Lucifer entered the alcove. Rich veins of amethyst branched out in various directions along the luminescent walls. “Are you sure this cave is vacant?” he asked, staring down the serpentine tunnel that led to underground springs of liquid jewels. Ophanim could often be found harvesting the crystallized foam that bubbled along the edges.
Vafar nodded. “The next time Elyon goes to Ayden, we must make our move.”
“No,” Lucifer said. “Michael is not yet ready.”
“He will never be ready,” Vafar said. “The khimari know they are being tamed for ill-intent, and they sense in your lieutenant a reluctance to break them. He is weak.”
“To the contrary, he is the best I have,” Lucifer said calmly as he inspected one of the amethyst veins. “Groblik tells me these jewels possess a power he has not yet learned how to tap into. He suspects each jewel offers a different―”
“Mardikel is almost as skilled with a blade as Michael is, and he can ride a khimara,” Vafar said. “That makes him superior.”
“Michael just needs a little more time.”
“When you reveal your plan, he will not so easily turn as the others.”
“Michael is loyal to me.”
Vafar snorted. “Your regard of him blinds you to the truth. He needs to be relinquished.”
Lucifer whirled. “No. It is my decision, and mine alone.”
“Without fare, my herd will grow weak!” Vafar snapped. “And I notice that you too can no longer eat from the fruit of Shamayim. You will need strength to wield the Ko’akh if it should come to that. We cannot wait any longer.”
Lucifer drew in a deep breath, loath to admit Vafar was right. He’d been keeping track of the rotations of the sub-natural world, which marked King Elyon’s visits to Ayden, and timing them to synchronize with the sparring sessions. “Not this session, but next,” he relented. “Elyon would call it ‘the morrow’ by Time’s standards. We will strike then.”
-- excerpt from Prophecy of the Heir, Volume I of The Chronicles of Time series.