Okay guys, please be nice, first ever fanfic, reviews are always welcome...

This is dedicated to helplessromantic801 who managed to explain simple things to a stupid person -i.e. moi

CH 1- A Wager

'What did you say Vidanric?'

I turned around to face Galdran's ill concealed anger. Feigning surprise, I said:

' Well my Lord, I just commented on Debegri's tardiness in quelling the hill savages.'

I knew I was displaying my polite court mask but inside I was quaking. Everything depended on this. If I could not leave to meet the Tlanthi it would seriously cause mayhem. I needed the Tlanthi to stop disrupting the carefully structured plans created with my father. I carefully assessed how far I could lead Galdran on as I pressed:

'I am sure your cousin is doing his best yet two months have soon passed and he is not any closer to finishing them off it seems, from what I hear of the gossip which I am sure you've heard.'

This was a subtle insult to Galdran as everyone knew he had too many spies as it was listening to what was said in court. I winced at what I had said having no wish to insult my king. Yet. But Galdran did not seem to hear the last part. It seemed he was irked that he was related to the commander who was doing so poorly. Before Galdran could uleash his anger at me, Russav interceded with planned laughter.

'My dear cousin,' he addressed me,

' At least Debegri is out there fighting. You would not be able to stay in this season and weather fighting the wilderness itself. I hear they do not even have paved roads up there.'

At this Russav winked imperceptibly at me and I frowned. That fool. Winking at me in front of the whole court. Why not just tell Galdran we plan to overthrow him! But maybe I am too tense, but how could I not be with this situation before me. My attention snapped back to Galdran who had a slow smile spreading across his flaccid face. His pale watery eyes seem to bulge and misinterpreting my frown he said:

'Well Vidanric, you do not seem to agree with your cousin. I shall place in command over Debegri and we shall see if my cousin is truly incompetent.'

My breath whooshed out in relief that all went as planned, but thankfully it was not heard over Russav's mock consternation:

'My liege, I fear he will not survive. How will he be able to change his clothes 20 times a day while travelling. And surely he will not be able to travel with 50 carts of jewelry following him.'

Galdran laughed outright as several ladies tittered. Trying to prolong the atmosphere I wagered:

'Russav, I shall bring you the mischief makers in less than three weeks.'

Russav laughed and said:

' If you do I shall give you my stallion which you have coveted for two years.'

We shook hands over the wager amid court titters. I felt elated. Whatever the Tlanthis proved to be I would at least be able to judge them fist hand and hopefully intimidate them enough for them to withdraw from the battle field. They must not; they will not upset the delicate chess game which I was playing with my ignorant king.