The Chamberlain was huffing small clouds of warm air from his nostrils. The castle was cold, yet his temper now set on fire, as he left the throne room, almost tearing the drapes leading to it with one furious swipe.
This time he pulled the wrong cord. This time he stepped one foot too far. Or even both. Or even all six limbs too far into his interest.
If he even assumed that General SkekUng can still mess with his life like that, ridicule him and show in bad light in the eyes of these walking corpse the Emperor, and at the same time open a howling hole in his soul, he would be more cautious. He would be more alert. He would squeeze his big hard head with clever words, with well aimed thoughts.
Yet he didn't expect the General to be so vicious and cunning.
He thought all the time that the loss, long time ago, won't affect him even more, won't tear the old mental wounds anymore... he shared the loss only with his mate and even that, as rarely as he could.
That gelfling was like a... daughter to him. How SkekUng dared calling him too soft, when... how could he give THAT example before whole Council?
He saw the gaze of Counselor SkekKel. He didn't seem as furious as he would want to. That angered him even more, he was not even trying to understand that SkekKel didn't know about Kaia and was a good fellow to SkekUng since some time, burrying the hatchett of mutual hatred.
He started to lose his guard and even a bit of wet appearedin his eyes and now he already knew that better noone sees him like that or he will be ridiculed even more...
His steps were fleeting and his moves still gracious as he paced through empty, howling corridor, the gusts of wind tearing his robes, like he was on the open space. That had to be the very soul of Kaia, tempering his anger, making him---
"'Sil?" he heard silent whisper and then, through all the sorrow, he managed to realize that he stands in front of the the door leading to Illustrator's chambers. She was standing behind the drape, peeking with her long neck out from it, looking like a skeksis without body.
That view, comforting, familiar, soothing, made him emmit a loud cry, that escaping his beak, left him completely defenseless in front of the one that was able to see more in him and was allowed to see him weak... one among fourteen...
"'Sil, something is wrong?" SkekLa still was peeking funnily from the drapes, her face grimaced with serious worry.
"Come, enter my chamber, until noones watches. Then, you will tell me what happened."
Her voice filled with worry yet so assuring that he huffed the steam of air once again and followed her, her figure already disappearing behind the curtain.
Her room smelled of ink and parchment.
Scrolls and drawings were everywhere, even on the floor and bed and SkekLa was working on something on her lectern. It was a small yet colored version of Ormamentalist's famous dance, which he performed ten trines ago, amusing everyone, even SkekSo. He was too down though, to smile at the memory.
"What's wrong?" SkekLa was addressing him frontally, without hesitation and preludes. She knew he is in worry and wanted to fix it.
"The General... hmm..." his scarce mane bristled dangerously. He sat on one of the puffy chair standing in her chamber and huffed with pain and resignation.
"Again?" she smiled at him but with evident sadness. "I thought he---"
"Yes! HMMM! I thought that Counselor already hit this hard head straight into our allegiance! But your new "brother" doesn't do so well! Hmm! Hmmm!"
SkekLa sighed. She knew that Chamberlain didn't mean it. The bond between General and Counselor was not calculated, it was pure fellowship. He didn't mean to lure him from his own alliance. But SkekSil, her Sil, was angry, bothered with something that resided in his very inside and she knew in pain he can throw accusations at everyone, even her.
"Sil..." she dared to put one of her taloned hands on his shoulder. He fixed the gaze on her yet didn't redraw. "Whatever SkekUng is telling, can't harm you. He is---"
"Yes, he IS! He dared to mock me with Kaia, hmmm!"
SkekLa's eyes widened.
The gelfling, which he adopted, to whom he felt like a father. She couldn't understand him more, after loss of Schosi... the same familiar stinging pain in her chest at mere reminding of her in casual talk... even talking with Counselor about her stung the right cord in her. Though she knew, SkekKel suffered even more, from her loss, long time ago, when things started to go awry with the gelfling kind.
But now, that was not important. SkekSil was important and his broken heart. She couldn't get how SkekUng could bring Kaia in the Council but that also was not important. She just took his head in her heavy talons and kissed his forehead.
"Whatever he said... noone takes Kaia from you, Lord Chamberlain. She is part of you... just like we all had someone in our lives, who touched us deeply and left the mark..."
SkekSil still was sitting deafeated on her chair but then, she had an idea, which could bring smile again on his face. But she had to be cautious to not spoil anything with her direct and down to earth approach.
"Sil... if you want, I can---"
His eyes met hers and they fixed on each other, feeding on their life energy.
That was what they were - two beings in one. His pain flew through her, shivering, electricizing, like her own. Her emanation of energy fled through his bones, strightening him up.
This was only illusion... but made them both feel better.
"I could make General repent..." she told him, holding his face with one hand. "I could make him truly repent..."
SkekSil's eyes narrowed.
"He won't know. And I have MEANS, Sil... I have many means about which you don't even know..."
SkekSil's hair bristled again, in jolt of new energy.
"You won't even know when... but when it happens... then, Sil... you will know..." her face grimaced into malicious mask, before she burried int in his ruffles.
Both skeksis stayed like this, holding each other, keeping their heads joined, for a fleeting moment, for a minute.
And they both knew that this harm will be avenged.