Lord Caleb the Illustrious was striding through the forest, pondering about that say's meeting with his councilor, Lucian. Their subject was the prosperity and safety of his kingdom, Prosperitia. He had founded this domain of the kingdom on his own and helped build the castle with his bare hands from scratch.
Once he reached the clearing with the river streaming down to the village, he came to a stop. He bent and washed his face, droplets of water lingering in his facial hair. He had dark hair and emerald eyes- as his mother often reminded him for she though he was extremely handsome. His father was a fair ruler of those lands. However, an army came from a far away kingdom forcing him to lead his troops into battle.
"Remember my son" he had told him before he left "love your mother. Be modest with your strengths, but always have faith in yourself. Follow what your heart says is right, but don't ever forget about your mind and its role in your reign. Be merciful, but not a fool. I am sure that one day you will be a greater king that I had ever imagined. And always know that I'll be proud of you. Always…"
Caleb sat down on a log near the water steam. His father's words had become a constant reminder of what a king must do. The day the news arrived was the worst of his life. And pain ensued… His mother, unable to bear her husband's loss, fell ill and passed away soon afterwards, leaving him, a 10 year-old prince, under his uncle's wing. His uncle was a good man and taught Caleb how to fight with a sword. The young man's expertise became even greater as years went by and at his 18th birthday he became the king.
A sad smile reached Lord Caleb's face. He remembered his friends, the ones that had always been with him after the loss of his parents.
Tristan was now the Commander of the Guard and his right arm in the palace along with his advisor, of course.
Kyle was appointed the spy of the kingdom. His slippery figure was present at their childhood games, but he would never betray his Lord.
Ethan had become an apprentice of the former blacksmith at an early age and inherited the smithy.
Caleb let out a small laugh. Who would imagine that a bunch of kids who caused panic while playing with their wooden swords in the streets, would now have such important positions in the kingdom? The king's mind drifted to the other important personalities in the country's status. They didn't have much of a friendship as children, but growing up the two gangs had come to realize their common grounds in the safety of the realm. Who was the other gang? The girls.
Marcy was a feisty young woman in charge of the marketplace.
Margaret was the surgeon.
Kristy, who always had an artistic nature, had become the bard in the tavern, earning just enough for a living, but being happy.
Suddenly a Lord Caleb tensed. He reached for his sword, a masterpiece in sight and deadly in battle, courtesy of his blacksmith friend Ethan.
"You shouldn't appear that way, you know, Kyle. I could always draw my sword and kill you." Caleb said.
"You are too used of me to do so, Highness. Why is it that you are out here in the open anyway? Tristan has been looking for you." Kyle, the master-spy sat next to him on the log. He had dark brown hair reaching to the bottom of his neck level. He had a mustache and a goatee, as well. His sword was seethed in his belt, but he never had armor on. He said it made him inflexible.
"Came out here to think again?" Kyle asked. Caleb couldn't help but notice the piece of worry etched in his friend's voice. Kyle might be a spy, but he is a close friend who cares for others.
"I needed some air." Caleb said vaguely.
"Lucian has been going on about some matter of extreme significance and urgency. He sent two guards to find you. Once Tristan found out about ordering his recruits he came forward and told Lucian he would take care of the matter himself. Your advisor is a pain in the neck sometimes." The spy said while smirking.
"Trust me. That I am very well aware of." Came the reply from the king.
"What is ailing you my friend?" Kyle asked straightforwardly.
Caleb let out a small laugh. "As if you don't already know master-spy of all things shrouded in mystery."
" The alliance with Effenmont, huh?" Kyle mused. "You're thinking about your father's words again, aren't you?" The master-spy said.
Caleb simply nodded. A flashback came back to him from that day's meeting with Lucian, his advisor.
"Lucian I told you I need time to think." Caleb sighed shutting the doors behind him and motioning to his soldiers to leave their posts.
"My lord, I understand your need to ponder about things. The matter of your alliance with Effenmont is indeed troubling." The councilor conceded.
"I just don't know about this my friend. Arranged marriage? This is my life partner we are talking about." Caleb said exasperatedly.
"I know your troubles, my liege. Take your time. Think. But make sure you inform me about your decision or where you will go to think. I do not need to search for you in the entire realm again." Lucian said.
"Yes, Lucian. Leave now. I need to stay alone."
"Arranged marriage, eh?" Kyle said. "Maybe she's not that bad"
"My friend I am torn between my choices, the shake of my kingdom or the shake of my heart? I do not know what the answer is. And it's the first time in my life my father's words do not help." Caleb bent his head in exhaustion.
"Caleb, you are a little slow, my old friend." The master-spy deduced.
"How so my old-ready-to-be-fed-to-the-beast-for-your-insult friend?" The monarch asked.
"All this." Kyle motioned to the city lying behind the forest. "The realm's prosperity, safety and power? They didn't come from your father my friend. Yes, he did give you words of advice, but he didn't make all these choices. He wasn't the one to come up with the solution to famine. He wasn't the one to pass an edict allowing higher wages for the invalid. He wasn't the one to expand the kingdom and make it an empire. That was all you. Of course, Tristan, Ethan and I helped, but not only as friends. You became a king Caleb. You gained our respect not only as a friend, but as a rightful and powerful ruler. We fight for you and we trust your choices. So does the entire realm, peasants, knights, ambassadors and high-class dukes and ladies. Whatever you decide, we are by your side."
A breeze blew and Kyle left as silently as he had appeared leaving Lord Caleb with his thoughts. Maybe… maybe he should meet the lady Elaine of Effenmont. After all, he could persuade her to form a powerful alliance, powerful enough for him to be able to annex the territory. With that in his mind he got up and followed the path to the throne room ready for his Lucian's suggestion to let him know where he goes every time so he doesn't have to worry the whole body of guards.
Ok, this was it for a first attempt in fanfics. Tell me what you think and please review! Reviews are much appreciated by writers!