The Confidence Of His Beloved

From Novel Dark Of Light
From Novel Dark Of Light
This blog post is in Category Military
This blog post is in Category Military
From Category Sacred Garden
From Category Sacred Garden
This blog post in is in Category Spiritual Initiation
This blog post in is in Category Spiritual Initiation
This post is in category Music For Freedom
This post is in category Music For Freedom
This blog post is in Category Ancient Greece Etc
This blog post is in Category Ancient Greece Etc
This post is in category Goddess
This post is in category Goddess
This blog post is in Category Politics
This blog post is in Category Politics
This post pertains to Earth Energy Contacts
This post pertains to Earth Energy Contacts
The Confidence Of His Beloved

“The confidence of his beloved…”
[:: In our romance novel “Dark Of Light” this is the next episode following “Arithmetic”. This is again early morning of marching day, and Priestess Victory has sent her new boy, as if her squire, sent him to the Conqueror with a mysterious apple and a magic map. {Here} {Here} ::]

10: Episode Eight: King

Of course young Phaedrus was trembling with his great commission. And yet the confidence that his beloved had placed on his head tugged him upward so that, although he trembled, his feet scarcely touched the paving stones. He seemed to fly the whole way there, winging through the solemn air of a city very quietly awaiting Mystery or war.

In truth he was not entirely sure where he was going when he strode out through the Elfesis embassy temple gate – having heard of the residence of this Phillipus just one time a week before – and yet he found himself in scarcely half an hour’s time standing at the door of a mansion just across the square from the great marble stairway of the Acropolis. Up there atop the broad stairs there stood a number of the burly armored Macedons all watching him. He felt quite sure that in this house there would be found their king.

And of course the boy had never been out in his sacred shirt before, never worn it at all except a single time last month at the ceremonial fitting. He had drawn some stares from people in the nearly empty streets along the way, further strengthening his confidence with pride so that, here now standing at the door, he firmly grasped the purse which hung from his belt, wherein the sacred parchment and the sacred apple had been tucked.

A very confident yank at the bell chain, a wait, another yank. A very tall and broad and proud butler came and pulled the door aside, his massive body really filling the narrow open space, and then glared down.

“Deliveries around back!” the butler commanded in a foreign slur, hooking his thumb toward the alley.

That made Phaedrus tremble again, of course, so he was surprised to hear the words rather trumpet from his lips quite loud; “Official temple business! Message from Mistress Elfesinia herself to King Phillipus!” Actually his voice had cracked at the end so “Phillipus” came out in a rusty screech. He cleared his throat, puffed out his chest again.

And then there was the dark shade of the spacious alcove just inside. A quarter hour wait. He found himself nearly dozing on his feet but sternly told himself that would not do and shook himself awake. Oh well, he’d use the time to study the art work here.

And with that thought, one particular sculpture suddenly irresistibly drew his attention; Heracles wrestling with the giant snake. After several moments of careful scrutiny he became quite sure this was an exact miniature replica of the big one on the pedestal at the city’s main gymnasium.

Then he felt compelled to take three paces back from the niche in the wall where the statuette stood; suddenly he saw it surrounded by the house and understood the oppressive atmosphere of this whole place.

He realized that here was the same exact feeling that imbued the great gymnasium. The stupid boys who lorded in their petty power. The stupid men with their stupid blindness. And a particular memory rose up vividly: One of the teachers reciting a famous poem about this statue to the boys all standing in their ranks; all of the others oohing and aahing at its deep profundity while he alone stood there struggling not to laugh behind his hand.

And so then of course the whistling rods had spoken the same simple-minded sort of verse upon his back.

So by the time the butler led him in to the sunny atrium where Phillipus sat at a small table, a scroll open in his hands, with half a dozen other men hovering about behind, young Phaedrus had found a new dignity that was rooted in his own experience and was therefore his own possession.

He stepped right up before the king and, with nothing but an ordinary courteous salute, pulled the small square packet of the folded note from his purse and held it out. “From Mistress Elfesinia sir.” That’s all he said.

One of the men behind spoke up; “Your name, boy?”

“Phaedrus” he answered with scarce a glance at his fellow underling and without a “sir”.

The one-eyed ugly king frowned at the bit of folded parchment and let Phaedrus wait, still holding it out. But his hand stayed steady.

There was suddenly, apparently, a mere flick of Phillipus’ wrist and he had it. He held it up before his eye, turned it slowly once, began examining the seal. He laid the book he had been reading on the table and turned to give a silent glance toward one of the men behind him.

This fellow came and bowed from the waist, leaning down to examine the red wax stamp on the yellow parchment. This muscular fellow, alone in the crowd, wore along his tunic cuffs the embroidered insignia of a nobleman of Athens. “Looks right.” he said.

Phillipus bade the man back to his place then held up the folded note between two fingers for all to see. He finally spoke to the lad; “What’s in it?” His accent too was barbarian, stretched and slurred, scarcely Hellene at all.

“Sir, it is a note.”

“Ha. You have a sense of humor boy. What does it say?”

“I don’t know sir. Surely. I’ve only come to bring it. She did not ask for a reply.”

“Hmm.”

And all this seemed so far really little more than Phaedrus had seen before: a day his father took him along to learn their business, delivering a very big bill to a nobleman for some fancy boots their shop had made. There are polite ways to be rude and pushy. Could it be this easy?

Phillipus for a moment made as if to break the seal but then cast a look on Phaedrus again. “Won’t do for you to stand;” he said with a dim suggestion of respect; “messenger from the temple. Have a seat.” He pointed a forefinger firmly at another chair which was there opposite across the small square table.

The chair was large and heavy as little Phaedrus drew it out, its feet squeaking on the tiles. Climbing in, he realized that this too was meant to be humiliating; the chair was big enough to suit a champion wrestler. His toes just touched the floor. But on a sudden urge he chose to relax. He leaned back into the creaking leather. He even took up idly tapping fingertips on the chair’s thick arms in the rhythm of the Little Mermaid Hymn. Exactly why? He wasn’t sure. But then a glance up told him that this air of ease did seem to disconcert the king a tiny bit, just a tiny bit, invisibly perhaps.

Phillipus asked; “Are you the boy priest king of the parade today?”

“Oh no sir! Not me! I’m not even initiated yet. I’m just one of the Mistress’ new apprentices.”

“Ho ho!” Phillipus cried. For just an instant his mutilated face formed a lovely friendly smile that seemed quite genuine and warm. “Good lad.” His face went serious again. And yet he said again, even giving a bit of a nod; “Yes, good lad.”

And so then a few hot words blurted from the boy’s heart before he even took the instant that he usually took to weigh his speech; “I am Athenian!”

Phillipus’ friendly manner did not change in any visible way. The boy even thought he saw the king respond to this declaration by sincerely trying to open something deep inside himself.

“Yes, good Phaedrus;” Phillipus said with an air of deep thought; “I can see that. You are Athenian. And Pausanes here;” he hooked a thumb toward the men behind him, doubtless meant to indicate the fellow who had come and bowed to examine the seal; “he’s your fellow citizen. Pausanes is a good man, a brave man, or else I wouldn’t have him.” He paused an instant but Phaedrus made no response. The king went on, spreading his hands wide; “He’s honored himself by giving generous hospitality too; he’s lent me his house here at no profit to himself.”

No profit to himself? And the words even bore a tone of sincerity. But the lad only nodded. If that were sincere then he could certainly see the self-deceit in it.

“Son;” the king said, leaning forward as if turning confidential; “you’re only an apprentice, I understand, but you are an apprentice of Elfesis.” He waited for an answer.

“Yes sir.”

“Are you planning to be a priest there, a real priest, for your whole life?”

All of the lad’s fond yearnings rose from his heart and he found himself imitating the sort of phrases he had come to understand so well in just his first few months in his summer of awaking love.

His gaze lifted to meet the king’s gaze quite plain and straight as he said; “I pray the gods will find a place for me there.” And, quite powerfully in these words, he felt a certain unaccustomed mature calm dignity; even though he also was surprised to hear a sweet boyish tone more clearly than he’d ever noticed in his voice before. Of their own accord his feet began to stir, to dance just a tiny bit, a lifting of the heals and wriggling of the toes as in a dance.

“And;” Phillipus said; “even now, on this auspicious day, you have the honor to be a messenger of your temple.”
.. .. “Yes sir!”
“Why did your Mistress choose you?”
.. .. “Oh, sir, I know my way about the city.”
“It must be more than that. She trusts you.”

Rather overcome with this, knowing it was true, Phaedrus cast his eyes down and saw his callused hands and thought that, yes, his beloved knew that he could do a job of work. She had said that he is good.

The king went on; “She’s commissioned you to observe things here.”
.. .. “Sir?”
“It’s all right. It’s your duty and you’ve come here resolved to do it.”
.. .. “Sir . . .”
“No doubt she’s charged you to report back on my reactions to the note . . . yes?”
.. .. “Sir . . .”
“Because of your youth few would suspect you are a spy . . .”
.. .. “Sir!”
“… … and yet your dignity itself has given you away. Yes? It’s quite all right. If you were mine I’d entrust you with similar orders.” And the king idly fingered his close cropped beard to patiently await a true reply.

“Sir . . . well . . . yes.”

“Well then, seeing that she trusts you, I wish to trust you with a confidence myself. Nothing grand, really, just a bit of news your Mistress might like to hear; but it is from my lips exclusively to her ears for the present. Yes?”
.. .. “Yes sir?”
“You should tell no one except her, until the news comes out to the public eventually. Can you accept that stipulation? Within your honor?”

The boy did not realize – not yet – that the man was plucking on his tender sensibilities as skillfully as a fine musician would have plucked a tight strung harp. He did, however, understand Phillipus’ actual genuine motive in this particular small detail of this sport.

Phillipus genuinely wished to make a good impression on the order of Elfesis and was genuinely offering a friendly gesture to that end.

That was true and the lad, even in the fog of misdirection, did understand it. And Phaedrus certainly also felt the honor which was his as messenger in these affairs of state.

But he did not see, not yet, how very competent a king this was.

The man who had already conquered most of Greece was sitting here on a busy morning, with his officers waiting, bending all his skill to win the loyalty of a fifteen year old boy.

[:: But not to worry! In just a few more of the novel’s pages of this dangerous game, the Temple Boy will grow into his tender budding intimations of Sacred Manhood. .. ..And he will leave the Conquering King trembling in fear. ::]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
{- End Of “The Confidence Of His Beloved” -}
{-Creds.. This is borrowed from my book.. “Dark Of Light”
.. .. Its overview page .. {-Here-} -}

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