Golnar was very pleased. Everything was going well. Since their new friend came to town, everything was falling into place. Philo Quick had been just the boost they needed. He was clever and gifted. He worked hard. His price might be high, but he was worth every bit of it. The newly released magic users in the kingdom were all doing much better under Philo’s guidance. Golnar believe they might be able to restart gatherings in the fall to release even more magical-blooded people.
Golnar had spent the morning walking amongst the fourth and third ring. He did this often. He never wanted to forget where he came from. He wanted to be reminded of the stench and filth that made up the dwelling places of those who lived in the lower rings. He wanted to remember the beggars on the sidewalk who sat with their bowls, cups, and hats out as they wasted away. He wanted to remember all these things so he could be reminded why what he was doing was so important.
In Golnar’s vision, Regventus was a place no one suffered from poverty. No one had to do without. There would be those who had more, there was no changing that, but there would never be those who had nothing. There would be order. Those with magical power would rule as they should. Those who didn’t have the gift would serve where they could, or they would be eliminated. He knew there would be those who opposed his vision. He would have to fight for it, but he would create forces so strong that the fight would be one sided. Once people saw how those who tried to rebel where destroyed, there would never be any dissenters again.
Today Golnar decided to go see how Philo Quick was doing with the newly released magical-blooded soldiers. Golnar was anxious to have some soldiers who could use magic. He never knew when he would need to strike those who opposed him. The old magic-users had their own ideas of what Regventus should look like. Someday soon, they would start fighting to put their king on the throne.
He observed Philo working with fifteen guards in the ballroom. Golnar was impressed. Philo had set up different targets throughout the room. He had taught the soldiers many different spells. They could throw things across the room. They could summon wind from nothing. They could make fire and water behave as they wished. Golnar watched as the soldiers sent flames from torches along the wall to burn up wooden targets. Water from buckets flew to knock down barriers that had been put up. The soldiers looked disciplined. Philo in his new captain’s garb looked like quite a leader. Golnar was very happy with his partnership with Philo Quick.
He continued to watch the trainings until all fifteen guards had destroyed every target in the room in some way. These fifteen would be quite a formable group of fighters. At the end of the session, Philo worked with the soldiers on magical travel. They all did exceptionally well. Philo dismissed them with simple praise and came to talk with Golnar.
“Thank was very impressive, Philo, or would you prefer captain?” asked Golnar as Philo came to stand beside him.
“Philo is fine when we are alone. Captain will work nicely at the next council meeting. I take it I will get my seat after all?” asked Philo.
“Yes, I believe so. You have shown your worth. Come let’s go to the study and have a drink.”
Philo bowed and followed Golnar to the study off of the throne room. Golnar offered him a seat in the sitting are of the front of the room. He poured two cups of wine and handed one to Philo and took a seat.
“I think that group of soldiers may be ready for some sort of demonstration,” said Golnar. “What are your thoughts?”
“What kind of demonstration are you thinking of?” asked Philo
“Kedan’s coronation is coming up very soon. Perhaps they could do something for the occasion?” Golnar took a long drink of his wine.
“Yes, I think that could work. Something grand to celebrate the new king. I don’t see that being a problem. I can work something up with them in a few days and let you see it next week.”
“Whatever you think would be acceptable for the event. I trust you to get it right.” Golnar sat his glass down.
“So, when does our future king return to the palace? I am looking forward to meeting him,” said Philo as he finished his drink.
“He should be here by the end of next week. I wouldn’t expect too much. Kedan is handsome and charming, and that is it. His mind is soft. He is nothing more than a figurehead to show the masses what they want to see. His wife is already a powerful magic user. I imagine with some training she would be magnificent. I believe the child she is carrying will be powerful as well,” said Golnar.
“Still this Kedan will be your king. He will have the ultimate power. Are you confident in your ability to control him?”
“For the time being, yes. He is enthralled by his wife constantly. She keeps him busy with her magic and her more baser abilities as well. Now he has a child to worry about. His mother is also a valuable asset. Her only goal is to keep him safe. She will keep him in line. If at any time he becomes an uncontrollable problem, then something can be arranged. Accidents happen all the time.”
Philo raised his eyebrows. “You say it like it’s nothing to just get rid of him. Would you have no regrets?”
“You were willing to kill a seventeen-year old boy, Philo. Would you have had any regrets if you succeeded?” asked Golnar.
“For the boy? No, there was nothing special about him. My son was smitten with a woman in the king’s household. I would have felt bad for my son had my plan worked. She didn’t want him though, so he would have gotten over it.”
“Where is your son, now?” He noticed that Philo seemed fond of his son, but unlike Philo’s wife his son had not joined him.
“I’m not sure. He probably got spooked by the incident that happened. I have some people I know searching for him. He doesn’t understand the way things need to be, but when I find him, I will make him understand. It shouldn’t be hard. He’s always been easy to sway,” said Philo as he summoned the pitcher of wine to refill his and Golnar’s glasses.
“We shall begin gatherings again after the coronation. Are you ready to do more training sessions?” asked Golnar leaning back in his chair to get more comfortable.
“I believe so. I think I will have to identify one or two gifted new magic users to help me soon. If we want to train more newly released magical folk, it would be helpful to have some assistance.”
Golnar nodded. “I agree. Have you meet Kedan’s mother, Camelia Belles? She is already more advanced than most. She has been very helpful.”
“I have not meet her, but I would like to. Any help would be appreciated. I have a full schedule as is. Perhaps I will meet her at the coronation, and we can work something out.”
Golnar nodded. “I will arrange it. She will do it. I will tell her it’s for the safety of her son. She will do anything for Kedan.”
“As a parent I understand it. My son, Marcus, may be a soft idiot, but I will still do what I can to make sure he is safe.”
“I’ve never had a child, I don’t know what you mean, but I will take your word for it,” said Golnar.
They drank in silence as Golnar thought of all the possibilities before them. He thoughts were interrupted by a loud knock at the door of the study.
“Who is it?” called Golnar.
“It’s Till. Is Philo in there with you? I have something for him that looks interesting.”
Philo looked at Golnar with a quizzical look and nodded. Golnar raised his hand and the door opened. Till came in with a message in his hand.
“This came for you not too long ago, Philo. It was delivered by a rather large bird. I figured it had to have come from one of your old friends. I thought it might have some information in it we needed quickly.” Till handed the message to Philo who opened it and read it.
“I think that demonstration of our military forces may come sooner rather than later,” said Philo. He drained the wine in his glass.
“What do you mean, Philo?” asked Golnar.
Philo stood up and stretched. “The young king of the magical folk is out of Abscon. He is visiting the East Village as we speak.”
“Can you get the soldiers there in time? Are we sure this young king is there now?” asked Till excitedly.
“If my friend is correct then, yes. He is there now. My soldiers are ready to travel,” said Philo.
“Is this a risk we are willing to take? What if you or your soldiers are killed or taken prisoner. This king will have guards with him and his protector. Do you think you can be successful?” asked Till
“I know exactly who will be with the king. He will probably have others with him who will be extremely vulnerable. I have no doubt of our success. We can ambush them, and it will be over quickly,” reassured Philo.
“I’m not sure this is our moment, Philo. I’m sure there will be more chances,” said Till with uncertainty.
Philo turned to Golnar. “What do you think? We will have to make a decision at this moment.”
Golnar took a sip of his wine and looked at Till and then at Philo. He smiled slightly and said, “Let me know how this demonstration goes. Tell your soldiers there will be no need to take prisoners.”