Chapter 37: The Obedient Servant
“Doing wrong is fun for a fool, while
wise conduct is a pleasure to the wise”
PROVERBS 10:23 NLT
Ichi extended a hand, and Kester automatically let his palm rest atop the guardsman’s. Belatedly, the young Worshiper remembered that the gesture was more in keeping with angels than men, and he blushed. But Ichi simply clasped his hand and stood, lifting Kester to his feet.
The man spoke, but the dance of syllables was foreign to Kester’s ears. He asked, “What does that mean, please?”
“Peace,” Ichi said. “May peace be yours, young friend.”
Lemuel make a face at their companion. “You say peace, but you’re here to chase us out.”
“I will lead you onto a correct path.”
“I don’t need you to show me the way. We were doing fine without you.” To Kester, Lemuel said, “I know what I’m talking about. This is the best way through.”
Kester shook his head. “I am not allowed to enter this part of the palace.”
“It’s okay if you’re with me!”
“No. My mentor told me not to enter the harem.”
Snappish in his frustration, Lemuel asked, “What’s the big deal? I’m here all the time.”
“Even so, I cannot enter.”
The prince chewed his lip. “What if I commanded you? You’re a servant. It’s your job to obey.”
Did Lemuel even understand the words he’d just spoken? Kester said, “Most assuredly. I will obey my mentor.”
“But this way is fastest,” wheedled Lemuel. “And Asaph wouldn’t even know. I won’t tell.”
“God knows,” said Kester.
Ichi, whose gaze had been bouncing back and forth between the boys, lifted a hand and repeated, “I will lead you onto a correct path.”
Lemuel thrust out his lower lip. “I’m not following you anywhere!”
The guardsman made a soft clicking sound with his tongue. “Foolish.”
Scowling, the prince turned his back and struck a haughty pose. But Ichi nabbed Lemuel and tossed him over his shoulder, saying, “Then I will set your feet on higher ground.”
“Hey!” the boy exclaimed.
Kester gasped when he, too, was lifted.
With a boy in each arm, Ichi darted through the garden, up a stair, along a wall, and away. Lemuel squawked and hollered, but the guard’s stride only lengthened. Kester clung tightly to the man’s black robes, safe but sad.
“Too fast?” asked Ichi.
“Too late. The song has ended.” Kester’s heart ached over his lost chance. “I missed it.”
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Author’s Note: This story is a prequel to Christa Kinde’s Threshold Series [Zonderkidz] and updates on Mondays. More information can be found on the Sage and Song index page. Sage and Song, © Copyright 2015–2016 Christa Kinde, all rights reserved. If you want to receive an email whenever my stories update, subscribe to this blog. You can also watch for notifications on Twitter.
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