Durbar asked, “So what do you think? Do you think I should try to compete? I don’t know what to do.”
Znak paused for a moment, took a long drink, and looked deep into Durbar’s eyes, studying them, and began, “Lad, I’m not going to be the one to make that decision. It is for you and only you to make.”
Durbar wasn’t satisfied. “What do you think my father would say?”
“You are not a boy any longer, and it is time for you to make your own way. It’s not going to be easy, but you are going to have to do it soon enough. You want to know what I think? I think you already made up your mind because you came here. If you didn’t want to compete, you wouldn’t have come all the way here before the festival.” Both men were quiet for a moment. The wisdom of Znak’s words was undeniable. It was true that, although in his mind, Durbar was uneasy about meeting with the prince and competing, his heart led him there and would probably lead him to Rothan. Durbar looked down into his drink. Znak stared at the young man, studying his reaction.
“You’re right, Znak. I can’t go back to the cabin. I don’t want to be there alone anymore. I need to do something else,” Durbar explained plainly, as if trying to convince himself more than Znak. “It’s not the same without Father,” he said as his eyes began to mist.