He gave her a warning look. “Do not worry about him,” he insisted. “As far as you should be concerned, he is not actually here.”
“But he was addressed as his highness, Cerys whispered back. “Doesn’t that mean he’s a prince?”
“As I told you, do not worry about it.”
“You said the king’s son was in a far off forest,” she said, ignoring his lack of interest in talking bout him. “So how is he here?”
“Persistent, isn’t she?” the robed figured said in a low voice. Cerys nearly jumped when she found that he’d walked up behind them.
He pulled his cowl even for over his face when he noticed her trying to peer through its shadows. “I hope that we will be able to it this to our advantage, rather than allowing it to be a disadvantage.”
“I… I…” Cerys stuttered.
“She will be fine,” James assured him. “I’m looking after her.”
“Let us hope that you do,” the man said, and he walked away without another word.
Finally, Himeko pulled the sparkling amethyst out of her bag. “Here it is!”
“Excellent,” the king said with a grin. “Hand it to Calavus, if you would.”
So that is the wizard’s name, Cerys thought to herself as the robed man walked over to Himeko. He accepted it from her hands and looked it over.
“We should be able to make good use of the information is this crystal,” the old mage said as he turned over in his hands.
“We’re sorry that we didn’t get here sooner,” Cerys told him. “It was supposed to be a warning… before anything actually happened.”
Calavus looked down at her. “Yes, well…” He cleared his throat and walked over to the king to hold the crystal out for him. “I find it best to not worry about how things might have gone. The fact remains that His Majesty has yet to perish, and we now have the evidence to hold those who tried to see to his demise responsible.”
“I was able to give him my own words of warning last night, for what they were worth,” James added.
“Indeed,” King Leonars said, his voice heavy with the weight of his title. His looked over the amethyst with little interest and gave it back to the wizard. “I cannot say that I was terribly surprised. One does not reign without the fear that others vie for power beyond what they already have, and Emerias his been acting strange of late.”
“They said you nearly choked,” Peter pointed out, shrugging off his sister’s glare when he refused to add any ceremonial forms of address.
“That is true,” Leonars confirmed for him. “Calavus, old friend, show the lad what it was I had in my throat.”
The wizard nodded, and walked over to Peter, pulling an item from his cloak. He offered it to the teenager, who took it and looked it over with a confused look. “How– This thing looks more a caltrop than anything else…”
“But it’s not the right shape for that, either,” Bayani added, leaning in so that he could get a better look at it.
“It reminds me of a game I saw on Earth,” James noted. “The one with the caltrops and the little ball.”
“You mean jacks?” Cerys asked him. “That’s pretty old-fashioned. Besides, this looks like a cross between a caltrop– or a jack– and a figurine. It has some pretty strange carvings in it, too. Are those symbols significant?”