|"Come in, ambassador Vargas, how did the Dragon react to our news?" Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, asked raising his aquiline nose from the stack of papers.
Vargas shivered; however, he delivered a perfect bow as he stopped on the expensive carpet placed in front of the desk covered in intricate carvings.
"Not very well, your majesty." he answered and gulped recalling the rage that seized the Dragon at the news.
"Do tell, ambassador. Are the rumors true? Please have a seat, you look flushed."
Vargas sat heavily, wiped his brow and threaded his gouty fingers through his graying hair.
"The Dragon invited me to dine with him. Two armor-clad soldiers with gleaming spears stood behind him."
Matthias ceased writing his letter and stood tall as worry etched his face. Silence seized the large audience hall, and Vargas knew he had his full attention.
"He then asked me if I knew why I was there. We both know why. My mind raced in search of an answer that would save my life."
"What did you tell him?" Matthias asked with an excitement Vargas rarely saw in the Hungarian king.
"My Lord, should I have been responsible for something worthy of death, do as you please, for you are the best judge and in that case you would not be responsible for my death, but I alone." Vargas quoted.
"I am just starting to grasp your skill, ambassador."
Vargas smiled in sly gratitude and decided that it was the moment to broach the true issue.
"We can't keep doing this, your majesty, how would we answer to the Pope for the funds he meant to aid the Dragon?"
Matthias replied with an equally sly smile.
"Of course we can, ambassador."
Vargas remained quiet and bowed in assent.
He was king.
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