Chapter Twenty-Three

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Lakeland/Calmondak Treaty Map

King Thorbjorn of Lakeland had several sons. His wives had always been able to produce heirs - that is male children. Thus, there was never any question that one of his sons would inherit the kingdom. However, it was not likely to be Prince William. Something quite catastrophic would have to happen first. This particular prince was well down the list of sons.

Further, the King had just heard the news that his new wife had just conceived another child. Hence, there was due to be an increase in the bounty of children in the Thorbjorn household. Depending on the Queen's disposition, the new child (if it were a boy) could, in fact, out rank William.

Thus, the King began to regret mentioning the prophecy to Prince William. While the piece of land he would be granting the Prince was small, his siblings would be greatly jealous of the King's action. It would make a valuable strategic alliance for Lakeland, but that still would not sit well with his other sons.

The King took heart that Prince William always suffered from bad luck. The pirates and the raiders that roamed the gulf would likely wreak havoc on the newly founded kingdom. Therefore, the new king and queen of this parcel would have to cede back the land to Lakeland when their kingdom failed.

He hated to set up his son to fail, but he had several others. He just had to forestall their jealousy until Prince William and Princess Angelina returned from the kingdom with their plans destroyed. Then all would return to normal in his kingdom.

On the other hand, perhaps Prince William would not return. After all, the Forbidden Zone had claimed several lives. Further, King Jonathan could simply kill Prince William at any time and blame it on the journey. It was quite possible that Prince William would never come back.

He had pondered the events he set in motion since the Prince left on the mission. He would sit and look out the window of his observation tower. He would sit there for hours and ponder the situation. The newly crowned Queen would come in and try to understand, but she had no experience with the weighty issues with which her husband had to cope.

On this particular day, the King saw a suncar approach. A wave of mixed emotions came over him. On one hand, he wanted it to be Prince William. In his way, the King missed his son. On the other hand, the return could very easily set in motion a great conflict within his family.

His heart wanted the suncar to pass by the castle. He could deal with Prince William not returning, but he was not ready for him to return.

Keep going. Keep going..., the King thought to himself.

Nonetheless, he felt his heart sink a little bit as the car pulled up to the castle gate. He watched as the gate opened up and the suncar drove into the courtyard.

Just be a messenger, the King thought.

A crowd gathered around the car. The crowd grew bigger, and they began to cheer. He could hear the shouts that Prince William had returned. More and more people gathered around the car. The crowd became so large that the suncar had to stop well away from the entrance to castle complex. This made it easier for King Thorbjorn to watch the action.

He watched as Princess Angelina exited the driver's side of the vehicle. The cheers went up as the beautiful young woman waved to the crowd. A second figure exited but stayed hunched-over. A few members of the crowd rushed over to support the obviously ill passenger. The injured individual waved to the crowd and another cheer erupted. It was obvious to the King from the cheer that Prince William had returned.

He called for his servants to usher the pair into the main dining room. He ordered a large feast to be prepared. The return of the Prince was a cause for much celebration. He did not have anything planned, as he did not know when (or if) his son would return. However, the castle was always ready for an impromptu celebration. Thus, the King set the wheels in motion.

The King put on some celebratory clothes and made his way to the large dining hall. He entered and saw the Prince sitting at the table with his head on his hands. It was obvious at first glance that the Prince was in no shape for celebration.

"I can make it," insisted the Prince as he looked up with a droop in his eyes.

"He has been saying that quite a bit," added the Princess.

"If it is too much," the King said in an assuring tone. "We can have this event later."

"I can make it," replied the Prince confidently yet wearily.

"He cannot," added the Princess. "However, if you bring in some sort of hospital-type bed, he would have a better chance."

"What is wrong with him?" asked the King.

"I can make it," the Prince said putting his head back down on his hands.

"He hit his head pretty hard," the Princess informed the King, "The doctor said he needs his rest."

"Why did you bring him here?" asked the King. "Why did you not let him rest?"

"It is a long story," the Princess answered. "He will be fine. It is likely just a concussion."

"I can make it," the Prince whimpered.

The King ordered a servant to bring a bed into the dining hall. The King himself lifted Prince William onto the bed. The Prince was immediately asleep. He stayed that way for most of the feast. This was all the better for the King. He did not have to delve into The Prophecy, or any of the future for the Prince and Princess. He could simply enjoy the party. He would deal with the ramifications later.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on March 28, 2010 8:51 PM.

"Texas Wildfire" - Chapter 1 was the previous entry in this blog.

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