The young Prince slowly opened his eyes and looked around. When he realized he was in the wizards lair he felt better.
"Thank God I'm alive," he said out loud to the empty room.
"Would that were true my Prince,"a voice responded.
Felsar shuffled in out of the shadows and was soon standing at his side holding a large tankard.
"Here, drink this," he said and extended the tankard to the Prince.
The Prince drained it in one long pull and shortly he felt better.
"What was that? One of your healing potions?"
"No, it was the blood of a steer."
"Why would you give me that?"
"Its what you needed to help you feel better."
Prince Karl sat up and discovered that there was a metal cuff around his ankle and that there was a very heavy chain attached to it and that it was fastened to the floor.
"Felsar, what is this? Release me I must check on my parents."
"That I cannot do until we talk."
"Our talk must wait, my parents were attacked and wounded by those creatures probably serious.
"They will wait."
"I must see my parents, I commanded you to release me at once."
"I cannot obey that command."
The prince was stunned by the wizards reaction and for the first time he became afraid though he would not show it.
"Felsar, what has happened?"
"The King and Queen are dead, as are you."
The young prince recalled what had happened in the banquet room and the sight of his parents being attacked and let loose a loud cry of pain and outrage that echoed off the walls. He suddenly felt a terrible pain in his mouth and tears running down his face and he went to wipe them away he noticed that there was blood on his sleeve.
He ran his fingers over his teeth and gums to find the source of the pain and discovered two very sharp fangs and pushed their way through the roof of his mouth.
"Felder, what is happening to me?"
"That what I had hoped to avoid. Do you remember pouring a potion down your throat?"
"Yes I do. What was it?"
"An ancient elixir rumored to have supernatural healing properties, it was an attempt to save you."
"Save me from what?
"That what has already happened. The elixir did not work."
"You talk in riddles. I was attacked and wounded by that harpie and you saved me."
"No young Prince, I was unable to reverse the effects."
"Again you talk in riddles. I feel fine."
"How long ago would you guess it was that I gave you that potion?"
"Only a few hours at the most"
"It has been three days."
"That is not possible."
"You must take me at my word."
"Then the throne is vacant?"
"Yes, the prime minister is acting King. Some say that he will be asked to become ruler."
"But I am the heir to the throne and the responsibility is mine. I must assure the people that the family is still in power."
"No, you cannot be seen in public
"You keep saying that. Why?"
"Because it is common knowledge that you died from your wounds."
"I do not understand any of what you have been saying."
Felsar went to one of his numerous old and dusty bookshelves and brushed away the cobwebs so he could read the titles. He then selected a number of titles and carried them to the Prince.
"You should thank the Lord that the King was insistent that you learn to read and write in Latin as most of these books are written in that most ancient language."
"Do you expect me to read all of these?"
"Yes I do. Knowledge is your new lover and you must embrace her if you are to survive."
Felsar then set down a large stone crock next to his cot that was filled to the top with more blood.
"In case the hunger comes upon you before I will return."
Felsar departed as the Prince opened the first old book.
Carpenter heard a voice command him to awake and he was once again in his private car.
"I saw my death and rebirth. It was my old and trusted teacher that gave me my first drink of steers blood."
"As I had said, someone had to have helped you."
"Can we stop for now because for reasons unknown I feel tired."
"Of course my friend. I will return tomorrow evening."