Eoin swallowed, finding the view unsettling. Masud and the guards led the five forward into an empty space near the head of the room.
Bodies shifted. Eoin turned to the throne, startled. There sat a whizzened, commanding old man in a grand gilded chair. He was not heavy, but he clearly would have towered over the rest if he had stood up. The young man standing next to him was either his son or grandson. The man rose above Eoin’s height by at least a head and a half, and Eoin was tall to begin with. Elegant gold circlets sat atop both the old and the young man’s heads. Royalty. This was this land’s concept of royalty.
Eoin couldn’t tear his gaze away from the mesmerizing glance of the younger man. His eyes were a harsh amber, hawk-like in their appraisal. Black hair, cut with rigid straightness, fell to the man’s chin. His complexion was that of light banded cockles.
The old man on the throne motioned for Masud to speak. The scrawny shrew stepped forward and began an earnest, begging conversation with the old man. Eoin could not have hoped to glean the conversation, but with luck, Masud might just get them into a position in this place as servants.
A disturbance at the side of the gallery caught Eoin’s attention. A rotund man in deep blue and silver had collapsed, his breathing shallow and quick. His complexion had gone sallow. Several men gathered around the corpulent individual and hurriedly whispered, trying their best not to interrupt their king.
Eoin’s memory faded from the point where he had been standing to the point he was holding the man’s head in his lap, his hand immediately going to the readily available skin on his forehead. He pushed into the man’s unconscious form and felt for the pain, for what had toppled the figure. He found it, a stuttering beat of uncertainty. Lungs strained and pulled. He looked up, looking for his medicine bag, only to be pinned under the descending glare of the young giant. He wasn’t a healer here.
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