A Silent Game of Spies

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Yes, he had been here before. The little upstart queen had withdrawn to RainsCourt. An excellent castle, built into the mountains. The first thing he would do once it was his would be to rename the damned thing. Perhaps BearsCourt.

He wondered offhandedly who was advising her to hide in the castle, for that was a mistake. He would just lock them in there and starve them to death. Hewart could wait that long. There was game aplenty to be had at the foot of the mountains, but not once up in them.

And speaking of upstart queens, Queen Myrischka had followed at his heels just like a bitch in heat, looking for a good fuck. He had refused to meet with her and sent his Ambassador to her. To be sure, she had not requested a meeting, which Hewart found odd. But she was trampling all over the thousands-year-old Ambsellon-Ormon Alliance and Hewart found he would be unable to look her in the eye should she request a meet.

And all the Ormons sitting in the Clemongard Riverlands. Hewart gave credit to whoever planned the move itself, sending ships around his navy to land upon the most fertile ground in all the country. But was she stupid? Allowing such a move? Trampling on the Alliance, that’s what she was doing. Spitting on it. Spitting on thousands of years of friendly, international relations between their two countries. What was she thinking? She made it look as if she was making a play for Clemongard on her own. He shook his head. Women. Damn fools.

Sturgund was of the mind that they should punish her, but Hewart had to remind Sturgund that they were already at war with one Queen and one was enough. For now. Myrischka was a fool. Eventually she would fall in line. There was no sense kicking her when she was down.

Particularly when – and he had only shared this with Sturgund – no one was able to take the reins of her country over. Once they took over Clemongard, then who was to say they couldn’t acquire Ormon? Sturgund had brightened considerably at that. Why not make it a revenge payment? He was so sure that it had been Myrischka holding the reins of the operation. Sturgund could take over Ormon while the Queen was away, thus dissolving the Alliance pact.

But for now, Sturgund had to fall in line himself, and Hewart insisted upon that. That meant keeping his two younger brothers out of harm’s way in this war, and for that matter, out of harm’s way himself, inasmuch as he could. Sturgund was unhappy about that, but with the prospect of taking over Ormon, determination took over in his eye and he agreed.

Whether or not they might actually take over Ormon, Hewart was unsure. He rubbed at his beard. The idea was fascinating. No monarch at home. No heir. A kick in the gut from the Queen. The more he thought of the idea, the more he liked it. But it would be exceptionally difficult, for Ormon had easily as many troops as Ambsellon did, and invading Ormon in the middle of a war with Clemongard – well.

He needed more answers first. Sturgund would be disappointed if they did not take Ormon, but he would get over it. Still… expanding to the west and – the east. Hewart found he liked the idea.

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