• Nick Richards

Chapter 3: The Duke - Part Nine

Jendi stood up, thanked Renger, nodded at Vialon and Sevenser and they descended to the lower level. When they got there, they saw Enisaw with her young patient and his mother. The boy was wearing a cast on one of his legs, and walked with a stick to brace himself, but seemed in remarkably good spirts. His mother was looking gratefully at the doctor who had, it seemed to her, just performed a miracle on her son.

“Keep this on his leg for the next month,” Enisaw told the woman as the hatch opened, “and then cut it off his leg carefully. Don’t let him run around at first, but his leg should be perfectly normal at that time.”

The mother threw herself on the floor in front of the doctor and thanked her repeatedly, while Enisaw tried to get her to stand up. Finally the woman did and helped her son walk off the ship and onto the ground where the crowds reacted audibly with awe and wonder at the site of her son with this odd-looking device on his leg. In front of the crowd were several carriages, one of which was particularly ornate. At seeing the crowd’s reaction, a door from the ornate carriage opened and the Duke appeared. The crowd immediately became silent and every single man, woman and child in the area bowed their head ritually in exactly the same manner. It was a like a switch had been flipped and caused the people to change states.

Jendi looking at this felt queasy. She did not bow.

The Duke, evidently seeing that the ship’s crew was not going to come to him, descended to the group and walked quickly over to the ship followed by scurrying servants. The crowd around the ship still had not moved.

“We must talk,” the Duke told Jendi imperiously, “where is a private place on your ship?”

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