Beneath the Crown

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Chapter 11

Zasrus

As I made my way back to the grand hall, Ash’s words of what happened to her filled my mind.

I so desperately want to help her heal from this, but how? Perhaps I can help her forget. Give her new memories, with me.

I let that thought turn in my mind as I went back to the hall. The Heylam and two other Ful’s stood at the entrance, four of my guards stopping them. I went over to them, “Let them pass. These are our guests.” I said loud enough for everyone to hear.

Laylar came to me, “Father, why are they here?”

“They are here to celebrate with you, my dear child. And also to begin an alliance between our people. They did save your life after all.”

In true Laylar style, she went up to them, “Welcome to our home. And thank you for my heart. Please, come join us.”

I smiled at how much she reminded me of Mistasar. Her mother also had a big heart for outsiders.

“We have brought you a gift,” Heylam said and called over one of the beings beside him. It picked up a metal box from the ground and came to her.

“The king said you do not mind surprises, so I hope this will be suitable. Happy birthday.”

Laylar eyed the box before she knelt down and opened the lid. Inside, on a red pillow lay a long gold knife. It curved slightly upwards, with bright glowing studs along the blade.

“What is it?” she asked as she carefully took the knife out.

“It is a ceremonial dagger from our planet. Many years ago, it was used for sacrifices for the prosperity of our kind. But we are much wiser now, and do not follow this practice.”

She turned to me with wide eyes.

I shrugged and motioned with my head for her not to be rude.

“Thank you, Heylam, it is beautiful.” She said and placed it back into the box.

She led us all into the hall, the people parting as they mumbled to themselves at the sight of these beings in the palace.

After endless talks, a few dances with my daughter, and after the Ful’s left, I finally decided it was time for bed. I left Laylar in the hall with the younger crowd and made my way to my room.

Will Ash be mad if she finds out I want her so close?

Laylar's party would continue for most of the night, and she would rather I was not there anyway. I went in and got ready for bed, all the while thinking that the most incredibly beautiful woman I have ever seen, was right next door.

*****

The next morning, I woke up to the sound of Ash’s voice shouting from the room next door. I shot up off my bed in a panic, but her voice didn’t sound fearful, but rather annoyed.

Should I go check on her?

I heard her move through the walls, her footsteps echoing from the stone, and her loud moan as she stretched. I shut my eyes and tried to picture her moving in the room.

I went over to a table standing against the wall and ran my finger over the agenda for today.

Meetings all day, then dinner with the other fathers tonight. I would much rather spend the day with Ash.

I pressed the little ball under my ear, “Lord Savnor,” I said and waited for the connection to begin.

“King Zasrus,” the man’s croaky old voice sounded loud so early in the morning, “What can I do for you?”

“I must cancel tonight’s dinner. I have other, more pressing matters to attend to,” I said and smiled.

“But the charter is to be signed next week. This dinner is the last one before the placements are decided.”

“I am aware of the urgency of this matter, Lord Savnor, but as I said, I have a more pressing issue I must attend to. We will arrange for another night,” I said and ended the call before he could argue.

I called my economic advisor and rearranged all my meetings for today.

I want to spend the day with Ash.

I went to my bathroom and waited for the bath to fill.

I called my brother, “Raylon,”

“Hello brother,” He said with an annoyed tone.

“Am I disturbing you?”

“Yes,” was all he said before I heard Connie try to hide her giggle.

“Forgive me, return to what you were doing,” I said and shook my head.

“Brother,” he said and I heard him moving, “What is it?”

“What plans do you have for today?”

“You have the meeting with Lord Savnor and the other fathers. I have to go to the battle command and begin checking numbers for the alliance with the Ful’s and their war. Connie and Ash have decided to stay at the palace. I believe Connie said they want to explore the halls.”

Should I tell my brother I have postponed my meeting for today? No, its best he doesn’t know for now.

“I see. Then I will leave you to what it is you were doing.”

“Thank you,” He said and the connection ended.

I smiled, Exploring the palace. I wonder if they would like a guide?

No one knows these halls better than I do.

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