— Sumataniki makes it to the ruins of his old home, the Palace and encounters somebody he never expected to see again. —
Prince Sumataniki stared in disbelief. The north side of the Palace, from whence he had come, had looked deceptively intact. Now he saw that the whole south side lay in ruins, in places merely large piles of rubble. It reflected the greater damaged by the mine’s ejections to the south side of the valley than the north, and made him wonder if this had been by the cruel will of the Anakuna.
“Perhaps they wished to hide the damage from us until we came upon the City. In that moment, we would have become dispirited.”
He wandered about the ruin, trying to shake off the feelings of loss and hear the voice of his brother or sister.
“I see you have found your way here too!” a feeble voice croaked, from a pile of rags against a wall.
Sumataniki had spied the rags, even in the darkness, but thought nothing of them. They moved and a hand stretched forth in welcome.
“I have waited for you Prince Sumataniki.”
Sumataniki hobbled over and crouched down. There could be no mistaking the empty eye sockets that seemed to bore into his soul, even in darkness.
“Nathaniel! From the Land of the Ark. Hello old man.”
“Ha! None in the City remember my name now. It’s good to hear it. Have you been well?”
Sumataniki stole a glance at his arm but replied, “Yes. We survive. In the mountains.”
“I heard about the great battle. Well done. Don’t you yearn for peace?”
“Yes. Now that you speak of it. I weary of battle. They have ruined Peroturnkar, Seer. Tuma and his … scum.”
“But he was your brother once.”