“More tea my lord?” the tea lady asked.
“No, I’m fine thank you.” Kodal replied, raising his hand up in denial.
Kodal, Hisma, and the godly servants were all seated down on a long table, stretching far to the other side of the dining room. Little food was spread thinly over silver platters and plates. Rare and expensive cutlery and porcelain bowls that rarely had food on them, but this evening seemed more of a banquette. There were a little more greens from the palaces garden, and Hisma had made a small trip to Kraa foam bay, the small port on the other side of the island, to pick up a Hack hen later that day. Of course, Kodal was against it, saying it was too dangerous to even step foot out of the palace, ’God I feel like I’m swapping minds’, but he let him. He knew he wanted to make their possible last meal the best they could taste, and Kodal did admit he was very fond of Hack hen meat.
Hisma sat at the end of the table next to Kodal, discussing and planning their trip over Tempo. Kodal wasn’t eating very much, just playing with the cooked bird on his plate, prodding it with his silver fork. Hisma couldn’t eat; he was talking too much to even chew. “I needn’t stress this enough on how quickly we need to get going M’lord. Your birthday is very soon and-
“I told you Hisma, that I have no intention in becoming godly.” Kodal interrupted.
“And I told you not to eliminate it as an option.” Hisma was just as quick to respond.
Kodal swallowed down the small piece of hack hen. “I may consider it as time passes, could I please suggest you drop the subject unless it actually becomes an issue?”
“It is an issue, M’lord, but I understand, enough said. But I can’t help but feel rather guilty. I don’t want you to think that I’ve talked you into risking your life.”
Kodal chuckled, ‘Of course he has’ “Hisma, I couldn’t blame you for anything of that intensity.”
Hisma nodded in acknowledgement. Patting his lips dry with a white napkin, Kodal stood from his velvet seat, and raised his tealeaf. More quickly than he expected, the other servants eyed him immediately, quieting down as Kodal began to speak.
“Servants to the gods. Some of you have been hearing talk, and I feel you have a right to know my plans. Just recently, I have received an item that tells me that Flood is still alive.”
Before Kodal could continue, the servants were in a murmur, whispering to each other.
“Yes, and as well as my birth date at the end of summer, I’m in need to see my father,” ‘Half telling the truth’ ”so with deep interest, I am to leave this palace in search of him, guided by his diary, found in the southern axe.”
With his final words, the whole table was in an angry and terrified uproar. One of the men sitting on the far end of the table rose up in disgust.
“Are you fucking insane? We have stayed in this palace in exile for you! We’ve done it all for you, and you going to risk seventeen years of our servitude to just get slaughtered, like a helpless lamb, in the Southern Axe?!”
Another servant stood up, her large hands over her face in fear “You know that it is dangerous to tread Tempo,” she cried,”what if you don’t return?”
“You’re still a child!”
Kodal gulped. He feared this much, they have a right to be angry with him. It’s because of him that they have been locked here, with fear of leaving. Hisma noticed his fear, rose up to defend his cause
“Silence, all of you!” He snapped loudly,”The sooner Flood is here and safe, the sooner Kodal can become a god, and that means we will be free! Free from this prison, from this island! This is for the good of everyone here!”
‘You’re not listening to me Hisma…What a way to speak on my behalf’ Kodal thought, feeling slightly pissed off.
Most of the servants calmed down enough to think about the situation they had gotten themselves into. One of the much older servants stood from his seat. “Well… we understand your situation, my lord, but how can you be so certain that he is alive based on some… item that you found? And what if you arrived there just to find his dead body, then your travels would have been for naught!”
Another man stood up with a little fruit juice still clinging to his front lip, “At least send a skilled soldier to do this task!”
“Oh really?” Hisma responded, letting some of his sarcasm sink in, “Who do you have in mind? From where? We don’t have time to scour around for assistance. It makes more sense if Kodal goes and finds Flood himself, and when he finds him, he can be named a god and become immortal, and the council of the gods won’t be able to touch him!”
Kodal sunk into his velvet chair, cradling his head in his hands. He’d had enough. The noise was giving him sharp pains in his temple. At that moment he flinched, and it made the pain worse. A memory sank through his mind like a stone. A vivid image of Sunday flashed before him, lying tiredly on a marble tiled floor. She was screaming, in pain. Beads of sweat dripping from her milky skin, and her stomach and her inner thighs were wet with blood.
Kodal came back to reality. ‘Shit.’ He felt like crying then and there. How could a memory that’s not his be so clear and frightening? He knew he would have trouble getting a finger hold on some sleep tonight. Just thinking about it made him sick with grief.
The noise of the servants was doing his head in. he rose up from his chair with his arms crossed, trying to make himself stand stronger than he actually was. “If time is what we don’t have,”
His voice caught the servant’s attention rather unexpectedtly again. “Then this is our only chance, my only chance. I am reaching my Eighteenth year since my birth. I need to do this, myself.”
The rest of the servants sat back down into their chairs agreeing that this was the only way. Hisma sat back down too, placing his hand on Kodal’s shoulder affectionately. Kodal gave a thin smile in response.
“Good luck my lord.” Said the tea lady.
Kodal’s smile grew a little wider.
And with that, the inhabitants of the palace continued with the devouring of their meals. All this talking and arguing made Kodal realize that he was lying to himself; He in fact was very hungry, and attacked the remnants of hack bird on his plate.