By this time, Cyrus the Great was getting a reputation for being a bit zany—ha! After all, I was in his head. When he called his army together to move against the Massagetae, his advisors, especially the now adult Mihr, were against the campaign. It would be a disaster, they told him, but he cared not. So they left for the long journey.
I have told you that Cyrus wanted to keep up the fantasy of his being god-like. People believed that he never defecated or even passed urine. Now, as the trip dragged on, he found it harder and harder to arrange a situation where he could relieve himself unseen. He became very constipated. This was my plan, of course.
The day arrived when we were very close to our destination. Our scouts reported that in the absence of the Queen, who had gone to secure allies, the foolish prince had tried to usurp the kingdom. Now the army of the Massagetae was in disarray. Cyrus ordered an attack, and most of the army was destroyed. This was very good, he thought, but he had not considered Queen Apuyani, who was to return with her allies.
The night after the massacre of the Massagetae army there was feasting and merriment in the Persian camp. By the time the soldiers had retired for the night, they were quite drunk.
The dawn was just breaking when Cyrus heard the war cries and lunged from his bed. He dressed hurriedly, for there was no way that he would appear in disarray. His guards would hold them off. He needed to urinate, but there was nothing that could be done about that now. His headache throbbed and he thought about his comfortable garden Quiet Room where he could sit in peace and silence.
His charger was saddled and pawing the ground when Cyrus appeared from his tent. The soldier holding the reins looked pale and panicky.
“It’s the Massagetae, Your Highness, and they have allies, their kin, the Paralatae Scythians. Our army is much larger, but they have attacked without warning,” the soldier’s voice broke as if he were a teenaged boy.
Cyrus was annoyed, but he felt a twang of sympathy for the young man, who could be among the dead when this was over. Taking the reins, he reassured him, “they are only barbarians without the slightest idea of how to conduct an attack. Let’s send them to their barbarian afterworld without delay so they can enjoy their reward!”