AOH – Chapter 110

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CHAPTER 110: THE BEGINNING OF THE CONFLICT

THAT NIGHT

It is known in the continent that Arrandy has one of the most discipline soldiers in the entire continent and that night in Weover such statement can be verified.

Before Leander began his attack, the resident of Weover have already began to attack Leander troops, but Leander with his 500 troops rampage around the city and with their formation managed to hold back the attackers.

Leander thoughts of only forcing the residents to give him food turn into a small scale battle in the city.

The Weoverian seem to be supplied with weapons and Leander charged through the battle and cut down those that resist.

However 500 fighting the entire city that is of course not possible.

In a formidable armed pose the citizen’s rise and expelled Leander as they have to retreat. Both factions suffer heavy casualties.

When Leander retreat at least thousands of the citizens of the city lay dead, and an unknown number of wounded.

In the background, the city would look like it is on fire.

‘Where will we go Lord Leander?’ the captains asked. Leander look hard, a few wounds and scratches on his body, his armor is badly fractured.

Then he decided. He couldn’t return home like this, bringing disgrace to his family name and more importantly to his lord name.

He must one way or another punish the people of this city, only then can he return to Arrandy with his head held up high.

‘We will go back to Caen and report this grievous insult by the people of Weover.’

‘Will he listen?’

‘He has to. We are his guest and I doubt this is the will of Weover. Someone is behind this’ Leander said confidently and that night with his Knights starving and wounded they retreat back to Caen no doubt wanting to account this insult and avenge their fallen compatriots.

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EDWARD MEROVICH

THRONE ROOM

The entourage of 215 people arrived at the castle and the castle guards quickly open the castle gate and urge them in.

This matter is relayed to Edward in his bed chamber, just as he was about to get some sleep.

Quickly he orders them to be brought in front of him in the throne room while the others that are injured heavily can receive treatment by his healer.

He conduct a special meeting that night, quickly summon his courtiers and  grant his audience to Leander who is weary, tired, exhausted and infinitely furious.

In front of Leander, the noble lord began explaining what has befell him and his companion, of how  they were treated terribly and with no amount of civility on  the part of the city, even so much as to provoke him and his army, by refusing to serve them, to aid them in their journey home.

‘Is this true? Is your word the truth?’

‘Yes, your majesty’ Leander said humbly, showing his wound and injury to Edward. Edward looks at his injury and then nodded.

In his head many possibilities arises. What if Arial come here avenging his own vassal? That would be a disastrous to the alliance he so carefully built all this year.

And his minister is thinking it too. Everyone knew the reputation of the young prince.

He always protects the people under him and then Leander tells the King of his suspicion that somebody is supplying weapon to the Weoverian.

‘Is that so? Who do you believe responsible?’

‘Harald, Your majesty’ and the entire court gasped.

‘This is a dire accusation, my lord’ Edward said, but in his mind he is smiling. Killing two birds with one stone.

‘Will my people not be avenged Your Majesty? If not, then I will return and tell my lord of the treatment we have received here in Vangua’ and Leander already began walking away from the throne room.

‘Do not be impatient my lord. Weoverian is to blame in this matter. I will order Harald to punish these miscreants for they are under him.’

Then Edward called his messenger and tells him to deliver a message to Harald in Arleans to punish the city.

‘Now that mater will surely be resolved Lord Leander. As apology, please stay in the castle until this matter is sort out.’

Leander satisfied with the King answer nodded and is being escorted by the attendants. His minister is dismissed and exited the throne room.

In the throne room, Edward rose from his throne and laughed.

‘Finally, I have something to leverage against you Harald. HAHAHAHA’ he laughed.

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ARLEANS

THRONE ROOM

All his minister is afraid of their lord now, after looking at his contorted face after reading the letter.

‘I refuse’ he said yelling while throwing his cup of wine.

‘Dear!’ Alarm in the toe of Emilia

His hand tremble. Edward is plain obvious, seeking pretexts for a showdown. This is too much. Is this really that Edward? He has grown courageous.

‘Is he really the King of Vangua? The King of the people of this proud nation? Saint? I called him a duplicitous liar, a fox that hides in the bushes, eyeing his opportunity for supreme power, ignoring the noble’s family.’

Harald said, his breathing is uneven, angry with a white hot fury

‘On the mere accusation of the stranger, this King condemned his own subjects without a hearing.’

‘This will not do Dear’ Emilia said offering a calm proposition.

‘My lord, counter the King proposal. Surely he would have to give us some face.’ Emilia said offering her opinion.

‘Seek a legal trial for the people of Weover in which the full fact of the event that transpired can be heard by the Noble Circle.’

‘That is a wise decision that we could follow. Surely the King will not harshly without provocation, to treat his people so carelessly’ one of his minister chimed in.

Harald is perplexed how this event came to be.

He knows that he ordered the people of Weover to stop their service to the entourage but he did not order the people to provoke the entourage.

He even orders that if the entourage is displeased and began showing aggressive action not to retaliate and sells them services.

After all, he did not want to create such chaos.

Harald just want to teach Arial entourage a lesson, that Vangua land is his and you can’t just stroll around here without paying proper respect to him.

But now? Now everything is wrong. This is not what he planned. Of course he doesn’t know that Edward has his own plans.

If Harald have spies in Edward palace, doesn’t that also means Edward also have spy to spy on one of his most hated enemies.

‘Then send the counter proposal to the King’ Harald said and the ministers nodded and began making preparation

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EDWARD THRONE ROOM

Edward open the letter and hear the messenger heartfelt pleading that Harald could not punish the Weoverian and to grant mercy to the people of Weover.

This elicit great response of anger from Leander who loses his men on the night of the question.

Silas is at the King court, just arrived a few week ago, on the order of his lord, Arial Vermont to inquire why is the entourage is not yet home.

When he arrived he is informed of the situation and quickly he insinuate himself with the people in the court of Edward.

He stands in silence, looking at King Edward red faces.

‘My lords’ the king began addressing Leander and Silas.

‘It seems Harald is refusing to cooperate, to follow my order.’

Leander who is already enraged yell

‘Will you then broke your promise to me? To seek retribution for the grave wrong committed to my troops? My friends? My brothers?’

‘I will decide in a couple of days’ the King said.

On the preceding days Leander egged on Edward, telling him treacherous thoughts of Harald, believing without a doubt that Harald, who is already famous in the Continent to have rivalry and probably even enmity with Arial, who many have known by now, as Arial vassal, though such claims is refuted by the Orleans and Harald, on the account that he offer his fealty when his judgment isn’t sound.

Leander on the other hand continue his campaign of slander against Harald and his family, knowing full well, if he returns without any benefit to Arrandy, his family name will be tarnished, and his family might lose favour in Arrandian court.

Silas on the other hand do no action, neither blaming Harald, nor did he egged Edward, like he knows something.

A night before the decision is taken by the King, Silas is granted an audience with the King, as he wanted to speak to the King in private.

‘Silas, you have come’ the King said as the King waited on him on the courtyard.

‘You must have a gut of stone to let a King waits on you.’

‘I am preoccupied with some matter of importance’

‘Do I need to remind you that it is you that ask for this meeting? You might be Lord Arial favorite courtiers and I value your wisdom but it is hardly manners to let a man so beyond your station to wait on a courtier as yourself’

‘For that may you pardon me?’ He said as he sit himself on one of the chairs in the yard, relaxed and calm with an air of superiority.

‘So, what it is you meant to talk with me about?’ Said Edward slightly miffed at Silas behavior

‘I have ears and eyes everywhere Your majesty.’

‘So?’

Then he stand up, his face contorted into a terrifying face and he said

‘You have been very devious in your conduct Your Majesty. It is not Harald that order the provocation of Leander unit but it is you, isn’t it? Do not mistake me to be gullible as Leander or your ministers and noble lords. Harald know that picking a fight with Arial right now is a stupid decision, and while Harald is at times show the same temper of Alderam, he is not stupid. I know what you are trying to do, your majesty. You are trying to expel Harald from Vangua, aren’t you?’

Edward seated himself down and his hand is trembling. To think his plan is seen by….but then again….Silas is a talented politician.

Plots and intrigues is nothing new for him.

If Arial knew what he had done, knew what harm he had inflicted on his precious vassal, he shudder to think the might that will bear down on him.

Arrandy is a large force and with Helia as his wife, he could summon noble lords to side with him on the name of familial ties.

‘Wi…..ll, wi…ll,will you tell Arial this?’ He said stuttering.

He is ready to bribe Silas with gold and titles and even then his head think on how to persuade Silas.

But he knows while Silas likes money and title, even he had some lines he will not cross. His loyalty to Arial and the Vermont family is as famous as his cunningness in politics.

Then suddenly a smile is formed on Silas lips, a mischievous smile, one that he always smile before he gobble up his enemies.

‘No, but I do have a proposition for you, Your majesty.’

And that night Silas shared his plan, and by the time the moon shines the brightest, both of these men, smile with meaning, their whispers drowned by the wind as they agreed on common ground, and a plan is concocted by the genius politician of Arial.

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In the morning the King reveals his verdict. He summoned the Noble Circle much to the chagrin of the Orleans and much to the joy of Leander.

The King summoned the noble lords to consider charges of treason against the Orleans, all the while a snake can be seen smiling in the background.

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HARALD CASTLE

‘My lord there is no doubt of King Edward intention’ one of Harald minister began to say.

‘And what do you reckon his true intention?’

‘A war to the knife’ Emilia said, her face gaunt and pale. This is not what she wants. She wants power, yes, but not instability.

She loves Vangua. She loves it people. But this? This would only serve as an opportunity for any other power to reassert influence in Vangua.

While her husband paranoia of Arrandian influence running rampant in the court of Edward is false, she is not sure that, that would be the case moving forward.

Silas is known to have orchestrated many intrigues and this event smells eerily like his scent.

While Harald always assert that the young lord of Arrandy as his rival, she on the other hand considered Silas of House Perigord as her rival.

Hi is cunning, and have an unassuming air around him, his smile look innocent enough, only revealing the poison when he already bites his victim.

Compared to his lord charismatic presence and tactical brilliance in battle, of course he is seen to be harmless.

But Emilia knows.

While it is no denying of Arial power and strength, it is no exaggeration to say, that Silas smoothed his way for his liege lord and to compensate for Silas lack of prowess in battle, he combat his foes with words, wit and an acumen in the inner workings of politic.

‘What do you think we should do Emilia?’ Harald ask her.

‘I don’t know dear. I truly don’t know. We are in a desperate position now.’

‘I don’t want to hear that.’

‘I know. But it is the truth. I don’t know. He got us good.’

Harald look at his vassal and minister in his court, looking at the ceiling, sighed and begin with a heavy heart, and with implication that he know would forever change the political scene of Vangua, ordered

“Mobilize our forces. We will garrison the Northern border from Southern invasion and as the King is undoubtedly stubborn, one that I can only attribute as his apparent love for Arrandian, we will demand the surrender and expulsion of any Arrandian garrison in the North”

And with that order, event escalated.

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That month from the moment Edward summoned the Noble Circle events escalated with the speed of a bushfire.

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