of ways to use their drunken merriment for his own advantage. The cogs and gears of his intellect created a powerhouse of a mind, forever scheming and plotting.
On Affonso's left was Romanos. He was deep in discussion with a Roman nobleman, trying to extract from him the Emperor's true intentions towards the Turks. The others on the table did not interest him- most were simply minor Georgian nobles, who had little influence on the events of the world.
Akakide simply looked at his food, occasionally taking a bite, the odd mumble coming from his mouth. Without a battle to distract him, he had simply withdrawn into his crazed shell.
Next to him was Maria. She seemed a little twitchy and distracted, occasionally glancing at Demetrios, and paying her husband little attention. But then again, people muttered amongst themselves, she had only recently recovered from a cruel disease. It was only natural that she'd be a little out of it.
And so, the feast went on, with much drink and merriment, with the players of the deadly game all grouped together around the same table. All of them eating the same meal.
Then Affonso smiled. Now was the time to strike.
He stood up.
"My lords and ladies- I have something to tell you all."
To be continued...