Closest of Their Kind

He observed skekSo more often than the Emperor could even guess. Most often, the ruler has seen him only when he revealed himself. The days in the forest passed slowly, animals were protecting their cubs this season and he didn’t mean to interfere. He will wait till they grow up and become worthy prey, no honor in pursuing a mother with her children.

But skekSo was always an interesting observation subject. Head always high, feathers crowning his face like a spiked tiara. The court members were coming and going, supplying, and demanding. And he herded them like nebries until they were doing what he wanted. What they should be doing.

But when he was alone and that was most often when skekMal was most curious to observe him, he was shedding the skin of a mighty ruler.  That was skekSo only skekMal knew. Tired, almost destroyed by responsibility and angry, very angry.

Most skeksis would never believe it, maybe only the angry part, but the Hunter knew that either of these faces are true one, it was duality they all had, despite being already halves.

skekSo was most dual of all of them.

The powerful Emperor at day. A tired shepherd at night.

The Hunter’s eyes were piercing the candle-lit chamber, when skekSo was massaging his own forehead, trying to get rid of the pain.

He allowed the Emperor to hear him and when skekSo turned back, he just disappeared.

Another time.

It was a promise.

He would never confront him when he was not ready.

skekSo, apart of skekSa, who wasn’t part of all of this anymore, was the only skeksis in the court, that skekMal had some respect for.

Another time. Hunt your nightmares, Emperor, with head high, just as you confront the reality.

Just as I confront mine.

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