This is my first fiction so let me know how I'm doing, please review. A big thank you goes out to my friend and amazing beta, Shadow_Elf_Warrior. Thaks for all your help Shadow!
Disclaimer: The Chronicles of Narnia is the property of C.S. Lewis and Walden Pictures. Not mine.
Tapping his foot, the young man waited patiently for an audience with the Telmarine King Miraz. The wind pressed his dark brown hair gently against his forehead in a careless fashion. Taking a mouthful of air and tilting his head back slowly, he took in the unique scent that filled the air. The Narnian wood had the wonderful aroma of summer trees just beginning to lose their leaves to the autumn winds and the enticing perfume of the daisies in the field nearby. The young Narnian King relished the moment in silent contemplation for, although though the woods were still and tranquil, Edmund's mind was abuzz with worries and questions.
From listening to the earlier disputes between his older brother, High King Peter, and the Telmarine prince, Caspian the Tenth, he understood the significance and importance of having King Miraz follow the terms stated on the parchment rolled carefully in his hands. Peter and Caspian had debated for what had seemed like hours about what would be the appropriate course of action to take.
The letter requested a duel of sorts between Peter and King Miraz as a way of distracting the Telmarine forces while the real plan was put into action. Edmnd, of course, knew who the victor would be. Peter had never lost a match.
While this was going on, Lucy, along with Queen Susan by her side for good measure, would be racing through the forest to find the magnificent lion, Aslan, for help. Aslan had yet to appear for him during the extent of their second trip to this extraordinary land, but Lucy claimed to have seen him at the gorge. It wasn't that Edmund didn't believe his little sister, for he did with all his heart and soul, Edmund was simply troubled as to why the great lion would not emerge for him. He would just have to wait for the magnificent beast's plans to unfold.
While the young monarch was lost in his mind, three Telmarine soldiers surfaced from the Telmarine campsite, of which Edmund was waiting on the perimeter of, and cautiously approached him. Their heavy footfall pulled Edmund from his reverie to observe their approach. Three pairs of eyes, all just as wearisome as the next, bore in to him as though seeing right through him. The men were gruff and disheveled in appearance and reflected the poor amount of respect King Miraz held for his subjects. The closer they got, the easier it was for Edmund to examine them and determine just how much of a potential threat they might be to the task at hand. The soldiers all had dark, bronzed skin littered with scars and black beard on their chins that seemed to be uniform for the army. Beards connected with greasy black hair that gave the impression to have never had a good wash. They were strong physically, but no doubt they knew next to nothing about their liege's intentions.
The soldier standing in the middle spoke in a nervous, yet assertive tone, completely unlike the commanding and respective tone utilized by his elder brother. "His Majesty, King Miraz, is prepared for your proposition," he stated, glaring straight into Edmund's eyes and vigilantly scrutinizing the young king's every move.
Edmund rose in a stately manner, squaring his shoulders and straightening his spine. He strode effortlessly toward Miraz's tent, making a mental note of the three soldiers taking up positions on both his left, right, and directly behind him. Once under the canvas of the tent, Edmund met the gaze of ten councilmen and King Miraz. He took his place in the center of the men and watched each of their eyes widen. 'They must be shocked by my age. I must admit though, it's probably not too often that they are approached by an eleven year old diplomat,' Edmund reminded himself as he collected his thoughts.
The council shifted absently as they arranged themselves to humor the young king's proposal. King Edmund cleared his mind and took a deep breath, smoothly unrolling the fragile letter in his sweaty palms. Looking Miraz directly in the eyes confidently as he spoke, Edmund began. He spoke clearly and articulated every word efficiently and in a convincing tone. He easily read the numerous self-titles Peter had felt inclined to include, feeling a deep sense of satisfaction to see the eyes of everyone else present widen, and then proceeded to recite the conditions of the battle itself.
Once Edmund finished, he relaxed slightly, though he knew the most difficult portion of this meeting was yet to come; the negotiation. He closed the parchment and rolled the document back up, placing it under his arm. King Miraz sat with his fingers folded under his chin for a few moments, determining the young man's expression with his eyes, watching for any hint of anxiousness or doubt. He found none; only confidence and pride dwelled in this Edmund's deep brown eyes. Miraz smirked at him and sat up in his seat to respond.
King Miraz replied in his heavily accented voice, "Tell me, Prince Edmund-"
"King," Edmund interjected without thinking, it was really more of an instinct to protect his pride than a remark meant to insult. King Miraz's silence and raised eyebrow told Edmund he need to elucidate his abrupt interruption.
"It's King Edmund, actually," Edmund elaborated. Still receiving the same gaze from the Telmarine king, Edmund continued. "Peter is High King. I know it's rather confusing for someone not truly accustomed to such a thing." Edmund shrugged carelessly, as though it didn't really matter to him if Miraz understood or not.
Furrowing his brow and nodding in understanding, Miraz spoke again. "Well then, tell me, King Edmund, why should I accept to this duel when my forces are in position to easily demolish your own?"
To King Miraz's right, Lord Sopespian added his own opinion in a sly voice. "Yes my lord, accepting would be a danger to your health and, therefore, the health of your kingdom. Declining would be perfectly respectable and advantageous."
Edmund seized the opportunity to provoke his adversary. Teasing innocently in a persuasive, yet mocking tone, he said, "So you are refusing to fight a swordsman half your age?"
"I have not refused anything, yet!" Miraz ground out, shooting a glare at Edmund.
Lord Sopespian looked taken aback and sank back into his seat. Miraz took another moment to consider his options, massaging his temples vigorously. He sat wordlessly for a few moments and Edmund had to stifle a chuckle at the sight of the ruffled Telmarine king. Suddenly, King Miraz's mood seemed to brighten, and a deceitful smile spread across his features.
"King Edmund, I have decided to humor your brother in this match, but I have a few conditions of my own." His smile grew wider and his eyes shone in a way that instantly brought up Edmund's guard.
"I'm listening," Edmund replied warily, barely keeping his confident tone aloft.