At times it was difficult for Nick to maintain his hatred for his core leader. Keo’s natural amiability and his unconditional acceptance of others made him a decent person. Though they were both ultimately pawns on a playing board being pushed about by some unknown hand for the players enjoyment or benefit, they were still enemy pawns and one could not succeed while the other remained in play.
If Nick and Keo had grown up together, they probably would have been friends. But they didn’t, and it was Keo’s very existence that brought on the death of Nick’s parents—had the other boy not become a threat, his father and mother would not have died at his own hand. Though he would have been left to scrape out a living as a street orphan without them, murdering his own family would have been avoided.
Still, kings and queens and wizards and knights all moved about the board and with each of their moves, the pawns were shifted as well. How long would he remain a pawn? Was Keo in fact a pawn as well or something much more powerful in disguise, or in embryo? If Nick could figure a way to eliminate the boy sooner, rather than later, he wouldn’t have to find out.