Spring, year 540
When the devoted general Belisarius approached Katlanovo, he didn’t have any high expectations. “Plague does not choose either by gender or by merit” – he perplexed himself.
When he left his emperor Justinian Prima three months ago, he was half passed on the other side. …
The night they called upon him at the royal Palace he first saw the sovereign as a human being.
Dark in the eyes and lips, just as those ill people in the poorest neighborhoods of Constantinople, his emperor gave him a sign to come closer.
“Take me home” – his pallid lips whispered – “If I can get well, the only place it can happen is in Macedonia”
The road that devoted Belisarius took twice was not a short one at all. But it was nothing compared to how long the path from the bridge over Pcinja to that two-storey edifice over the spa seemed to him.
With his helmet off, prepared to take the heaviest of all consignments, the royal crown that he was supposed to return to Constantinople, Belisarius stood in front of the double winged gate.
When the heavy shafts moved, the morning sunshine got through on the other side and callously walloped his face.
As the gates were widening, thus was his faith in Justinian Prima’s words: “Katlanovo is the fire-pot where the Sun is born, if anything can cure me then it is there, between the Sun and the water.”
There, through the rock, the earth and the trees that melted under the morning glimmer, through the water evaporation in which the rock was boiling and the rock in which the water was boiling, he perceived the whole splendor and immaculate masculinity of his master.
Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Justinianus or Justinian Prima, stood in front of him with his arms wide open and a smile saying “Haven’t I told you?!.”