Thursday, October 15, 2015

Red As Any Blood--Part 35

"So, have you ever had a marzipan pig?" asked Pell, to his guest, as he popped one into his mouth.

The Stylite shook his cloaked head.  "No," came the harsh whisper.

Pell chewed it for a moment, then swallowed.  "Never?"  He shook his head.  "I pity you.  I truly do."  He peered at the man for a moment.  "So... no news of Precieuse?"

"The Easter King remains there, in force," said the Stylite.  "The Nightfolk and their allies are near as well."

Pell frowned, raising another little marzipan pig to his mouth.  "And that is all?  Nothing... particular has happened."

"Nothing I will tell you," answered the Stylite.  The gloved hands rose to the table.  "We are not happy with the way things are here in Tintagel."

"You Stylites, or you Stylites and the Prince?" asked Pell, chewing his sweet.  He managed a pleasant smile.  "I know you have come to consider the difference academic, but I assure you, I for one still find it quite important."

"The ships are needed," said the Stylite, calmly. "We are more and more certain that you are making it more difficult for us to get the ships.  And thus we are not pleased."

Pell nodded.  "You didn't answer my question.  Which, I consider an answer of a sort."  He shrugged.  "It's not me.  Not really.  I've too few men.  On too many islands.  With too many angry people on them.  Really it's an insoluable problem."

"And so you aren't even trying," stated the Stylite flatly.

"That is unfair!" said Pell.  "Why, I just sent Ryke back to Laodegan with the men he needs to sort things out there."  He gave a nod.  "Keen man, Ryke.  He'll sort things out.  Or try at least."  The Stylite stared at him, unmoving.  "Look, it is not as if all I'm doing is eating dolphin and marzipan!"

"No.  You are also killing men," said the Stylite.  "In great numbers."

"Exactly!" agreed Pell.  "That usually seems to satisfy you lot."  He shook his head.  "I never understand why I'm always getting on people's bad side with things like this.  I really don't."  He popped another marzipan pig in his mouth, and considered things.

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