07 - Chapter 7 - Terms of His Honor
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Terms Of His Honor 




Chapter  7 - Part 6





Rhemuth, that same night:

The stableman lay on the ground, unconscious. Festil gave him barely a thought, save to make certain he was strong enough to sustain the current conversation.

The image of his brother, Lajos, shimmered in the chill night air before him. *I want this settled and done,* Lajos said sharply, pursing his thin lips. *All this waiting about is making my captains restless.*

*And do your captains think they can fight two wars on two fronts at the same time?* Festil let some of his annoyance spill into the conversation. *If you would like to challenge both the R'Kassai and the forces of Howicce and Llanned, you may be my guest. I will wait to pick up the pieces when at last they fall.*

*Of course I do not wish that kind of a war. That is why I need you to get our dear great-nephew into his marriage bed and then into the crown of Howicce as quickly as possible.* Lajos smiled, an expression that would not have looked out of place on the Devil's best agent. *I would not be at all against disposing of the old king as soon as he's done his part by giving us his daughter.*

*And don't you think such a move would alert the rest of our prey to our plans?*

Lajos shrugged. *If God in His wisdom did not mean for them to be sheared, he would not have made them sheep. Still, we can afford no delay.*

*And Albion should be here by the end of the week. I have also summoned his future bride to attend me.* Festil checked his stableman again. The man's heart was beating erratically. *This one won't last much longer. I will contact you as soon as Albion returns.*

Lajos nodded. *How I do love family reunions. Please give our dear great-nephew his mother's best regards.*

*Just be certain you do her no harm. The Church is likely to become difficult should you impale one of its' abbesses.*

*The day I tremble in fear before men in dresses is the day I am no longer fit to wear this crown.* Lajos let his scorn echo in Festil's mind, making his brother wonder when the ax would fall his way. *As soon as our dear sister manages to give the Trallijan a male heir that can survive more than a year we can make her a widow, and have the Forcinn states at our feet.*

*I had best end this before I am too drained to finish the evening.* Festil gave Lajos a short bow, then let the connection die. He checked the stableman again. The stillness in the man's throat told him all he needed to know.

As he left the stable Festil wondered where Lajos's ambitions would end. Once all of the eleven kingdoms were at last united under their control, would his brother be willing to share power or would the lure of a lone crown prove too strong?

Festil knew the answer as well as he knew himself. He would never share such power. After all, when God put this opportunity before him He could only mean for Festil alone to rule. And, with the help of his idiot brother Lajos and some judicious marriages, the goal lay within his grasp.

Of course, he realized Lajos was thinking the same thing. That made it all the more important that he, Festil, move first.



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