Fall of Kings: The Baton Rises

(Just a quick one this morning, but the next scene is some 3000 words long, so I don’t feel as bad as I ought to about this. We’re picking up speed here… I was really happy about the feedback that I got on the last section. Thanks again for joining me on this journey! Word Count: 54,522)

Edmond strutted down the hall towards his meeting with the coronation organizer, a certain jovial spring in his step that only occurred when he was getting his way. His mane of poker straight jet-black hair hung down past the center of his back in gentle layers, swinging in time to his steps.

His mind was occupied by violin strings, champagne bubbles, and the skirts of exotic women. For that reason, the man in the corner needed to clear his throat rather pointedly before grabbing Edmond’s shoulder and pulling him aside.

“What in the-” He cried in surprise before a hand clapped itself firmly over his mouth, reducing the sound to a startled mumble.

“Hush, your Majesty. Not here.” A low voice whispered, leading him into a side chamber off the main corridor.

This room was bathed in shadows, and a shadowy figure drew close to the room’s one light source – an exterior lancet that allowed a narrow slit of light to slice the room in half. Even in the half-light, Edmond was able to recognize the thick, curly salt-and-pepper locks of Archduke Xiu from the North Eastern shores. During his father’s reign, Xiu had lived in the capitol and advised the king on many matters, but since that time he’d returned to his home province to handle the growing threat of piracy.

His blue-gray eyes flickered with intensity as he took in the fragile snowflakes that drifted from gathering stormclouds with cautious purpose and covered the mountains outside the window. Castle Fortinbras dwelt in perpetual winter, residing at the northernmost point of the Northern lands.

The Archduke opened his mouth several times as if to speak, but no words came out. He was unintentionally doing a rather fine impression of a dying fish, sans the whole ‘flopping about’ aspect.

“Archduke Xiu, while I’d love to stay and play kidnappee, I am tardy for a meeting with the coronation organizer. So if you happen to be chewing on some words, I suggest you spit them out.” Edmond drawled, folding his arms over his chest.

“I have a message for you, sire.” Archduke Xiu finally managed.

“So I gathered,” Edmond replied dryly.

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