Chapter 27: Chapter 2
Lord Balon was seated at the council chambers waiting for the king, he had news to tell him concerning what was titled as the upcoming war between Prince Lucian Mithandir and Prince Castellan for the throne of Prophis. He was an outsider with no knowledge of the two kingdoms, and he was also new to being hand of the king.
Last night he spent a significant amount of time with his wife, princess Sansa and asked her how to be the best hand. This was the most significant task hes ever done in his life apart from being a lord of sheep and peasants.
“I need to better myself, can you tell me how he asked his wife.
Princess Sansa was half asleep, exhausted after a day of making sure the letter was sent to her father in Lazica as per Lord Balruss request. “Huh...” she asked feeling like she was being bothered.
“Your fathers hand, what was his name”
“Lord High James, of Waterland”
“Were you close to him” continued Lord Balon.
Things seemed to be confusing for Princess Sansa “Why am I being questioned late at night while I should be sleeping. I had a long today my love”
Feeling ignored and sad, Lord Balon let his wife sleep but he didnt. He wanted to prove himself to be useful, Lord Angun was already watching and waiting to replace him by all means. “Its either I rise to the occasion as the hand or cease to exist” he said to himself.
So the opportunity for him to rise was through council to his king, proof that he was paying attention to how things were going and he can be useful. After all he had nothing else to do. So he waited inside the council chambers for Artemis for hours, when he was tired he decided to walk out and went straight to the gardens for a walk.
All this time Lord Angun was watching because he was also in the garden, and then he was joined by Lord Balrus and the master of coins Lord Akirbus – with an exception of Lord Degan and they would be what was known as “the four”
The first one to speak was lord Akirbus “Careful Lord Angun, even a blind man can notice your hatred towards the outsider”
“I dont hate him. I just simply want to understand what his motives are, and we all know they arent meant to strengthen the crown”
“We have barely given him time to prove himself”
Lord Balrus intervened “I dont think we need any more time hes already proven he isnt here to serve the realm. And we all know my lords, we serve for the pleasure of the realm” he said.
As usual Lord Balrus was a man of riddles and puzzles, he never speaks or does thing plainly. He likes to play with peoples minds, giving them puzzles so they can spend more time trying to understand them.
When he saw the confusion look on his two friends, he sighed and revealed the secret “One of my spies brought me a letter. It was meant to reach the small kingdom of Lazica, purposely written by his wife princess Sansa”
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“Kingdom of Lazica I have never heard of such place” said Lord Angun.
“Do not bother yourself with it my lord, its a small kingdom far from here. The princess was exiled with her father after she wed Lord Balon, a penniless rogue and famously known as the lord of sheep and peasants”
“What did the letter say” asked Lord Angun so inclined to overthrow Lord Balon, however they stopped gossiping when they all noticed Artemis coming towards their way with Aurora by his side.
Another person who was looking down at the gardens was princess Aeryn. She felt like ever since her brother became king, their bond kept getting weaker and weaker each day. They used to spend nights together talking and playing games, the daylight for things such as baking cakes, running on their gardens and simply enjoying each others company.
But now there was another girl in Artemiss life, a girl of common breed without royal blood in Artemiss arms taking every chance away from her. Princess Aeryns lady maid, Misande noticed how discomforted the princess was looking down at her brother. She wanted to ask, but she figured she should just leave it alone.
Artemis reached his lords and smiled “Good afternoon my lords” he said charmingly.
“Your Grace” All of them said and bowed softly.
“Its a good day, isnt it my lords”
Lord Angun quickly replied “Indeed Your Grace. Lady Kholin” then he turned to Aurora.
Aurora held the same smile “My lords” she seemed to be happy too. This happiness has nothing to do with the fact that they will be engaged soon, that was wide clear from the start. It came from a bunch of orgasms they had since last night, and that continued till just a few hours earlier when Artemis found himself spilling his seeds involuntary while biting his teeth.
Thats why they always say sex is healthy, it boosts up endorphins and makes you happy. It seemed all of the lords knew exactly the source of Artemiss happiness even if they didnt say it loud.
“Are we set for the houses tour tomorrow my lords, of course I understand Lord Balrus wont make it. How about you two” asked Artemis.
Lord Angun was the one who replied “We will join you, Your Grace. However, Im afraid Lord Dagen has taken ill and he wont be able to be with us”
“Thats fine, I only need his support for me to wed Lady Kholin. Thats all”
“We all support you, our king but Im not sure if our s do count. We are just what people call the four. We have no real power to grant the official just because we sit at the kings council. The real power of Maldonia comes from those ten houses you are ought to visit Your Grace”
The truth was wide and clear, even though Artemis chose to ignore it, the more he thought about it, the more he was scared. What if the lords of the ten houses had already chose a wife for him He will reject her but what consequences will that have
Not only was Artemis full of thoughts as he conversed with his lords, now also princess Aeryn was terrified for whats to come.
“You seem off princess, are you alright” asked Misande, the princesss lady maid.
“I am alright Misande, go back to choosing the dress for the farewell showing tomorrow” replied Aeryn still her eyes glued at her brother.
“Are you worried about the king”
“I worry about him every second”
“But you shouldnt my princess. Artemis is a fine king; hes proven that already”
Princess Aeryn scoffed, then she turned to look at her lady maid “Hes proven that already By what, intending to marry a servant with no name or benefit to the crown” she asked.
“Are you talking about Lady Kholin”
Aeryn sighed, she seemed to not be in the mood. She asked Misande to stay behind while she took the stairs to the outside. She intended to join Artemis and Aurora.
When Artemis saw his sister walking towards him, suddenly his smile grew “Sister, I havent seen you lately at court” then he kissed her cheeks “I started to fear perhaps youve elope with some lord...” this was a joke, Lord Balrus, Lord Angun and Lord Akirbus all laughed and then excused themselves.
Aurora also excused herself and walked away with the lords, but she didnt entirely leave the gardens. There was a place just near an olive tree, she stood there and waited for Artemis while being entertained by Lord Balruss jokes.
“You are set for your first tour of the houses; father would be proud” said princess Aeryn.
Artemis smiled softly “Where have you been Are you alright”
“A good brother would have called in on his sisters chambers and ask to see if she was alright. But I see you have been distracted...” Aeryn looked at Aurora.
“Aurora and I are to be engaged when I get back. I hope you may find it in your heart to like her, she is a really good person if you get to know her”
Princess Aeryn wasnt so easily convinced “She is a servant! A servant with no name, no ties to any great house which will solidify the kingdom. Your marriage to her will be as good as a piece of trash -” Then the princess came to a halt, she seemed to be having a lot of words to say yet she knew she was in the presence of her king.
“I know you think you are making a good decision but you are not. All the lords of ten houses will not accept you taking a servant for a wife leaving their unwed royal daughters. Our mother was the daughter of Lord Horriss, from house Horriss, the most powerful house and richest in Maldonia. Uncle Aethelind, the current lord of House Horriss will expect you to continue the tradition and marry his daughter, you deny him that and there will be a war. Is that what the sort of king you want to be brother”