A Kings Tale: Heir

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I Hate Politics

Talon yawned leaning heavily on his spear. Between the three of them they were rotating shifts watching Aiden. Each man was on for sixteen hours straight. Eight hours with each partner, and the eight hours off they got was dedicated solely to sleep. Much to the dismay of the three of them; especially Talon, his wife was not taking it well at all.

Aiden liked to occupy his time wondering the castle via the servant corridors, or building his body back up. Something the guards were grateful for since all the nobles were still around. Frankly it was hard to tell who the nobles hated more, them or Aiden. Not that the feeling wasn't mutual anyway. The only people Aiden didn't seem to offend where the servants and the soldiers. Not that it was a bad thing. Sometimes Talon, Biggers, and The Captain could sneak in a nap here or there if Aiden was engaged with someone else. Particularly when he was engaged with the soldier's practice field; were he'd usually burn away most of the day. When they didn't wake up on their own Aiden would 'gracefully' wake them up, much to his amusement more than their own.

"What's on your mind?" The Captain's question jarred Talon's focus back to reality.

"Just wondering when all these nobles are going to leave the castle. There must be at least one member from every noble house and then some here."

"Well at least the prominent males are still here… regardless of age it seems."

"Yes but… I don't think the princess is that old anyway… is she?" Talon wondered. He was fairly young himself, and had only been working in the castle the past couple of years.

"Aye. I've been here since before she was born seventeen years ago." He cleared his throat before getting back on track. "Most of the less prominent houses have left. However until its official the dogs are still going to bark at the door."

"S-o what do you make with what happened with Esodo a week ago?" Talon let out a yawn looking around the near deserted garden.

"Well," The Captain smoothed the horse hair on his spear. "I know they're still around, but…" He looked over at Aiden. The man in question was currently inspecting a series of plants in the garden. He looked like a healthy human again, although he was still a bit on the skinny side, and his hair was shorter than a new recruit's on his first day of training. Not that his ever present companion Rosslyn minded. She sat perched on his shoulders, arms crossed atop his head. "I don't think we'll see them around much if at all. The way I hear it Aiden did quite a number on his face…. Not that anyone is complaining mind you. Esodo and his clan while powerful are less then liked by many of the nobles."

"Just how powerful can a family be that is in such poor standings with the others?" Talon wondered. Politics was never really his forte. He enjoyed the simple pleasures of a soldier. You get told something and you do it, nothing more nothing less.

"Many of the smaller noble houses get bullied by them, but his clan is in control of the Tenók region. Many of the kingdoms most valuable resources can be mined, harvested, or dug up there. Of course you see where the problem lies."

"Since Esodo's people are more clan based they don't use the resources, but they're not going to give them up freely either." Talon frowned grunting a bit. One could usually trace most of a country's problems to political bull shit. He may not have been the smartest person when it came to politics but he wasn't dumb either.

"Right and no group can really take over, since many armies have no idea how to, nor are equipped to fight in terrain that changes from swamps to rock land to forest and then some almost instantaneously. The Tenók region is comprised of many tribes. Most tribes don't side with us because the lead clan is given a member from each, and thus the tribes get power. However it also means that the lead tribe change hands if something happens to the lead clan's head. Such as a death, if a marriage happens, a disaster, etcetera. Point being is power there is earned by any means necessary. Ergo this whole marriage thing with the king's daughter is nothing more than a bid for power."

"So why not cut a deal with one of the other nobles outside the area? That seems like it would make more sense. They'd get protection from the outside and still trade resources." Talon rocked on his feet, only maintaining the conversation as a means to stay awake and focused.

The Captain cleared his throat getting back on track. "Well were another noble to try and move in they would be left with nothing. No help from the locals, no way to navigate or hold on to the territory, and more importantly no way to get shipments in and out safely. So it's in everyone's interest to work together… well as far as the tribes are concerned. They are able to defend all areas of the land due to the individual tribes' specialized knowledge. Then all's they need to do is extort what they need from neighboring nobles. That mostly being better weapons and armor… ironic really. The nobles give them all the means they need to make sure they are not controlled by anyone outside the territory."

"So what about Aiden, how does he fit in to this?" Talon asked motioning his head in the direction of the man in question.

The Captain frowned a bit thinking it over in his head. Due to the amount of time Aiden spent with him and his guards, they'd learned quite a bit about him. Most of the information was learned through menial conversation here and there, or just by observation. "He's a wild card that's for sure. Esodo knows he can't be manipulated like the others. Hell he's lucky he's got a noble title to begin with…"

"Well actually being a Ranger and all grants him the use of the Old Laws." Talon corrected. While Aiden still had to abide by the laws of the kingdoms, the Old Laws superseded those of the kingdoms. The Old Laws had not protected him from the consequences of destroying a village. Even if he didn't do it with no one else with to blame he was left with the brunt of it, and even Rangers and Druids had to be accountable for their actions.

The Captain grunted lightly turning from Talon to Aiden. "As I said right bit of luck that is." The Captain sighed running his hand down the front of his jaw. "But still…"

"But still what?"

"There's King Isaac to take into account. There's no way he's going to miraculously get better. I got a feeling if our Princess doesn't choose he will."

"But the King knows about Esodo and Aiden right?"

"Well so far as I know. I mean he has to know about Esodo, as you well know it's hard for a woman to hide pregnancy. As for Aiden; if memory serves Princess Keira talked to her father several days ago, so he knows about our resident 'Rags to Riches' attempt."

"Speaking of, how'd she get away with having a kid and no one knowing about it?"

"I wouldn't say that per-say. Our conversation is proof of that." The Captain's frown deepened as he quickly changed the subject. "It's not looking good for our kingdom that's for sure. We either get a psychopath for a king, or a guy who has; not only no drive to be a king beyond keeping his head attached to his shoulders, but doesn't know how to run a village let alone a kingdom. Not to mention he also hasn't a clue how to function in noble society to boot."

"You're a real inspiration Captain, you know that?" Talon more stated than questioned. His brow arched slightly as he watched his captains reaction.

"Yeah…" He made a snorting grunt as he looked at his companion. "We're fucked."

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