The following scene came to me under unusual circumstances. It might eventually be integrated into a larger story but this is all for now.
Though shackled The Hero stood proud and resolute, ready for what ever The King was preparing. He had already been cut, burned and worse in his training. What difference was it to face these again?
From the hall creaking a clanging noises came followed by foot steps, then whispering to the guards through the door. In came four more guards accompanying The King and a short, fat foreigner. The King waited at the far wall while the fat man approached The Hero and took from his pockets a string, knotted for measuring, a pencil, paper and an abacus. He proceeded to quietly scrutinize The Hero for several minutes, writing down measurements, doing calculations and finally compiling a list. His hands were unusually soft his akin gaze was the same shown by a locksmith at work.
“I suppose,” said The King, stepping forward, “that you expected a tiresome routine where I beg for your secrets while inflicting new and exotic injuries?” The Hero stared on with nothing to say. “Like you my ambition is matched by a love of simplicity. My resources are large, my patience is long, my time is valuable and my interest in what you have to say is very small. My friend, a physician, has calculated exactly how much food to live here. The torture shall be only receiving three quarters of that sum. If you want more tell the guards you are ready to talk. I have important duties elsewhere. Good day.”