“I am growing weary of this meal, and I see it is taking its toll on you, Sitome. Tell me what spell protects your heart and you will be released from this hell.”
“There is no spell.”
“I won’t give up, Sitome.”
“My heart is well protected.”
“So it seems.”
“You won’t succeed. Let me go.”
“I always get what I want.”
“Not this time,” said Sitome.
“Kier? What is that? Get rid of it.”
Kier walked towards the cat that had entered the hall, but Creature ran to Sitome and jumped onto his lap. Sitome exclaimed in surprise and hugged her as she licked his face and purred.
Enucel entered the hall and the King turned to him.
“Oracle,” said King Salun to Enucel, “You told me if I ate the heart of Sitome I would be immortal. You lied to me.”
“I would never deceive you, my King,” said Enucel. “Look.”
He gestured to Sitome and Creature. The King watched them as Sitome pushed Creature away.
“You can’t be here, Creature,” said Sitome.
She paid him no heed, meowing, jumping back into his lap. He hugged her and whispered into her ear, “You must run.”
The King saw how Creature glowed gold in Sitome’s arms.
“Run, Creature,” said Sitome, and he tried to push her away again as the King called on his aide.
“Bring it to me, Kier.”
Kier took Creature by the back of the neck and knocked Sitome to the floor. He placed Creature on the table in front of Salun. She pressed herself flat and did not move.
“Sitome, you were right,” said Salun. “Your heart was well protected.”
Salun took the knife from Kier and plunged it into Creature. Blood spread across the table as she died. Salun devoured her and Sitome wept.
Enucel approached the King.
“It’s just a cat,” Enucel said to Salun. “I don’t know why he weeps.”
“Oracle,” said the King. “Now I have my immortality you shall be well rewarded.”
Enucel smiled and sat at the table, waiting.
“Yes, your highness. I shall be well rewarded.”