"Ah, Kalveston. It is so pleasant of you to come visit your 'old and feeble' guardian once again. One would have thought you had forgotten me, putting one away in this dark cave as you did." The man sitting on the floor of the dark room Kalveston had just entered laughed heartily at his own insolence. Age sat heavily upon his brow, but it was clear that his mind was as strong as ever. "But then, can one blame you? You are the Emperor, supreme head of an empire whose borders encompass five countries and more and know no bounds. Can you be blamed for shutting up the ancient relic which put you there in some dark corner?"
Kalveston snatched a torch from a bracket outside the door, placing it in another inside the room. The sudden introduction of light caused the old man to throw up his arms and shrink away into a corner. "Enough! Ah, I see that we may now speak properly."
"No! I can not speak in such bright light! Put it away, or you will get no answers from me!"
Standing in the center of the sparsely furnished room, holding the torch above his head, Kalveston said haughtily "If you were ten years younger and I were only a general once more, I might give your words more weight. It is unfortunate for you, than, that I am, as you have said, the Emperor, and no half-dead creature of darkness will deign to urge his will upon me! Speak now, for my patience ebbs swiftly!"
Uncovering his face, the old man spoke reluctantly. "You are the empire. You have everything. What could you possibly want from me, your old and broken tool!"
"I want the knowledge! Tell me everything!"
"Everything about what? There is nothing I have not told you already!"
Bending down to bring the flame closer to the other man, Kalveston growled "I want you to tell me everything you know of what is, what is to come, and how to make my people follow me."
"What messages could I have heard that you have not? How could I tell better than the next man what is to come? You rule by fear. You are suited to that manner of government, surely?"
"Yes, but I want to learn the other way, the way you know."
"The way of love?"
"If that is what you call it."
"That you will never learn. You might as well replace me back upon the throne and spread the word the old kings have returned from the dead." The old man laughed insolently, but still raised his arms swiftly as if to protect himself.
"What you speak of I will never do. I am the emperor!"
"Emperors who never leave their castles still find death in unexpected places."
"Why do I listen to a raving madman?" Turning sharply about, Kalveston left the room, carrying the torch with him.