Zakath, emperor of all Angarak, woke up out in his flower-filled bedroom, sensing something was amiss. Even as he struggled to open his eyes, he realized that it was the unfamiliar cold spot on his right side that was troubling him, the place where the center of his world, the former seeress of Kell commonly curled up against him. He hoisted himself up on his elbows, ignoring his cat's protests when she was roughly dislocated from her favorite spot on his chest.
"Good morning, your imperial Majesty." His wife greeted him from the windowsill where she reclined, gazing over Mal Zeth.
"Good morning, my dear. Are you well?" His concern was evident in his voice. Twenty years of marriage had forged a pattern. He was the one to awaken first.
"Hmm," she replied vaguely, driving him out of his bed towards her.
"What is wrong, my love?"
"And lo, the new light of Angarak shall shine when its God shall meet his match, " she told him.
"Are you alright?" He moved into the windowsill with her, easily hoisting her slender frame on his lap, wrapping his arms around her and keeping her there. "You are cold."
"I'm in no trouble, my dear, just a bit astounded, suddenly remembering that passage after all these years."
"The light of Angarak shall shine when their God meets his match?" Zakath asked.
He had developed a sound dislike of these religious riddles when Belgarath had raised them twenty years ago, and knew he didn't have a chance solving the conundrum now. Focusing on his wife's body seemed easier and preferable.
"Doesn't it merely herald the death of Torak and the flowering of my glorious reign?" he perfunctory tried, while he nuzzled her neck.
"The seers have believed that for a long time. Since yesterday I know better."
"You do?" She smelled good, he noticed.
"I am not the light of Angarak, then?" he managed to sound faintly disappointed.
"The light of my eyes," she ensured him
"So?" he prodded, smiling.
"Well," she hesitated and stared over the waking city.
"Yes, my dear?"
"Yesterday the God of Angarak came to visit me."
"I didn't know you planned to see him."
"Gods hardly ever make appointments, dear."
"There's that," Zakath agreed, "Rather an unstoppable force, isn't he? Comes with the job, I imagine. Much has changed since he persuaded the Grolims to employ their magic for the wellbeing of humanity. What was on his mind? How can we help him?"
"He wanted to speak me privately."
"He and me both," Zakath murmured, caressing her growing abdomen where the latest addition to their dynasty thrived.
"Are you listening to me, dread Emperor?" his wife asked.
Zakath stopped his ministrations. "I am, my love. Always. What did he want?"
"He thinks he has met his match."
"Eriond? His match? Impossible. He is a God! Even the Alorns and Tolnedrans are starting to notice that. He is well on his way to become the one God of the World."
"Yes dear," she agreed, "Still, he believes it is so. And, if my recollection of our Kell prophesies serves me, he may be correct."
"His match? Who would be powerful enough? One of the old Gods?
"Belda–? Beldaran of Riva? No!"
His wife nodded.
"That fine-looking, hot tempered, little redhead that takes after her mother so much?"
His wife nodded happily. "Beldaran. Oh, isn't it wonderful? Ce'Nedra will be so happy."
"Belgarion's daughter will slay our God?" In Zakath's voice incredulity fought with indignation. "Why are you so pleased? Eriond is your God too."
"Love?" His wife turned her head around and tried to look him in the eye.
"Getting in the family business, is she now?" Zakath muttered affronted. "I guess we should be grateful. At twenty she is late. Her father killed Torak when he was not even sixteen. What is Belgarion thinking?"
"I will not have it!" he stated forcefully. Some of the old steel had come back into his voice.
His wife stared at him quizzically. "You will not have it?"
"I will not have it. I will stop it, even if it's the last thing I do."