He opened his eyes and saw it was late evening. He tried to raise his head but the pain in his head stopped him. He heard a voice rapidly approaching that was calling out his name.
“Yes. It is I,” he found himself answering, “I am here, though, I am not sure where I have been.”
A tall lean man rushed to his side, “My Sovereign, you have been gone for a quarter moon. The Gods must have had information most important to have taken you into their bosom for that long.”
“A quarter moon Dyxal? I know you are sure of this, but I only expected to be gone for an overnight.”
“Yes, my Sovereign, nine nights have passed. You have missed the Blooming as well.”
Maikyj felt a lump in his throat. In his 27 years on Talija, he had never missed the Blooming. He thought he could still smell the blooms of the lilacs but it was only a fleeting memory from years gone by.
In spite of the pain in his head, Maikyj suddenly sat up and exclaimed, “Dyxal, who represented the Lodge of the Wolf at the Blooming? How was my absence explained to my public?” Maikyj started to realize the implications of his sudden prolonged absence. As the Sovereign of the Wolf Lodge, his absence would have notable.
“My Sovereign; Your Second, Eugiol, oversaw the festival and crowned the Master and Maiden of the Blooming. Your absence was explained that you were on a diplomatic mission to distant lands to spread the news of the Wolf. When your travels were announced, the crowd roared its approval. You are adored my Sovereign.”
Maikyj let himself a brief moment of relaxation. The Blossoming had come to pass without incident. “I knew I made a good choice with Eugiol as my Beta. Now where have I been?” Standing up, he took off towards his study. Ignoring Dyxal’s calls from the Room of the Mystics where he had been, Maikyj continued into his study where he latched the door behind him.
He sat down at his desk and pulled a small rope that was connected to the castle galley. After a moment, a small stocky man with red hair in a mohawk, quietly approached.
“Revered Elpa Maikyj, what do your desire?” he said quietly with his head bowed in respect.
“Keyvl, I have asked you before. Now, I tell you. You are to address me as Maikyl.” as Maikyj said this Kevyl’s head shot up revealing a shocked face.
“Revered Elpa Maikyj, you were blessed by the Great Wolf as a two-spirit. You have earned the title of Revered Elpa Maikyj by virtue of being blessed with two spirits and ascending the throne…” Kevyl was interrupted by his sovereign.
“Keyvl. I know my own ascension to the throne and I know how I gained the name Maikyj after the Great Wolf blessed me with two spirit. I am but a mortal in my own residence.” Maikyj’s tone hardened, “If you do not wish to accede to my wishes, I will have you relieved of service.”
Visitors to Talija were often confused by the sublte differences in names. All male names end with an l. The Revered Elpa was born as Maikyl. Upon the Great Wolf’s benevolent gift of two spirits, his name shifted to Maikyj. Those chosen by the Great Wolf have names that end with j as a sign of the wolf’s claws.
Kevyl bowed so quickly that he fell forward and landed on the hard stone of the study. Maikyj jumped up and was around the desk just as Kevyl hit the floor. He quickly picked him up and got him back on his feet. As he made eye contact with Kevyl, Kevyl quickly broke eye contact and stared at the floor.
Kevyl started in a quiet voice, “Revered Elpa Maikyj, I beg your forgiveness. I only wished to honor what the Great Wolf has bestowed upon you.”
“Very well Kevyl. You have heard my order and what will be if you choose to deny that request.”
“Yes, yes, I have Maik…Maikyl. You are to be referred to as Maikyl.” Kevyl said hesitantly as if expected a spirit wolf to materialize and eat him for the disrespect.
“Good. Now, if there is any remaining, may I get a large flagon of the Winter Spice tea? Otherwise, I’ll take a large chalice of the Blooming Blend.”
“As you request. You have been gone for a quarter moon my Sovereign, do you require sustenance?”
Maikyj paused for a moment. He hasn’t thought about it, but now that he had, he was indeed quite famished. “Why yes Kevyl. I’m not sure of the time, but if there is something available in the kitchen, I would partake of it.”
“Very well Maikyl my Sovereign. I will see what the cooks have for you.” and as quickly as he had appeared, Kevyl was gone into the underbelly of the castle.
Maikyl picked up a quill and some parchment. He needed to write down what he could remember of his travels in the last quarter moon.