Despite Cyril’s best attempts, the time of his departure finally came. It was as unceremonious as he feared it would be. Claudia wasn’t there; their mother wasn’t even there. Only his father, stern with arms crossed, making sure Cyril mounted his horse. A warden, a guard, making sure his only prisoner obeyed.
Even as he put his foot in the stirrup, he wracked his brain for anything he could use to stall. If he could just talk with his father in a quiet, timeless setting, if he could just talk to him, he would be able to get him to change his mind.
Cyril looked over the horse’s back at Innu, who stood staring at the meat pie, wrapped and steaming in his hands, as though asking for Cyril’s forgiveness. Then he looked up and turned to the king.
“Your majesty, where your son and myself will walk is no place for horses,” said Innu. “There is no place to house them nor any way to feed them enough.”
“What do you suggest then?” asked the king, eager to be rid of the necromancer and getting tired of all his stipulations. “a hand cart?”
“No, dear king, no,” said Innu. “Merely that Prince Cyril and I will carry what we need, ourselves.”
“And you will carry the prince’s belongings, will you?” the king prodded.
Innu laughed and shook his head. “I’m afraid the prince will have to carry his own belongings, as I wager he is stronger than I am, being youthful and well-fed. Also, when the living are made responsible for their own belongings, it teaches them wisdom and responsibility, wouldn’t you agree?”
His father frowned and nodded his head. “I see your point, Necromancer Innu. Very well, then.” He turned to Cyril. “Take your things from the horse and we’ll say our farewells.”
“Can’t I see Claudia?” pleaded Cyril as he took his pack off of the back of the horse. “It will be almost a year before I see her again.”
“I’ll tell her you left,” said his father.
“She won’t understand—“
“Yes she will. Enough now, Cyril. It’s time to leave.”
His heart squeezed beyond recognition, Cyril shouldered his pack. He wanted to cry but when his father hugged him in familial duty, that sorrow hardened and darkened into hate.
His tears dried up and he couldn’t wait to leave the Montomogen Moors. If they didn’t want him here, if they were scared or ashamed of him, so be it. He would become the strongest necromancer the Moors and Highlands had ever seen. And when his father and mother saw him again, they would tremble in awe and fear, because they would remember how badly they had treated him, how they had turned him out of his home a year before coronation age. Everyone would bow to him and he would bow to no one but Claudia.
Cyril turned away from his father without another word and hurried down the grass hill towards the village.
“Come on, Innu,” he said, wiping his eyes rapidly. “We’re wasting time.”
A/N: Innu uses the “youthful and well-fed” excuse whenever anyone asks him to carry anything. It always works because no one wants to say, “Hey, no, I’m old and I don’t eat well, so excuse you!” While Innu isn’t particularly old, the 20 spirits sapping his energy have made his body pretty frail, so he might have a point.
I just finished Part 1 of Necromantic! In celebration, here’s the little last chapter of Part 1. Here, you see a glimmer of the determination and strength of mind Cyril has under all that fluffy hair that will become important throughout the story.