As Zalair pulled off the sword and shield, he froze, spotting some dark smoke coming into the area. He raised a brow, waving the shield at the smoke for a minute. He stopped, and backed away as it formed into a person.
“My Prince~” came a man’s voice. The smoke formed into a man’s figure. A man in a dark cloak with long white hair stood there, smiling up at Zalair.
“Who’re you? A wizard?” Zalair held the rapier, ready to swing with it.
“No,” the man shook his head, waving about his hands. “I am a fortune teller under the direct service of the Dragon Bane’s royal family. I serve his highness Keigo in particular.”
Zalair lowered the blade a little. “All right… So what do you want?”
“I saw your genius assessment of how to handle that situation,” the man smiled, bowing to Zalair. “But I must wonder about those fine words you said to the general. Are you really allied with our kingdom?”
Zalair nodded, “Of course.”
“And should his majesty King Chevis pass away?” the man asked, “He is quite ill for how boisterous he is.”
Zalair pointed the tip at the man, “Just what is your name, fortune teller?”
“Afrat,” the man bowed. “I serve my royal family loyally without fail. I am only curious to the words you said there on the battlefield.”
“Why?” he thinned his green eyes.
“Because,” Afrat snickered, “Are you not wanted dead by Prince Keigo? If he becomes king, your kingdom would be in danger.”
Zalair pointed the tip of the blade against Afrat’s nose. “You better not be threatening me, cause if you are…”
“I assure you,” Afrat backed away in a deep bow. “I intend you no harm.” He looked up, “I just wish to know your motives for those words. Had your parents not wished you marry my Prince?”
Zalair glared, “Perhaps…”
“And did you not refuse?”
Zalair pointed his sword again at Afrat, “I refused because Keigo is a person not worthy of my hand in marriage, and I have no wish to marry him or consummate any deal involving my body.”
Afrat laughed, “Oh! So that’s it! You’re more concerned for your body than you are of the safety of your people!”
Zalair’s eyes raged, swinging the blade at the man. Afrat jumped back. “Insult me again. I dare you.”
Afrat chuckled again, bowing. “Prince Zalair, your skills at the blade are too well known for me to even dream of facing. Please,” he paused, “If you do declare allies between our two kingdoms, I should hope that you have solid reasoning to back it up.”
“You are not the one that should be lecturing me,” Zalair straightened up a bit. “What did you really want?”
“What happened to your last ruby?” Afrat asked slowly.
Zalair swung his sword down at the man. Afrat laughed, disappearing into the black smoke.
“I’m sure we’ll meet again, little Prince.” came Afrat’s voice.
Zalair put the sword back into place quickly, then ran inside the palace. He hurried to his bedroom, shoving the doors open, and lunged himself onto his bed. He tore through his bedding and pillows.
“It’s gone!” He shouted.
Zalair spent the rest of the late night tearing his room apart looking for the precious ruby.