Let me tell you a little about my plan. I wanted to kill Cyrus, but I needed to enjoy it. It was revenge. Do you remember? He and Rustem had my ears chopped off, which was painful and most of all disfiguring. Now I thought that I must humiliate the so-called great king. The road to that great humiliation was to expose his greatest fear. Ah, yes! I can know a person’s greatest fear, and I exploit that. My dear reader, think of it. What do you fear the most? Do you fear suffocation? Do you fear spiders or cockroaches? Do you fear insanity? Do you fear being exposed for what you really are? Oh yes, I can find that fear in your heart and use it against you. But for now, let me tell you my plans for Cyrus the Great.
I have explained that he had a fear of being exposed as a normal human. Indeed, being the King of Kings, he had the reputation of being god-like. A Greek visitor once commented that Cyrus the Great was indeed the greatest monarch, for he seemed to have no bodily needs. He never had to void waste. This became his fear. Cyrus feared that someone might find out that he was a normal person who shat like we all do.
Cyrus had a solitary room people called the “Quiet Room.”
This room was designed by a skilled craftsman who hid in it a throne that could be converted into a commode when needed. It was a lovely little private house that opened in places to the sky, so that a variety of plants could grow in there too. The king tended to these himself, for no one, not the queens, nor the princes, what to speak of common gardeners, were allowed entrance. Once the building was complete, Cyrus had the craftsman killed, so that his secret would be safe.
I also wanted him to commit a serious political blunder that would stain his good name in the future. There is nothing more evil than to tarnish a man’s reputation, is there? Ha! My plan was simple. I will explain it tomorrow, for now I am busy. I am not a lazy man. I like to help my host. I caught two monstrous snakes yesterday. Brimming with venom and evil, these snakes had been eating birds and mammals that humans fancy as pets. I paralyzed them with a spell then I got distracted watching two birds fight. I forgot about them, but when I returned the next morning, rats had gotten their revenge by eating them alive. Most amusing.