Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Chapter IX

"Amora!" said Xindor harshly as soon as the door to his office had shut. "I am ashamed of you! Ashamed, and embarrassed! Attacking a prospective student?!!? Halyn and his brothers are guests here, my personal guests, and what's the first thing that happens to them when they arrived? My niece attacks them! I'm... I'm at a loss for words. Explain yourself!"
Amora stared pointedly at her uncle for a moment, as if to say "Are you quite finished?" then spoke up, levelly and confidently.
"To be fair," she said, "I was aiming at Bogue,"
"I fail to see how attacking a wizard is any better," dismissed her uncle, "Unless you'd challenged him to a proper duel, which is moot because you didn't. A sorceress doesn't attack others indiscrimanetly! She does it cooly, and calculatedly, and only when neccesary. And yes, your bolts are a form of attack, even if they're loaded with an emotion like happiness or infatuation,"
"Why are you over reacting like this?" asked Amora. She was still more curious than angry; cool, controlled and almost apathetic. Had the game of poker ever been played in Erilliance, Amora would be the undisputed master of it.
"Messing with people's emotions is no trifling matter Amora! I've taught you better than that! Someday, someone you jinx is come come back to get revenge on you, and I'm not always going to be there to protect you!"
A look of realization crossed Amora's face. Quick as she was to catch the emotion out burst, her uncle caught a glimpse of it.
"Yes, Amora," he said, "I'm dying. Well, not right at this moment, but I will be very soon... or so I hear, anyway. I don't know when or how yet, but it's going to be fairly soon, probably within three years. You can't tell anyone, especially not another sorceror and especially not Lady Cecilia. But I wanted to tell you because... well, the Sorceror's guild is going to need strong leadership and at the moment I can't think of anyone more qualified than you,"
Amora stared coldly at her uncle, digesting all this.
"Why do you care?" she finally asked.
"What do you mean why do I care?" asked Xindor. "What kind of question is that? Your uncle tells you he's dying and you ask him why he cares?"
"No, not about that," said Amora, "Why do you care what happens to me, or to the sorceror's guild, or to anything. You'll be dead. You'll be .. beyond caring, so to speak,"
"Believe it or not," said Xindor, "My own ego is not the most important thing in my life. If it were all about Xindor, I wouldn't have spent the last 70 years as leader of the sorceror's guild - the benefits have never been worth the stress. And if it were all about Xindor, I certainly wouln't have agreed to look after you. I care about the guild, Amora, and even more than that, I care about you, and I want, no, I need to know that both will be able to handle themselves when I'm gone! Can you promise me that, Amora? Can you promise me that you'll try to be less stupid and more focused from now on?"
Amora processed this for a long time. Then she looked up serenely and said, "I'll do my best uncle. I'll take care of the things you care about,"
"That's all I ask," said Xindor, with a sigh.
Me, and the guild. thought Amora amusedly as she walked out of her uncle's office, The two things he cares about more than his ego. I become leader of the sorceror's guild, he can rest in piece. It's a good thing I've been planning that all along.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Editing note: rest in *peace.* Or else it's a pun that doesn't make sense.
Other than that, good chapter, and an interesting confrontation. For once I remember what happened in the chapter preceding this one, so it all made sense. I'm interested to see how this plotline develops.