CHAPTER 54: THE MEROVICH KING
THE HIDING KING
The forest is everywhere, the greens leaves greets us as we begun entering this forest, all looking their back, glancing left and right seeing if anyone suspicious follow us.
‘Is there anyone?’ I asked
‘No, my lord’ one of the Knights answered.
The trees sheltered us, even from the sun.
And hides our enemies, I mused.
There are some bugs flying, some humming in melodious melody, cricket sounds can be hear, almost like they are celebrating the New Year that dawn.
Or are they laughing at me?
I shake my head.
Better not entertain such thoughts.
The leaves are all green and it brought me calmness and a sense of serenity, even in my state, chased and threatened by enemies, that I, myself have made, too naïve and too inexperienced to know that kindness is sometimes a double edge weapon.
I look up.
The leaves almost glow from the beautiful ray of sunlight shining upon them, twinkling like little stars at night.
The harshness of courts intrigues and plots can be forgotten for a while, and I even pretend to myself that I’m here in a vacation, accompanied by lords and Knights came to see my land, only harshly to be reminded of my destination.
‘The air is fresh my lord, don’t you think?’
‘Yes, Duke Oudinot. It is.’
He hummed a tune.
Yesterday it rained heavily, hiding our tracks and movements and probably why the air is so fresh here and the water from yesterday rainfall seeps from the trail in front of me over my shoes with each step
Looking at the forest, I realized how wrong my assumption was when I believed that I was supreme, unchallenged in my throne.
How arrogant I was! How delusional my illusions!
Had I seen through the illusion through the arrogance and pride, I may not be here, running away, a coward King.
All the trees in this forest is tightly knit. If only the nobles are like this. If only my Kingdom is like this. Unity was the solution.
Yet, it is the one thing my Kingdom does not have.
Big and vast my Kingdom, yet divisive, separated with different race, dispute over lands and many others.
Green leaves, yellow leaves, red leaves, rainbow of rich colors, variety of every kind. Just like my Kingdom.
Many races, yet unlike this forest they learn not to compromise or learn to understand each other.
If my Kingdom is like this forest, it would endure many years.
‘My lord we will make camp here.’
Thank you, Ser Tourres.’
‘As you will, my lord.’
My entourage stopped here in the middle of forest. We will rest here tonight, now that evening is approaching
Ser Tourres and lord Oudinot has crafted this modest tent for me while I hide from those who wish me harm.
We are heading to the Kingdom of Alan, seeking protection and asylum. Who would have thought a King, a Vanguan King would seek a protection with one of its bitter enemies?
No one. And that is the point. We are hiding, hopefully by one of the strongest nobles in the new Kingdom.
After careful consideration we have chosen to ask the help of House of Vermont’s, the dragon banner in Alan.
Known for their wealth and their young lord who is by all accounts of investigation, he is the one ruling the duchy, able in battle, clever in his dealings with noble lords and inspires loyalty.
We did not send letters to their family for fearing our letters intercepted, our plan botched by those who attempt to take my life.
To be King, a Caelum race, in a land fills with other races. It is a hard task indeed for Vangua has many races.
There is the Anglais, Raxons, Roth, Visiroths, Franks and Gaul and many others. But this problem started a long ago.
This all started from my father.
The young Prince Robert was murdered by a member of the household of my father Nigel Merovich.
My father was not involved but no one was directly punished, so rumours grew that it is my father that orchestrates the murder of the young prince.
The young Prince was a devout of the Vern Lucelian Orthdox and his reputations among the lord approached to even of a saint, at least in the minds of the Anglais-Raxons lords.
In line of the succession my father was crowned King just a month after the murder.
My father reign began under a cloud of suspicion which never ever fully lifted from the minds of the lords.
In 970 Cori attacked.
My father trying to prevent a full scale war with Cori offer payments, and also some lands near the borders incurring the wrath and derision of the other lords.
This makes my father very paranoid and started to have bouts of insanity.
But nothing, I could say get through to him.
When my father decided all Darnes, a race that is from Cori, should be killed for the insolence that Cori showed him to satisfy the anger of the other race in the Kingdom, it marks a fateful mistake.
Cori comes with the Grand Articon of Church of Cori permission. The King Rhodesues march to Vangua and occupy many lands.
The lords surrendered but his victory is short lived.
In 975 he died because of a disease and my father who was hiding in some remote village in Vangua, return to reclaim the throne, march and fight off the invaders army.
To make sure nothing like the invasion happen again, my father who now, a widower after my mother died during her escape from the palace, married a Cori royalty dealing and creating an alliance with the Cori Kingdom.
Emma of House Flavian and the lords came with great urgency declaring my father the sole King of Vangua and for a time peace settled in Vangua, our military reforms can be done with two families that is linked with each other, promising stabilities and ease our worries that attack from Cori will ever happen again.
It is also thanks to my stepmother Emma, who threw her support for my father.
And then my father died under suspicious circumstance and me Edward Merovich become the new, young King of this Kingdom.
My face is misshapen, I have a crunched back, so even now, I have no wife. But I’m thankful to the lords who have stand by me and declare for me at the coronation.
But my assassinations started because of a minor scuffle.
It all started when Duke of Arleans who wants some lands around Bonito which belonged to some other lords. I grant the lands to Duke of Bastogne, a Caelum like me.
They raise an army to oppose me. And I raised mine. And I won. They were exiled from the Kingdom wandering in other lands.
For a short time I was supreme and unchallenged, but alas my period of glory was short lived.
They return this time under the pretense that they have reformed so I pardon them and give them some lands.
The next few years they expanded their influence and they even betrothed one of their daughters Emilia Orleans to Alderam Alan son, Duke and pretender to the throne of Alan before the event of the Bloody Feast, surely to ensure their power not only here but in foreign lands.
Of course, now from what I hear their plan backfired.
A noble house in Alan, who have both money and strength emerged as one of the major players in the Continent, declare the Dukedom a new Kingdom, getting the approval of the Grand Papnoticon in Vern.
Then, finally now they have enough power they try to unseat me from my throne, sending assassins.
If not for the Duke of Palouse I would have died, drinking poisoned wine. The curtain is open.
‘My lord, is there anything else you might need?’
I was shocked by the sudden greeting
‘Declare yourself before you come in’
He got flustered.
‘Forgive me my lord. I was too worried about your condition and so rushed that I forget.’
I sighed. It is understandable.
‘I’m fine. How many days before we reach Alan?’
‘In two weeks my lord.’ I nodded.
‘Thank you Ser Lidney’
‘It is my honor’
Then after ensuring that I don’t need anything else, he excuses himself. I once again in the tent, thinking now, about the House of Vermont.
Arial the Dragon people call him. From the reports given to me his reputation almost likes a great hero reputation.
He never lost a battle, whether in the battlefield or a personal battle, he is generous, loved by the people, a Knight Brother of Order of Alan and many other achievements.
I hope he would welcome us. A strong family like that, is hard to fathom their intention.
After a few weeks searching around this are finally I have some progress.
The disk is fund in one of the village near the city of Acro in an abandoned village where many of its inhabitants migrate to the prospering village and cities of the Vermont’s.
I was excavating an area among the abandoned wells.
Because according to my research Alan and Levitia scattered about 15 disk here in Alan,20 in Vern,10 in Vangua,5 in Seren that from my research reveals something more interesting.
Seren has the Sharp Mountain created by the first Generation but it also serves as tomb for the Radiants Rulers.
In the wells after much digging I also found a skeleton guarding the disk. The skeleton seems to have a ring in his finger in the design of seven pointed stars.
And in his decaying shirts is a badge with the design of an arrow, with rose slithering around the arrows.
‘What is this?’ I said examining it.
I hired a few of the people in the cities to help me with the excavation.
It also help that when I meet the Lady Julia she approved of me, excavating around her sons land and acts as my patron.
The family of Vermont’s it seems, maintains a kind reputation among the common folk and the high nobles, by being the patron of art and knowledge.
I have to ask for permission if not I might even get captured and my identity revealed.
‘What is that my lord?’ the common folk, the workers that I hire asked pointing his fingers to the corpse ring.
I shake my head.
‘Don’t know but surely it is something of great importance. Bring the skeleton into the tent.’ They quickly moved the skeletons to the tent.
I need to try to examine the bone.
I never care much about medicine and its study but it does not mean that I’m ignorant of its principle.
‘And this circle disk?’ they said
‘Well, brought it too.’
I could see the scribbles glowing in the suns like an illuminated words, inviting anyone to decipher it’s mysteries.
But for now this skeleton begs my attention. I returned to my tent and begun examining the skeletons.
This is a formal burial, probably for this S1. I name this skeleton S1 to make my work easier. Formal burial often include grave goods such as food and weaponry and decoration.
The bones have some short sword beside his hip, and the ring and necklace, might show that he belongs to some organization.
I check the eye. The shape of the eye socket indicates the skeleton is male. I also checks signs of sickness.
There is no bubbly texture to the bones, no increased porosity I mused.
I looked at the skeleton hip.
Nodules are formed there. May indicate the constant use of load bearing strap for carrying wood or water.
I gestured to one of the workers who can write to approach me.
‘Record everything I say.’
He takes a notebook and a quill and begun writing my observation of the skeleton.
‘Subject S1.He is tall.’ And the workers write it.
The length of his thigh bone enables me to calculate the height of a person to whom it belonged, because one medical journal I found written in Demon Language translated from an ancient manuscript of the Lost Generation, who in turns translated from the First Generation.
The First generation does not leave many of their writing behinds but their language is understood by the Lost Generation.
One could say, humanity evolved language comes from the Pure Tongue, the language spoken by the First Generation.
Many thousand years ago, states that the relationships between the lengths of leg and arm bones and overall height are more or less constant for humans.
Multiplying the length of the femur by 2.6 and adding 65cm will give the height of a human of either sex.
Then after finished examining the bones I turned to the disk. The disk was carved which showed a King?
He wears no crown but it shows him people kneel before him while the King showed his hand into the air and one spear seems to fall from the sky.
Linguistic is not my profession but there are words that I can read thanks to a dictionary that compile some of the known words of the Pure Tongue
I can read Praesident. No, no…President of Unified Land.
AETHRO CAEPRET…No, Wrong again. The words are a little different but I can read this. President of Unified Land, Aero Carlingian and his Cabinet.
President? What’s that? Another term for King? And who is this Aero? Then it hits me while I looked at the spear in the background.
Could it be? Could this be the First Generation Wrath? I quickly hold the disk, trying to read the other scribbles yet I could not understand it.
My eyes brightened, my hearts beats faster as I looked at the disk with renewed hope and the promise it holds for knowledge and our understanding of the world.
Is he the one who orders the Spear of Doom to rain upon the Xenos Empire turning it to a desert?
Who is he? Is there more? I could not help but be excited. I am overjoyed.
I always believed that finding the Disk would reveal more about Levitia secret or what he learned from the Three Wise Men of the Sea but now maybe what he learn is the history of the First Generation.
What stopped him when he crossed the Bridge of the Blessed Lands? Why does he persecute anyone who knows of Lost Generation?
So many questions that need to be answered and maybe his Disk hold all the answers. I gestured the workers leader to come to my tent.
‘Tell your men that we need to bar off this site from other visitor so that the site is not disturbed.’
‘What if the Lady came?’
‘If the lady came who am I to stop her.’
The leader nodded. I need to send the lady a letter detailing my miraculous discovery. This may changes everything.