Slowly Pheregas approached the center of the room, looking down with reverence upon the large stone. It was raised about two feet from the floor and set in the center of it rested a full suit of armor with a shield laid upon one side and a sword upon the other. All were decorated with the colors and symbols of his family crest.
"This is your father's armor and his sword, Pheregas." Kaidon stated, a hint of emotion in his voice. "This is what you've been hoping to find, is it not? The treasure you've been seeking?"
Pheregas felt a flush of shame. Here he stood in this sacred place, in the presence of his father's memory, and all he had been thinking about was getting his hands upon his father's possessions. He stumbled over himself now, trying to think of something to say that would sound more noble than he felt.
Kaidon paid no attention to the boy's answer anyway. Too lost in his own memories, he walked away from the stone marker and moved purposely toward the platform at the far end of the room. There, resting upon the beautiful stone table, lay a large, leather-bound book which Pheregas had not noticed before.
Ascending the stairs to the platform, Kaidon blew the dust from its cover and lifted it reverently.
"This is the greatest treasure you will find in this place," he said, turning to face Pheregas. "This is where your journey begins."
Mystified by the importance of Kaidon's words, Pheregas approached him and gazed upon the giant volume. Printed upon the cover was the Gryphonheart crest in full blazonry, and above the crest the words: Holy Bible.
"This is your father's sword, Pheregas Gryphonheart," Kaidon instructed. "Not a sword of steel, but a sword of the Spirit. This is the weapon you must first master, for in it is the heart and soul of knighthood. This Sword embodies the Code of Chivalry and measures the man who wields it. Only when you understand the message of this book will you fully understand who you are and know your destiny."
The Lord Protector handed the Bible to his page who received it with some disappointment, casting a sidelong glance back at the armor in the center of the room.
"But when will I have mastered this book, my lord?" the boy asked. "How will I know?"
Kaidon put his hand upon Pheregas' shoulder. "You will have mastered this book only when it has mastered you."
THE END... OF THE BEGINNING...