He held the crystal to his forehead and he heard the words spoken to him from the other crystal holder.
"Have you put the potion in The Conduit's drink yet?" The impatient voice whispered lowly.
"No, I am sorry. I have tried..." Hector spat out.
"You have failed. If you can not do this then we have to kill her," The voice said in a rather nasty tone.
"I can't kill her," Hector begged.
"You are weak. You are unworthy of the position we put you in. We have fulfilled our end of the bargain, is that not so?" The voice whispered.
"Aye, my lords," Hector sighed sadly.
"You have a day at the most to slip her the potion. After that, we will have little choice," The voice chided.
"It will be done," Hector said to the empty air.
Hector retied the knot and put the crystal once again around his neck and inside his tunic. He knew his career as a Page and Squire was considered lackluster. He struggled through his education but mastered weapons easily. He took the short cut and the deal to get a more prestigious placement. A favor then for an unnamed favor in the future. He wanted his father to be proud. Now he regretted it.
He opened his tent and walked out into the glaring sunlight. The pages and squires were standing before him waiting for their duties of the day. He grumpily shouted instructions and the boys and girls jumped into action and scattered. He was thankful for a day without wearing the heavy armor and having to go to battle.
"Hector?" He heard Xan coming from his tent.
"Yes, My Lord," He said
"The pages and Squires are scheduled to Port back to the barracks today after chores. Can you please see to it they do not get lost or forget things?" Xander asked as he handed a paper to him.
"Aye, My Lord," Hector looked at the handwritten schedule. He lamented being given busy work.
They were all old enough to see themselves through the port. He wondered if Kenna had said anything to him. He didn't like having to look over his shoulder so much.
"Hector!" He jumped at the exclamation.
"Yes, sir!" He said and then turned to see Lord Alaric. He really didn't know how this could be any worse.
"I hope Lord Xan has told you that you are to be responsible for all the pages and squires," Alaric said as Hector then gazed at the crowd of children behind him. Alaric tried hard not to laugh at the predicament,"Ah, that look on your face says he did not."
Hector reached out and took the paper from Alaric with a bow, and then looked to the kids. He had no idea how he was supposed to organize an exodus at the last minute. He cleared his throat.
The children were distracted and shifting in their shoes, but now stood at attention. He mustered his breath and said loudly,"Alright single file, hold hands, no one gets lost."
He then opened a port and the children started filing into it and were greeted on the other side by an older Squire, with a happy smiling face. He knew his whole day was going to be just this. Knights or Paidus dropping off their Pages and Squires.
He was happy to see the lunch hour approach. He Ducked into his tent and went to his mirror. He waved his hand over it and said the name, Faris. It frosted over and then Faris appeared in the mirror.
"Yes, Hector?" He sounded like he was finally in a good mood.
"I am going to lunch Your Lordship. Then I will get back to my duties after," Hector said wearily.
"I appreciate greatly what you are doing. I also wanted to talk to you and Kenna," Faris said and Hectors heart sank, "With actual combat experience I don't see why all the Paidus that were here, can not move up to full Knighthood."
Hector smiled and nearly laughed, "Thank you, Lord Faris!!"
Faris grinned a little then waved the mirror off. Hector felt lighter than he ever had. Full Knight. He had made it. He walked off to the mess tent with nothing else on his mind.
When he arrived he saw Kenna and Hin sitting at a table talking. Hin waved him over and he was in such a great mood he only slightly felt a panicked pang at the sight of Kenna. He ignored it and hovered long enough to let them know he was going through the line.
He went through the line and not even the clink of the trays and the scraping of dishes could annoy him like it usually did. he collected his food and then a glass of water, and sat down with the women.
"Well, don't you look pleased, "Hin said smiling at him.
"I just found out that Lady Kenna and I, among other Paidus, will be getting our full Knighthood," His smile stretched nearly from ear to ear.
"That is great!" Hin cried and Kenna made a noise of joy and hugged Hector.
"I have to go tell Xan!", Kenna said excitedly then turned to the table,"Will you be ok?"
Hin shook her head yes and Kenna ran outside and they saw the momentary flash of the port reflect on and through the tent. He saw Hin rub her head.
"Headache?" He asked.
"Yes," She said as she covered her face with her hand.
"You don't know how to heal yourself do you?" He was a bit surprised.
"No, I don't," She frowned at him.
"Use this instead in some tea with a lot of sugar. It's Kipu and good for headaches. I can always get more later." Hector said handing over a vial.
She readily took it and dumped it into her tea. When she went to get more sugar cubes Hector took out his other vial and put it in her tea also. He watched her come back and drink her tea, and her face screwed up and she put her hand to her throat.
"Ouch! Bitter," she said as she took another slow sip.
Hector laughed relieved it was not poison, "Yes, very."
Hector finished his lunch and excused himself. He left Hin to sit and sip tea and make faces. He was relieved. Finally, he could be done with the crystal and the people who gave it to him. He would be his own Knight. Beholden to just the realm itself.