4. Level Five Score

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."

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