The old man was peering intently at the shelves. 'I'll have to admit that he's a very competent scholar.'Isn't he just a librarian?' Garion asked, 'somebody who looks after books?'That's where all the rest of scholarship starts, Garion. All the books in the world won't help you if they're just piled up in a heap.
Zakath stared at the floor. 'I suddenly feel very helpless,' he admitted, 'and I don't like the feeling. I've been rather effectively dethroned, you know. This morning I was the Emperor of the largest nation on earth; this afternoon, I'm going to be a vagabond.'You might find it refreshing,' Silk told him lightly.Shut up, Kheldar,' Zakath said almost absently. He looked back at Polgara. 'You know something rather peculiar?'What's that?'Even if I hadn't given my word, I'd still have to go to Kell. It's almost like a compulsion. I feel as if I'm being driven, and my driver is a blindfolded girl who's hardly more than a child.'There are rewards,' she told him.Such as what?'Who knows? Happiness, perhaps.'He laughed ironically. 'Happiness has never been a driving ambition of mine, Lady Polgara, not for a long time now.'You may have to accept it anyway,' She smiled. 'We aren't allowed to choose our rewards any more than we are our tasks. Those decisions are made for us.
The place had enormous possibilities. He realized that at once. The stream, of course, was perfect for sailing toy boats, for skipping stones, and, in the event of failing inspiration, for falling into. Several of the trees appeared to have been specifically designed for climbing, and one huge, white old birch overhanging the stream promised the exhilarating combination of climbing a tree and falling into the water, all at one time.
A great blow it was,' he said in expensive tones, 'worthy of the mightiest warrior and truly struck upon the nose of the foe. The bright blood flew, and the enemy was dismayed and overcame. Like a hero, Garion stood over the vanquished, and, like a true hero, did not boast nor taunt his fallen opponent, but offered instead advice for quelling that crimson blood. with simple dignity then, he quit the field, but the bright-eyed maid would not let him depart unrewarded for his valor. hastily, she pursued him and fondly clasped her snowy arms about his neck. And there she lovingly bestowed that single kiss that is the true hero's greatest reward. Her eyes flamed with admiration, and her chaste bosom heaved with newly wakened passion. But modest Garion innocently departed and tarried not to claim those other sweet rewards the gentle maid's fond demeanor so clearly offered. And thus the adventure ended with our hero tasting victory but tenderly declining victory's true compensation.
Garion,' she said very calmly, 'the universe knew your name before that moon up there was spun out of the emptiness. Whole constellations have been waiting for you since the beginning of time.'I didn't want them to, Aunt Pol.'There are those of us who aren't given that option, Garion. There are things that gave to be done and certain people who have to do them. It's as simple as that.'He smiled rather sadly at her flawless face and gently touched the snowy white lock at her brow. Then, for the last time in his life, he asked the question that had been on his lips since he was a tiny boy. 'Why me, Aunt Pol? Why me?'Can you possibly think of anyone else you'd trust to deal with these matters, Garion?'He had not really been prepared for that question. It came at him in stark simplicity. Now at last he fully understood. 'No,' he sighed, 'I suppose not. Somehow it seems a little unfair, though. I wasn't even consulted.'Neither was I, Garion,' she answered. 'But we didn't have to be consulted, did we? The knowledge of what we have to do is born into us.