Nobody was riding to the rescue this time. Maybe mother had made good her threat to have the princeling suffer his own consequences. He didn’t know, and anyway it didn’t matter. He was going to die.
The wilja checked the tightness of the rope that bound him, then showed him her saw-edged bronze knife.
A pair of gauntleted hands snatched him from the obsidian cave, dropping him in the midst of his mother’s militia.
He stood up with an attempt at jauntiness. But it’s hard to appear insouciant when you have voided your bowels in your imperial purple hose…