Kingdom Tales: Balance

By Michael Robinson III All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Action

Chapter 6

Lillian stays in the throne room and watches as everyone disbands whispering among themselves. She notices the worried and or shocked expressions on their faces. Turning to where Prince Winston stands with his mother she waits for the queen and him to finish their exchange before making her way to the prince. No doubt the queen is talking to him about his decree. He ends up walking in her direction.

“That is some surprise you sprang on all of us.”, Lillian states as she meets Prince Winston. He faces her fully before speaking.

“Just wait and see. I know what I’m doing... Mostly.”, Prince Winston replies to her though adding the last part under his breath with a sideways glance.

“I don’t really know about these sorts of things so I am going to have to take your word for it.”, Lillian admits. “Do you honestly think that the people will accept this?”, she goes on a bit unnerved for the young king to be.

“At first; I doubt there won’t be confusion, but the people trust their king. They’ll at least give it a chance.”, Prince Winston informs Lillian. A look of worry comes upon her face, but she knows Prince Winston has a point. The people will give him a chance. She sighs heavily.

“Fine. I’ll stand with you.”, Lillian informs him. “What should I do?”, she goes on with reaffirmed determination. A thoughtful look appears on Prince Winston’s face. A moment passes before Lillian receives an answer from him.

“Work on keeping the will of the people with the crown. We need to make sure we keep up a positive image with the people. A good place to start is to be among the people.”, Prince Winston says to her finally. “You can get a head start on that while I’m hammering this decree out."

Lillian admits to herself that is something she could do and that Prince Winston is right. They did need to have a connection with the people. It is one of the things that make the Agion monarchy unique compared to others.

“Leave it to me.”, Lillian replies excited and grateful that the prince had given her a way to be apart of his plan. “Where are you off to now?”, she goes on.

“I have a meeting. After that I have a little planning before lunch. Then I’ll be hearing grievances and then more planning.”, Prince Winston informs her. Lillian nods her head in understanding.

“Alright I’ll meet you when you hear the grievances and hopefully have a plan to run by you.”, Lillian replies.

“And if not then just tell me at dinner.”, the prince tells her. With a nod to each other Lillian departs from him. “Malinda!”, she calls to her head maid servant and friend who quickly follows behind her. She decides to head to her room and think of a propaganda plan for them.

“So what is the plan?”, Malinda asks as they make their way out the room.

“Prince Winston wants me to start planning how to maintain the crown’s image in the eyes of the people.”, Lillian informs Malinda.

“Ooh...so you’re in charge of the public image for the monarchy.”, Malinda says grasping the situation.

“Yes.”, Lillian replies with a smile as they turn a corner. “With Vincent gone I have a chance to prove my usefulness to Prince Winston.”, Lillian goes on pleased. Malinda looks to Lillian with intrigue.

“You must want to put your all in this project.”

“Of course and not just for me, but for all of us.”, Lillian replies. Malinda stops where she is.

“Will you see Vincent no longer as a threat to your happiness once you succeed?”, Malinda asks. Her face is serious. Lillian stops too and turns to face her friend.

“Sure, but that doesn’t mean I’ll let my guard down. I will admit it kinda pushes me to do good in all I do.”, Lillian confesses.

“Hmm...what will you do this time then?”, Malinda inquiries. Lillian looks thoughtful for a moment.

“I’m not sure.”, Lillian answers turning around to continue on her way. “Let’s wait until we get to the room.”, she goes on before Malinda could provide a response.

When they arrive Lillian sits at her desk. Malinda sits in a counter cornered chair to Lillian’s left facing her.

“I think I know where I can start with this public image thing.”, Lillian says to Malinda. “It’s been awhile since the events that took place in Gordowe. I thinks it’s time for someone to visit there and show that we haven’t forgotten what happened.”, Lillian shares.

“Now that could work!”, Malinda replies impressed with Lillian’s idea. “It would be even better for you since Prince Winston and Vincent are the ones that lead the operation to free the town. By you making the trip this time you contribute your support to the people.”, Malinda goes on.

Lillian thinks to herself that what Malinda said is true. Up until now she hadn’t done anything that really presented herself as the kingdom’s future queen. She just been using the protection of the royal family to escape her past, but now she had to step up and return the favor. It is then a thought comes into Lillian’s mind.

“Maybe I could find out somethings about the bandits while I’m there too. I know Prince Winston is working on finding those responsible for what happened to my family, but I need to get back to finding out myself.”, Lillian says half to herself.

“You mean those hired by Lord Argon?”, Malinda clarifies.

“Yes. Prince Winston thinks that those responsible may have even been present in Gordowe or affiliated with them given how large the group was.”, Lillian tells her.

“Could be... It is definitely a place to start back up. All the surviving bandits are in jail in Gordowe except for the leader who is here.”, Malinda replies.

“Is he still alive?”, Lillian asks as the light of a forming idea appears in her eyes.

“As far as I know. He was to be trialed by the king, but of course it wasn’t meant for king Erben to be the one to trial him.”, Malinda says. Lillian places a hand under her chin.

“I wonder if it’s possible for me to speak to him.”

“Why?”

“I have a thought I want to follow up on.”, Lillian says without facing Malinda. Instead she allows the wheels in her head to turn.

Prince Winston and Vincent came up with the idea that someone had been guiding the bandits and somehow got them to do what they did as far as occupation. Although neither could think of who would do such a thing, but I think I do.

Finally she brings her eyes up to Malinda again.

“First let’s get some help and hammer out this visit to Gordowe.”, she says. Malinda nods in agreement and follows Lillian out the room.

.....................

Winston waits for Daniel to be brought to the castle in the throne room. He first met his friend during one of his outings into Lumorra. It was the first time he had done so without Vincent, for he had just begun knight training. It was also the first time Winston had gone out with his parents permission, though that part was unknown to them.

Winston stands in the middle of the room and faces the doors as they open to let in Daniel and his escort. Daniel wears a long sleeved, blue, long shirt. The end of the sleeves and collar are trimmed brown. He has shoulder length brown hair that is laid back. Unlike most he also has green eyes which is rare among Agion’s people.

“Nice to see you again, my friend. I hope I didn’t pull you away from anything important.”, Winston greets him as he walks up.

“Nice to see you. Don’t worry I knew you would call for me eventually, my prince or should I say king.”, Daniel greets stopping in front of Winston. His face then turns somber. “Sorry to hear about your father by the way.”, he adds. Winston smiles slightly.

“Thank you.”, Winston responds. He sends the escort away leaving only the guards, Daniel, and himself. Daniel was nineteen when they met, but is now twenty-six with a recent birthday. Despite their age difference they became good friends after they met. Winston was even the one to encourage Daniel to pursue inventing and his curiosities. Now Winston is planning on using one of those inventions.

“Did you bring the papers?”, Winston asks him. Daniel reaches into his pouch and withdraws a set of papers bound together.

“Right here. These are the notes and blueprints for the printing press.”, Daniel announces presenting the papers. Winston takes them and as he flips through them walks to his throne. He turns his head back and beckons Daniel to follow. As Winston sits Daniel stands in front of him. “How did you come up with this?”, Winston asks looking up to Daniel.

Daniel takes a breath. “The church has been looking for a way to make more books in Ganca. Specifically the bible. That’s who this was originally meant for.”, Daniel says referring to the papers of the printing press. A curious look comes across Winston’s face.

“What would Ganca need more books for?”, Winston replies.

“Ganca’s monarch has been working on improving education in his kingdom. The church as a result called in inventors from all over to make something that could print books faster.”, Daniel explains.

“I thought the church works to suppress the flow of knowledge.”

“It does, but the schools only teach mathematics, reading, and writing. Of course the bible is at the center of it all. I ended up traveling there and being part of the group that is responsible for inventing it.”, Daniel states.

Winston looks back to his friend’s research with an unnerving look in his eyes. Ganca is the third strongest kingdom, but they are also the only kingdom with a naval fleet. Though it was never seen as a threat to Agion or any kingdom. It just protects and monitors Ganca’s fishing vessels from crimes at sea.

“Ganca has always been different from the other kingdoms. It’s people have always seemed more intellectually focused.”, Winston comments half to himself.

Daniel nods his head in agreement. “Apparently my family is from Ganca as well.”, he mentions. Winston stands up from his throne calmly.

“Well that explains a lot.”, Winston says sarcastically, but light heartedly. “Anyway are you sure this will work?”, Winston asks referring to the printing press.

“Positive. I’ve made a prototype already and one version is about to be in use by the church.”, Daniel responds. Winston raises an eyebrow at Daniel’s words.

“What do mean one version?”, he asks. Daniel smiles.

“The version used by the church was the first ever. In comparison to yours it is more difficult to operate. Yours will operate smoother and more efficient by producing multiple copies of the pattern in sections on a larger piece of paper. Those individual sections will then be cut separate. Effectively making more copies of whatever you want. By the way the smaller the section the more copies that can fit.”, Daniel ensures Winston.

“I like the sound of that. Alright, I’ll give you the financial support you need. I want the first up and running as soon as possible.”, Winston tells him. Daniel nods in agreement.

“Consider it done.”

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