As soon as his tent was erected Mitash searched through his baggage for the hated, distrusted, despised, book that was his burden from the High King. Once in his hand he regarded it with displeasure before covering it with a corner of a blanket. Taking up the whisper ribbon marked with the sigil of the High King he held it up to a candle lantern until the glow intensified.
"High King," he called. He paused and waited for a moment before calling a second time. This time there was a distant answer.
"Who calls me?" said Eioth irritably.
"Mitash Serpentine, High King. I have a difficulty to bring to your attention."
"Does it require the attention of the Synod or only my advice?"
"Your advice. High King, I am required to question a guard of the southeast the better to understand what awaits ahead.. There is a herb woman who can induce him to answer. My difficulty is what to do with him afterwards. I dislike intensely the idea of ending his life for so little a crime as serving the wrong master. And then there is the effect it will have upon those who travel with me and those I meet in the southeast, they will trust me less if they suspect I kill for random reasons."
"are you not a little old to be facing ethical and moral quandaries? I would have thought serving me as High Lord would have brought you to these conflicts before this day."
"I would have thought myself prepared, High King but it seems I am not."
"You are seeking reassurance, my old friend, or you are seeking to transferred the guilt from yourself to me. That will not do. I will, as high King, hold you responsible for the consequences of your decisions but I still require you to make those decisions."
Mitash groaned and covered his face. "This is no easy task you have given me."
"And it has taken you this long to realize that." Eioth laughed. "I hope you have chosen a wise woman to be your Sex Magic partner. Talking over your confusion with her will aid you, I am certain."
Outside the tent Iona raised her hand to scratch at the campus but hearing Eioth's different distant voice she paused. Even knowing it was a gross discourtesy to listen outside of tents just as outside of windows she remained concentrating on the discussion within. How it was that Mitash was speaking to the High King was beyond her understanding. Obviously magic was involved. Like magic. The magic of master Silva. The proof that mortals can control magic lay in master Silva's hands. But what was this sex magic. Surely she had misheard the words.
"Have you experimented with a few of the spells in the book?" Asked Eioth. "If your partner is experiencing difficulties I might ask lady Halidan to speak with her and reassure her."
"I would not wish to put Lady Halidan to the trouble."
There was another long pause and then Eioth's voice came again.
"Have you chosen a mortal or Elven woman, Mitash?"
"Mitash, have you dedicated yourself to the South East?"
"Mitash, I cannot understand how you can call to me to speak of some minor conflict between yourself and your tender sensibilities when you have disobeyed me with regards selecting a Sex Magic partner and dedicating yourself to the South East! I cannot think of any reason why you would have delayed so dangerously. You are within the border of the South East. When were you going to complete this task?"
"It is a difficult…"
"It is not difficult at all! I will endure no further delays. Speak to your chosen lady! Commit yourself to the South East tonight! This act is far more important than speaking to a guard he can wait. The bond to the southeast cannot. Call me tomorrow to confirm you have obeyed this command."
"As you command, High King."
Iona delayed not a moment longer she brushed the heavy canvas of the tent up aside and stepped within.
Mitash was seated on eighth Chair one hand covering his face from the other hand dangled a rectangle of light no bigger than the palm of his hand. Iona studied it with interest but it was not the most important thing in the room.
"What is this, this sex magic? What was that High King speaking of?"
"What is this invasion? You should not be listening outside my tent! Where are my guards? They should have sent you away."
"They are with the Southeast and are, and are busy at this time. I am sent here to ask if you wish to question the guard tonight before you eat or after?"
"After. And you may depart. Speak to no one of anything you have overheard."
"I shall not leave." Iona stepped further into the room and stood, her hands resting on her hips. "You have done, or rather have not done, something that endangers our journey to the South East. What is it? And what has sex to do with it?"
"I have no wish to discuss the matter with you. Leave at once!"
"With me! With me personally? What is your difficulty? What disorders your peace? I have done nothing to offend you."
Mitash leapt to his feet and snatched up a book from under the blanket covering his extraordinarily wide camp bed. He waved the book before Iona's face. She was unable to read the cover, he waved it so fast and she snatched it from his hand opening it to read the hand written script – The Use and Complexity of Sex Magic.
"I have never heard of such a thing," said Iona. "From where where comes this book?"
"From the very hand of the High King," cried Mitash. "And from whence he gained it I have no understanding, nor do I wish to ask him."
"I would not have thought that of him. He seems the ideal of the passionless adept of the Elements." She thought for a moment then added, "although his wife is happy with him."
Mitash ignored her observation and paste across the room and back again his hands clutching at his hair.
"He asks, nay he demands I practice this, I participate in this. Whether I am willing or not is irrelevant. I must do this."
"The laws governing rape are quite clear. If you are unwilling he cannot demand it."
"It is not that, no. No, I do not accuse him of that degree of compulsion. That is not the problem."
"Then it is the lack of a suitable lover? Is there no woman… Or man, perhaps, that pleases you? Have you left your lover behind? Are you betrothed and she will be offended if you love another?"
"No I am not betrothed! My parents have been trying to negotiate a bond for me now that the fertility problem of the elves is resolved. No." He continued to pace pausing from time to time to glare across the room at Iona.
"Then what is the problem?" demanded Iona, spreading her hands. "If you are afraid to ask a woman to do this magic with you, because you think she will be offended or embarrassed, ask me. You would be hard-pressed to find a sex act that I am unaware of. Being a midwife grants you considerable knowledge. I will share this burden with you since to do so will aid to the Empire as a whole. Or do I misunderstand the High King?”
"No! No! No!"
"What disorders your peace?" Demanded Iona.
"You!" Cried Mitash, waving his hands in the air describing large curves over and over and then he turned his back on Iona and covered his face.
Iona looked down at herself repeating the curved gestures Mitash had made and then started to laugh.
"If you do not like voluptuous women, no doubt a slender one could be found."
"No. Would you give me no peace?"
"No, because the High King requires this of you and you owe him you obedience and loyalty. Or have you chosen to disobey him in this?"
"No. Can you not tell?" Mitash paced so quickly that it appeared to Iona that he was chasing himself around the small chamber. "Can you not see? Can you not sense it?"
"Not in the least. What is your difficulty?"
Mitash finally turned to face her. His arms outstretched to each side his whole body shook.
"I know nothing of this! I am a virgin."
I know that if I were to end a chapter now and shift to another character POV you would all hunt me down and beat me, soo..... ::evil grin:::