Herald of the High King
Instinctively Lukka felt something was wrong.
“This can’t be the way to the Prince’s chambers …..?”
The courtier leading him did not hesitate in his determined stride. Glancing over his shoulder he nodded.
“Of course, not the direct way. But a matter of this sensitivity .. you understand? Such a delicate issue can’t be aired in front of prying eyes ….”
After Lukka had made the Greeks’ offer to King Priam, he had been required to withdraw. He had already spent hours kicking his heels waiting for the Trojans’ response. Lukka was a soldier, not a diplomat. He was impatient by nature, wanting to get on with things. When the courtier had come saying that Prince Paris had a reply for him, Lukka had jumped at the chance and followed. He’d had enough of hanging around.
The courtier had not flinched in his steady stride through these underground corridors. The pair of palace guards behind had similarly kept up the pace .. delivering the herald of High King Agamemnon to their prince. To receive the Trojan response to the Greek king’s offer to end this war.
They had to be two floors underground now, walking down corridors lit by torches, passing the occasional closed door. Without turning round, the courtier explained.
“King Agamemnon’s offer .. to send Lady Helen back to Menelaus .. Troy’s response can hardly become public knowledge .. yet ……”
The courtier glanced again at Lukka, Agamemnon’s herald. Meaningfully.
“You understand ……?”
No, Lukka did not understand. He was lost in these ways of the Trojan courts. Or any court. Back home, before he had left his own kingdom collapsing into civil war, a warrior of his standing would never have got near to seeing his king. And here he was .. he and his men had sold their swords to the Greeks to put food into their bellies. And irrationally Lukka was being dispatched by the Greek High King Agamemnon to parley with Priam of Troy.
No, Lukka did not understand. This was out of his comfort zone. He did not feel comfortable with the ways of these courts. He just wanted an answer .. the war went on tomorrow or not? Then he wanted out of here. To get back to his men. To sharpen his sword in readiness for the fight.
“The Prince will be with you.”
The guided tour of these underground passages had ended at a closed door, nearly at the end of a corridor. Inside the room was one large chair. With richly carved arms. Almost a throne. And nothing else.
“Please take a seat.”
The door shut. Again Lukka felt out of his depth. The ways of these courts .. not for him. For want of knowing what else to do, he took a seat.