CHAPTER 36: POWER CORRUPTS
THE CROWNED KING ADRIAN
“Your Majesty, the messenger came bearing news” my attendants came and informed.
‘Bring him to the throne room. ‘ I ordered
I went to my throne room. I sit and I fiddle with the handle. Still not familiar with it, I mused
The messenger came
‘What is it?’
The messenger report
“Your Majesty, Arial has returned to the East bringing 5000 troops with him. He has won his campaign and he has got the Blacktons fealty. Now the Blackton and the others will continue his work in the south. The Three Brothers, Ales, Lonne and Trouts also raise their banners and help the Blackton. In probably a year, the South will be completely subjugated.’
I nodded and smile.
‘Is there anything else? How about the west?’
The West also has no problem your majesty. Lord Sumersill has also successfully began gaining the House fealty using his connection.’
I nodded satisfied with the progress. The Vermont has really been helping me greatly.
‘You can go’
The messenger excused himself.Then the rest of my court entered and each one of them present me on what I should do.
“My lord we should built another castle.” One of my courtiers Baldwin spoke
‘This castle belongs to the Rodan family, vanquished in the bloody Feast. It is a bad omen to live in a place like that and not to mention it is laughable abode for a King’ Baldwin explained
‘Laughable!’ Some of my courtiers protested
‘Remember you’re speaking to the King here’ Silas countered.
‘I know. That is why you should build a new castle, bigger, grander to show to the common folk you are the King. ‘
‘I say bigger than the Vermont castle’
Suddenly the court turned tense.
‘Are you implying something, Baldwin?’ Silas said, his tone cold and accusing
‘I imply nothing’
Silas glared at Baldwin. Silas hail from a farmer family, turned trader.
He lives in the East under the Vermont family. Arial sent him here to help me with the matter of the Court.
‘Fine. You want to build a castle. Do it! But your majesty where will you find that money?’
He looked at me.
‘The Kingdom treasury? Your rule has not even stabilized and you can only collect taxes around the West and the East. And guess what, the East is under House Vermont. You want to build a castle Baldwin? Where’s the gold?’
He once again turned his attention to Baldwin
‘The King can order the Vermont to give him the money’ Baldwin answered
‘Order? Order the Vermont?”
He laughed again.
‘You think the Vermont listen to order. The Vermont is the dragon, Baldwin. They do not take orders.. You want them to keep helping you? After ordering them? Our King is in a precarious position. The Vermont is the backbone of the formation of the Kingdom. You want to doom our King, go ahead. Try to order them and see how they react. They can easily switch allegiance to Alderam, Baldwin and then our own heads will be hanging outside the city wall. They will not help us if you persuade the King to order them give their money. That is an insult to their family. And what do you think they would do when the King disrespect their family. The King is lucky to have a loyal supporter. But how loyal would they be when you anger them?’
‘ENOUGH of this,’ I yelled my hand balled into a fist
‘I have no intention in disrespecting them. And Silas do not make your own assumption’
“Forgive me your majesty but Baldwin here is trying to counsel you in the matter of the court, yet I fear he would counsel you wrong and ill.
‘I will decide whether his counsel is ill or good. Not you.’
‘Of course, Your majesty’
‘The castle,… Baldwin is a good idea, but maybe after we stabilized.’ I could see Silas is smirking to Baldwin
Then they spoke about laws, expenses, expenditure, the economy here and our effort on the war. They also spoke about whether Alderam will accept the truce
I say it like it was my idea but it is not.
Arial decide without my permission. I agree it was a good idea but he should run it by me first before making the decision unilaterally by himself.
Somehow I felt that he that fight this war not me. I actually felt pricked when I know that the Blackton swear fealty to him and not to the crown.
And many lords also swear fealty to him instead of the crown. I rested my hands at the handle.
My face become rigid, jaw clamped tight, my teeth grinding
‘Your majesty?’ My courtiers asked
‘Go on with your report’
So they keep explaining, reporting and talking about what happen in the Kingdom.
I need to calm myself
I feel used. I’m a King yet I feel like all I do is listening to the Vermont. At first I was welcome to their support, not to mention they are my strongest allies but now the realm laughed at me.
I know what the Blacktons say about me.
It is not I that fight. It is not I that battles. It is the Vermont. I should feel grateful but all I could feel is unsatisfying feeling and anger.
Anger at who? I don’t know. At myself for not being brave? Or to the Vermont who has taken all the glory? I don’t know
I must keep calm.
Then Silas said
‘Your majesty, don’t you think you should greet the Vermont in the East?’
‘Why should the King greet him? He should greet the King!’ Baldwin said
And that it’s. The last push.
‘Am I the subject? Or am I the King?’ I said my eyes red, my fingers trembling in an uncontrolled anger
The throne room quieted. I rise up from the throne. My throne. Or I believed it to be.
‘I will rest in my chamber. Inform me on anything important. You all can go now.’
They exited the throne room while Silas just stare at me
‘No your majesty’
He began moving out but then he suddenly stop in front of the door.
‘Your majesty if I might offer an advice?’
‘Yes, your Majesty’
‘Fine. Let me hear it.’
‘Power corrupts the soul your Majesty.’
‘Just remember that Your Majesty.’
He then went out smirking. While I was left with a question.