A/N

Just testing.

This has nothing with the original plot to do.

Disclaimer: I do not own Ranger's Apprentice


"We won't stand a chance!"

Will twisted his hands nervously behind his back but kept his face cold and neutral. King Juandres, the fat and arrogant King and Protector of the country named Iberion, took a little sip of his white wine and inspected the glass he held in his hand. He wrinkled his nose which made his little neatly trimmed mustache move a bit.

"Says who?" He raised an eyebrow and finally laid his eyes on Will. "I don't understand why you are so against this." He had a little warningly spark in his brown eyes.

Oh, you understand it very well you stupid-

Will tried to not hammer some sense into the King's head. Will had been one of the King's closest men and he had supported Juandres wishes for a very long time, but sometimes Will just couldn't understand the big man's way of thinking arount certain topics.

"Your Majesty has already made Prince Amando of Aslava upset", Will tried to resonate. "Can't you wait a little until we are sure we can handle the both of them? The risk of being at war on two fronts puts me on edge, I'm afraid."

"If we wait, young master William, the opportunity will pass us by, and then we will not have the gold I need to pay Prince Amando's father. This means that we need to go to action before we suddenly are in war."

"Yes, but-"

"But what, Will?" Juandres' voice got harder and you could tell he was annoyed, as usual. "I was giving orders, not asking for advice." He looked around the table where other men, in ranking even higher than Will's, just looked down.

Cowards.

"I gathered you here today because I wanted to inform you of my brilliant plan. That we kidnap the Araluan princess against a ransom." The King leaned back and smiled, obviously happy with his 'smart' idea. He took off one of his gloves and looked at his manicured nails. "If you have any complaints", he threw a short glance at Will, "you can leave a note to one of my secretaries."

He then went back to the inspection of his nails, pretending that he was alone in his office. Everyone got the message and quickly left the room. When they all got out they looked insecure and confused, and the most of them left (apparently not wanting to have to deal with the problem). Will frowned.

"He's bloody insane", he tiredly stated and turned his attention towards his close friends: Sir Christian, Master Aldante, Lady Daniella and his all time best friend Adrian. "You guys need to speak with Juandres and get him to change is mind."

Daniella pursed her lips and sat down at a lonely chair against the wall. "It ain't a secret that Juandres sometimes gets some weird ideas in his head, but it doesn't matter." She put her brown hair up in a string. "And you know, if someone should talk to the King it should be you. Why would he listen to us?"

Aldante put on his famous smirk. "You are the one he's calling every five minutes. You're just like his little puppy, jumping at his every call!" He then barked just to annoy his friend even further.

Will glared dangerously at his friend and smacked his arm really hard. "Oh, shut it!"

But he knew it was true. Over the past few years it had shown that he was more and more like the King's personal assistant, though it had never gone official. He sighed. "Every time Juandres gets one of his stupid ideas, it makes me want to rip my hair out. You have no idea how much energy it takes to set things straight again."

"We've noticed", Adrian scratched his head which kind of messed up his black hair. "But you know, the King's wishes are everyone's duty. Maybe we just need to…listen to him? Do what he asks for."

"But he's putting us all in danger!" Will exclaimed. "He's putting the whole Iberion in danger. He thinks his plan will prevent a war, but instead we will get two. Now, where's the sense in that?"

No one said anything as everyone knew he was right. But what could they do? They all knew the answer: nothing. A heavy silence settled between them as everyone thought of the consequenses the King's plan could cause.

"WILL!"

Will winced and looked around. Josephine, a small well-upholstered woman, came towards him with fast steps. She was one of the King's secretaries. Her hair was red, just like her face always was. And she looked annoyingly at him, just like she always did.

"What?" He knew very well what it was.

"The King wants to have a word with you." And with those words she left.

"It's, what, the 6th time today?" Aldante looked pointedly at him.

Will just gave him a tired glare before he went to Juandres office…again. Better not to make him wait.

The thoughts of Juandres' plan circulated in his head. Will actually could understand the way Juandres was thinking. Iberion had been in Aslava's debt for about three years now, and the Aslavian prince started to get impatient. To get a ransom from a rich country like Araluen would pretty much solve Juandres' problems. The problem with Juandres' plan was that the King didn't think about what the furthers consequenses would be. No, the King was all focused on getting rid of one problem at a time. Will knew that when things got wrong, because there was no question about that, it was he that would get the blame. The people in the castle had a weird picture in their head that said that Will could influence on Juandres' decisions.

The people had no idea of how wrong they had.

Will got infront of the door and braced himself. He did his best to ignore the headache he felt was starting to show.

Knock-knock-knock.

He opened the door shortly after and stepped inside. He saw Juandres sitting behind his desk with general Leandro by his side. Leandro was famous for his deadly seriousness and mean attitude. Will really didn't want to fight with that man again. He had never really liked the general and he knew that the feeling was mutual. When Leandro met his eyes it was obvious that there was a strong hate between them.

"Your Majesty?" Will slowly neared the desk.

"Where have you been?" Juandres didn't even look up. "Come here and tell me what you think."

That didn't sound good. Will frowned and nervously looked down at the documents Juandres held. He saw a map of Araluen and he literally felt his headache getting stronger and stronger.

"General Leandro and I have been planning this for a couple of weeks now, and now when my ideas are official I want you to tell me if you think we need to change anything."

Will fought the urge to roll his eyes. Yeah, like Juandres would listen to him.

The map wasn't so detailed. In Will's eyes it was as simple as it could get. "It looks good, but are you sure that you want to do this? I'm sure that with a new plan we can be able to pay Aslava by the end of next year."

Juandres sighed and shook his head. "Why do you need to be so stubborn? Can't you just listen to me for once?"

I always listen to you.

"Yes, of course, but I just thought that-"

"Have you not heard what the King just said?" Leandro interrupted him with a dark voice. "This is his decision. He's already made his call."

Will closed his mouth and glared at the general with as much venom as he could. Man, how he hated that general with all his heart. "The King asked me what I thought."

"And now we know, thank you."

It went quiet after that. The tension was so thick that it was almost painful.

"General is right", Juandres ignored the harsh tone the general had had and looked down at the map. "You may go now."

Will took a deep breath. "If that's Your Majesty's wish." With those words he went to the doors, but in the next second he stopped and asked: "When are you starting…with this?"

The King gave Will a satisfied smirk. "Within a month."