Sir Matyes was as good as his word. He went to the sea. He found a cave there, where he could get out of the moisture. He tried to build a fire near the entrance to the cave, but the crashing waves kept putting it out. Finally he found a place further back from the entrance, but where a hole in the rock allowed the smoke to escape. Then he carved himself fishing spears like the merpeople used. He began to do with it, the same thing they did. Only, where the merpeople liked their fish raw, he preferred his cooked. So he fashioned a sort of pit out of the rock. He lined it with sea weed and Bladderwrack. Then he cleaned the fish and put the meat on top of that. Then he laid more leaves on the top of that and then the fire on top of that. He remembered what his mother said, “Fish meat is thin, do not cook it for two long. It will burn.” He watched his mother and she would never leave the fire when the fish was cooking,
When the fish began to smell cooked, he used his sword to move the fire. Then he pulled away the leaves, and the fish was ready. It was quite tasty too. He ate it, as hungry as he was. And with it, he ate some of the leaves of the seaweed. He didn’t much care to eat leaves, though. So he only ate a few of them. The fish was so delicious, he realized that he would be content to stay there for as long as the fishing lasted.
In the first chimeran camp, King Jehan returned the very next day with Storus. They asked to see the King. Since the guard knew Storus and had developed a respect for King Jehan’s courage, they were allowed in. “You come soon,” King Kirillo said. “Him already with you.” “Yes,” said Jehan, bowing deeply. “All right, we sit, we talk,” the King said. The translation improved with Storus there.
As is protocol, the elder King started. “What are you doing in my lands?” he asked King Jehan. “I chase three knights who raped my wife,” Jehan answered. That necessitated Storus explaining what a wife was. King Kirillo was surprised. “Your females are with you all the time?” he asked. “Yes, sire,” Storus said. “How can I know this is true?” Finnian asked. “The next time you come to trade with me, I will introduce you to my wife. I give you my word,” Storus said. The Chimerans knew that he was not like his father. His trading was far more fair and honest. So the king decided to trust the man.
“And someone hurt this female which is his while she was under his roof?” this was an indication that Kirillo did not fully understand the relationship between a husband and wife. Among the chimerans, mating partners changed every season. Males and females did not bond for life. “I do not understand this,” King Kirillo said. “Perhaps the next time I come and trade I will know it better. But this I do understand. This human female was under the roof of this male, and under his protection. Other males force her. This is a great insult to the King. He is the King. These males should die for giving such a great insult to the King.”
“Yes,” said Storus. “Now they are here on your land. We need you to help us.” Storus explained what he had said to King Jehan. “We do,” King Jehan agreed. “But how do we pay them for their help?”
“Let me to that,” Storus said. “You convinced him that you are a brave man and a true king when you came here by yourself yesterday. Now we can trade on that. They admire courage.”
He turned back to King Kirillo, “His majesty King Jehan has metal,” he told Kirillo. This was true, his royals were made of metal ingots. “He will give it to the blacksmith in my town. The blacksmith will make you more weapons for hunting then you have ever had before. Your men will hunt more and provide you with more meat then you have ever had before.”
“This is a good thing,” King Kirillo thought. “Our females breed when they have gained enough weight. They need meat to do that. They will breed sooner with more meat.” Then he gave himself a little shake. “But most important is that the insult to the king must be made right. If my men ever think they can insult me in such a way, it would mean destruction. We will help him right this insult so that no one else will ever do it.”
“How many men can you give him?” Storus asked. “I have young warriors just learning war and the hunt,” King Kirillo said. “I can spare 20 of them. But how many men does he have already.” “There are about a dozen of my men,” King Jehan said. “And there are approximately 20 of the shee under Sir Sibelius. That makes 32 men.” Storus changed it into the chimer-an measurements. “2 and a half Quats,” he said. “That is a lot of men,” King Kirillo said. “How will we feed them all?” “They have food for themselves,” Storus assured him. “And their mounts do not eat meat. Also they will hunt for themselves.”
Kirillo stood then. So did King Jehan and Storus. This could mean that the conference was over. Kirillo took one step away. He said somethings to the guards man. “We are to stay,” Storus said. “He is ordering food for us. He has also ordered that the young warriors begin to report here to him.”
He went back and sat on his throne then. He indicated that his guests should sit on either side of him, King Jehan on the right and Storus on the left. Meat, which was cooking on the fire outside, was brought in. The chimerans had learned that the humans in the town did not eat raw meat, as they sometimes did. The meat was brought in on a platter, with the humans expected to dig right in. The chimerans had claws on the ends of their fingers that allowed them to cut the meat into the size chunks that they wanted without the help of utensils.
The king, like Storus, had at least a dagger with him. He used that to cut the meat into smaller chunks. The meat was not so well done as he usually had, but it was eatable. Outside, the young men began to gather. When the meal was finished, King Kirillo stepped out of the tent, indicating that his guests should come with him.
Outside he began to talk to the young men. “This man,” he said, indicating Jehan “is a king, as I am a king. He has come to me because he has been given a terrible insult in his own home. His female mate was attacked while under his protection. Now the males of his people who did this terrible thing are here. He needs our help to find them so that he can punish them. I order that 20 of our young men will go with him and help him to find these men. As a reward we shall receive from the blacksmith 20 new weapons for out warriors to hunt and fight with.” Jehan worried a bit about that fight. But this was not the time.
The young men began to stand forward. Finally there were 20 of them. They were all just over a year old. They were not ready to mate yet, although their sisters were. They still had to learn more about hunting to provide the meat that the females needed to eat to come into breeding condition.
King Kirillo nodded his approval. Their heads did not nod so much as a salamanders would do. “You, young men,” the King said. “Get your salamanders and all your equipment and return back here in 10 minutes,” he ordered. They bowed and were gone. The King stepped back into his tent and King Jehan and Storus when with him. “You will take my young warriors back with you to your camp,” he said. “I also want you to take one of my more experienced men. Koruth,” he called out. One of the older guards men came into the tent.
“Yes, your majesty,” he said. “You are older and more experienced, the king said. “I am sending you with our young warriors. Most of their salamanders have never seen a horse before, let alone a pegasus. You have seen both. You yourself told me that the scouts had seen pegasi in the sky. You must help out young warriors control their mounts so they do not run off, or kill any of the horses or pegasi.”