30 Dystros

We are on the very heights, and I am glad for our small force. We could have run by horse, but that would have made our ascent more torturous. I am invigorated by the climb, and my horse paces me step as we go, along with the more robust of the men. Apollion is aside of me, as well as my cursed vanguard, ever my shadow, and always to be found. He assures me, and Parmenion assures me, that these are tested, that Xenotropon the regicide was turned in some unusual way by Pausis, and that Pausis had desired my place from some obscure promise made by Hephaestion, but these are rumor only. Who can tell what the actual plot may be, or who truly hatched it in darkness?

I worry about our food - if our siege exceeds a week, we will be hungry, and I pause again, several times, to offer wine to the god who favors me on the heights, Hermes, that he will see my victory from his far place and send his speed to us.

I take a pause at the vista of this mount, Latmus, and can see the wide angle of the sky as it reaches toward the valley of the unreachable water below. We climb to a severe height, and there are some who are winded long before they should be, for lack of air. We climb to the place of Endymion's cave, and I fancy in my exertions that some prophecy will be fulfilled upon its summit; perhaps if I lay on this open hillside Artemis too will grace me with her love, I find myself musing. We are slathered with sweat, and I am exhilarated with it - the sheer challenge of physical battle against a mountain.

After my strongest fall behind me I rest, and we take respite on the cliffs. To myself I call Scheravasana, and she is pensive with worries; I question her on this, but she does not speak, it is the petulance of her sex upon her. And from Apollion's word in my ear, it has come to her that in the deferred week of weddings, I will take a bride of the city we conquer. Perhaps, the Queen of Amazons! This figment of folklore makes me smile again, and yet again, and I laugh to myself. My queen of Amazons, in my imaginings, is somewhat smaller in the breast than my thin girl, somewhat larger of stature, and far more muscular.