Magician (Books 1 & 2) by Raymond E. Feist

Magician (Books 1 & 2) by Raymond E. Feist

Author:Raymond E. Feist
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Tags: Science-Fiction
ISBN: 0385196210
Publisher: Doubleday
Published: 2008-11-29T12:00:00+00:00

The young officer sat upon a pile of cushions, cross-legged in Tsurani fashion. He sent away the guard who had accompanied Pug and Laurie, then motioned for the two slaves to sit. They did so hesitantly, for a slave was not usually permitted to sit in a master’s presence.

“I am Hokanu, of the Shinzawai. My father owns this camp,” he said without preamble. “He is deeply dissatisfied with the harvest this year. He has sent me to see what can be done. Now I have no overseer to manage the work, because a foolish man blamed you for his own stupidity. What am I to do?”

They said nothing. He asked, “You have been here, how long?”

Pug and Laurie answered in turn. He considered the answers, then said, “You”—pointing at Laurie—“are nothing unusual, save you speak our tongue better than most barbarians, all things considered. But you” —pointing at Pug—“have stayed alive longer than most of your stiff-necked countrymen and also speak our language well. You might even pass for a peasant from a remote province.”

They sat still, unsure of what Hokanu was leading up to. Pug realized with a shock that he was probably older by a year or two than this young lord. He was young for such power. The ways of the Tsurani were very strange. In Crydee he would still be an apprentice, or if noble, continuing his education in statecraft.

“How do you speak so well?” he asked of Pug.

“Master, I was among the first captured and brought here. There were only seven of us among so many Tsurani slaves. We learned to survive. After some time, I was the only one left. The others died of the burning fever or festering wounds, or were killed by the guards. There were none for me to talk with who spoke my own language. No other countryman came to this camp for over a year.”

The officer nodded, then to Laurie said, “And you?”

“Master, I am a singer, a minstrel in my own land. It is our custom to travel broadly, and we must learn many tongues. I have also a good ear for music. Your language is what is called a tone language on my world, words with the same sound save for the pitch with which they are spoken have different meanings. We have several such tongues to the south of our Kingdom. I learn quickly.”

A glimmering appeared in the eyes of the soldier “It is good to know these things.” He lapsed deep into thought. After a moment he nodded to himself “There are many considerations that fashion a man’s fortune, slaves.” He smiled, looking more like a boy than a man. “This camp is a shambles. I am to prepare a report for my father, the Lord of the Shinzawai. I think I know what the problems are.” He pointed at Pug. “I would have your thoughts on the subject. You have been here longer than anyone.”

Pug composed himself. It had been a long time since anyone had asked him to venture an opinion on anything.


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