Murmurs erupted in the court hall and everybody was involved in discussion except for Raelynn and Laurier. They were more or less interested in finding out the others' opinions rather than forming their own theory. It was best to listen to others first, weigh the pros and cons of their suggestions and then prepare a complete strategetic plan.
Raelynn was getting so bored staying in the room without doing anything that she had to stifle a yawn many times. She was silently wishing for someone to start the conversation. She wondered how long she could sit still without doing anything and stare at the idiotic people around her. Raelynn turned to her right only to meet Laurier's eyes who was already looking at her and she smiled at him faintly, only to receive a boring shake of the head in return. She nodded at him conveying that she was feeling the same. But what could they do? They could not leave the session halfway as they were in the Lord's court and it would be disrespectful to him as well as to his position to leave in the middle without his orders.
When Raelynn was about to lose her mind, someone she did not recognize stood up making the courtroom go silent at once. He was a man who seemed to be quite young and to be around Raelynn's age. He had ash blonde hair and his tall stature would make any woman swoon but not Raelynn. Even in his normal attire, he seemed to be good looking and attractive. Although Raelynn could not see him clearly from where she was, she could still detect the evilness lurking in his eyes. To her, it appeared as if he had a lot of other hidden intentions in his mind and they were nothing but wicked.
Raelynn narrowed his eyes at him, her mind sending her alarms at the man who was standing with pride in front of everyone. This was the first time she was seeing him and she was already getting bad vibes from even though they had not even spoken to each other. His entire stance screamed of viciousness and Raelynn could not help but be wary of him. She nudged her friend, Laurier, asking him who he was without breaking her gaze at the mysterious man. This was the first time she was seeing him here, in the Lord's courtroom and she was a little perplexed on seeing him.
Laurier sighed seeing his friend's actions. He knew what she was asking and replied to her immediately. "He is Cathal Bringe. He is the newest addition in the courtroom and he is the only one to have passed the Council exam with a Level Five score." As soon as Laurier uttered the words, Raelynn's gaze snapped to him and she widened her eyes not in shock but in wonder. The Council exam was the exam meant for the people who wanted to enter the Lord's ministry. It was the toughest exam anybody could take and there were no restrictions on it. Any male or female who was below forty years of age could take it and the only criteria for it was that they had to be medically fit.
The exam score was calculated based on levels and these levels were the different stages in the examination. Most people could pass Level One and that itself was a great feat. Getting a Level Five was just amazing and Raelynn had known only two people who had done it. One of them was Lord Eldrick himself who was sitting silently right now, waiting for the argument to start. He had taken it just for fun as he wanted to see how difficult it could be. But to everyone's surprise, he had passed it with a Level Five score. Nobody could complain against the judgment being unfair as the Council Exam was not under the Lord's orders. They followed the laws of their own and there was no way the Lord could have cheated in there.
Raelynn was now interested in the man who had secured a Level Five score. He should be formidable to have passed the exam and now, she wanted to know what the man would suggest in the situation they were in. She leaned forward slightly with her eyes fixed on her. Eldrick did not miss this action of hers and he smiled inwardly before he nodded at Cathal to speak.
"My Lord, our enemies have clearly underestimated us by sending us a threat note. Approaching them for a truce right now would only be a waste of time. If they were ready for it, they would not have sent the threat in the first place." The man said, and Raelynn narrowed her eyes as she fell into deep thoughts. This was what she had in mind too. The enemy had some other plans in mind and the kingdom of Volar approaching them for a truce was just the trap they had set for them.
Cathal had given all the reasons she had deduced long ago and she agreed to his suggestion completely. However, that was not the case with the other ministers and commanders. they started to object immediately and a loud uproar erupted in the hall. It became noisy at once and people started to argue amongst themselves, trying to put forth their points first. The only people who remained silent were Raelynn, Laurier and Cathal along with the Lord and his guards.
The Lord waited for the noise to die down on its own. However, as time ticked by, it only grew louder and by now, Eldrick was clearly irked. He closed his eyes before he bellowed in annoyance. "Enough." His powerful voice boomed across the hall and it made the men shut up immediately. The meeting returned to his original decorum with everybody's eyes set on the angry Lord, including Raelynn's. Nobody said a word as they waited for Eldrick to speak.
"I wish to hear one among you who is in favor of a truce to put forth your suggestions. And I expect to get valid reasons to go along with it." The Lord added and everybody looked among themselves before they settled on the senior-most Minister in the Lord's court. One seeing everybody's eyes on him, he gloated inwardly before he stood up slowly.
"What have you got to tell, Minister Rowan?" Lord Eldrick questioned seeing the man stand up. He could notice the pride and arrogance in his eyes when everybody had looked at him.
"My Lord, we have never waged war against any kingdom and it was always them who attacked us first. This is something we have prided upon for long and our wish is to not break this tradition we follow." Everybody in the courtroom, other than Raelynn, Laurier and Cathal nodded at the man's words.
"We could send a truce first and try to resolve the issue peacefully. If things still do not get resolved, we can then wage a war against them." The man said before he gave a bow and sat down in his seat. Now, everybody waited for the Lord to give his orders. Although there were a lot of opinions stated in every meeting, it was always the Lord's words that held the ultimate power.
"Let me ask what Commander Raelynn has to say in this matter." The Lord said suddenly and everybody's eyes shifted to the only woman in the courtroom. It was finally her turn now and she would show them what she was made up of.
Raelynn stood up slowly and ran her eyes across the courtroom before it settled on Cathal Bringe for a second. She stared at him, his eyes not giving away anything before she averted them. "My Lord, I agree with Minister Cathal Bringe. We need to declare war on kingdom of Hollis as early as possible."
"We need to declare a war as early as possible," Raelynn suggested without any change in her expression. She fixed her eyes on Lord Eldrick, not caring about the looks the other people around her giving. As soon as she spoke the words, loud whispers erupted in the hall and everybody started to chide the only woman in the room. She even heard one of the ministers nearby scold her quite harshly."Women," He scoffed. "They have no idea how to deal with the situation and they think themselves to be great. This is the reason why women should not be allowed to enter the battlefield or the courtroom. They will just ruin us." The man said to another man sitting beside him and received a nod in return. They then started to laugh as though they had just shared a good joke among themselves.Laurier who heard the man's words crystal clear could not sit still and he stood up to deal with the disgusting man. However, Raelynn stopped him. She shook her head at him and assured him sil
After warning even man present in the courtroom, Raelynn went back to her seat. However, she continued standing. She was yet to put forth her points towards the Lord. "My Lord, it is best that we declare war on them soon. Our enemy kingdom is using underhand tactics to get to us and I am sure everybody here to knows about it too. So, why should we waste time in sending a treaty of peace to them when we are sure that they will not accept it?"Minister Rowen could not sit still anymore after hearing this. "Young Lady, we are concerned about the lives of our soldiers as well as our people. We could try our attempt at the truce. If things do not go well, we can wage a war against them." Everybody accepted his words this time and they nodded at him."If everybody agrees to this solution, then I have no problems with it. But let me warn you beforehand that I will not take responsibility if things go wrong in the future. Also, I have something else to inform the Lord." Raelyn
Raelynn hugged Eldrick and the man too reciprocated it with equal vigor and affection. How long had it been since the siblings met each other?"I missed you, Brother," Raelynn whispered as she pushed herself closer towards her brother. She always felt secure in his arms. After their parents' death, it had been Eldrick who had taken care of Raelynn. She had been only seven years when her father was killed by an assassin while her brother was thirteen. Their mother could not tolerate the heartbreak of losing her beloved husband and she fell into depression.Barely a year had passed since their father's death, their mother too left them. Since then, it had only been the two of them and they took care of each other dearly."I missed you too, Raelynn." The Lord replied back with a smile on his face. After his sister decided to join the army, he had been left alone in the palace and he missed her more than anything. He did not have any interest in anything and y
After conversing with her brother, Raelynn reluctantly took her leave from him. It was not every day that she got the opportunity to speak to him and now that she had found a chance, it had ended sooner than the siblings had expected. Eldrick too was not ready to see his sister depart. But he knew that she had her responsibilities and he could not stop her, even if he wanted.Lord Eldrick's chambers were in the far interiors of the palace and other than his trusted servants, nobody else was allowed to enter this part of the palace. So, Raelynn did not have to worry about getting caught wandering in the private quarters of the Lord. Everybody she came across knew who she was as well as her relationship with their Lord. So, they bowed to her and greeted her respectfully.However, the knights guarding the other locations did not know about it and as soon as Raelynn appeared from inside, they gave her one scrutinizing look before they averted their gazes. Raelynn too did n
"The man is planning something malicious. Send someone trustworthy to keep an eye on him." Raelynn ordered, her gaze cold and indifferent. Laurier could even sense her unhappiness from where he was and he looked at her wondering if she had found something."Did you get that vibe too?""Totally. He does not seem like a good man. There is something running in his mind and he approached us with some other intentions which I am unable to comprehend." Raeylnn answered, making sure to keep her voice as low as possible. The palace was not a secure place, especially when there were many who wanted to take over Eldrick's throne. So, she had to be careful about what she spoke even if it was something that meant no harm to anybody."He seems to be over-friendly at our first meeting and that is something not sitting well with me," Laurier added, his lips quirking up with a smile. 'As expected, Raelynn was not that easy to fool.'Raelynn's thoughts evaporated when she
"In that case, what if I say that I like you?" Raelynn shot her question, her eyes fixed on Laurier. She observed the changes in his expressions from confusion to shock and finally, it settled on surprise. He looked utterly flabbergasted and his jaws dropped seeing Raelynn's expecting gaze. Nobody said a word for a long time.While Laurier did not know what to say, Raelynn was waiting for him to speak something. Minutes passed and Raelynn could not take the silence any longer. "Say something." Her voice broke Laurier's stupor and he blinked twice to see if he was hallucinating. He wondered if it was just a dream, a beautiful dream that would end right after his sleep broke. Raelynn could sense his dilemma and giggled. "It's not a dream. I am real, we are real."Only then did Laurier speak, "How? Whe-When? Really?" His tone changed from shock to joy in a few seconds and Raelynn too could hear it."Yes. Laurier, I like you." Seeing Laurier's positive reactions, Ra
The new couple returned to their battalion after spending some more time with each other. Laurier could not believe that he had got the love of his life and that she too felt the same way towards him. Everything felt surreal to him. Moreover, what was highly shocking was that the Lord knew about them and he was happy for them. What more did he need?The knights at the arena saw their Commander and the Knight Commander return. They could feel something to be different about them with the way they were smiling and exchanging glances. But they could not point out what. Raelynn immediately went to her study as she had to prepare a strategy in case a war broke out between the two kingdoms. While Laurier stayed back to convey the information they had discussed during the meeting. The two people had decided to keep their relationship a secret for now until the issue was resolved, although Eldrick already knew about it.Meanwhile, at the palace.After all the commanders
Minister Oakley immediately got to action trying to sort the issue that had popped up out of nowhere. He first contacted the head of merchants who he was all too familiar with. The man was in his fifties and he had been trading and selling his goods in the Kingdom of Volar for quite some time now. The man was well known around the kingdom and all the merchants had unanimously voted him as their leader so that he could put forth their requests before the Lord when needed."Sir Fergus, how is the trade surplus this month? I wonder if there is any improvement or has it been stable like the last few months." Minister Oakley questioned as he took a sip of his tea. Oakley was with the head of merchants, Sir Fergus. The man seemed to have the built of a knight and just by his stance alone, anybody could make out how trained his body was. However, not many people knew that the man was actually a knight and had served Lord Eldrick's father once upon a time."Minister Oakley, there