[Authors Note: This one takes place a day or two before “On the Road At Last (Part 1)” of Phoenix Triumphant. Once I’d involved Gregory in creating the ruses, he had to be a part of the action. He’s feeling a bit put out that he’s not helping in some way. After all he’s the only brother that’s apparently not worth anything. After all the eldest will take over for Lord Robert when he resigns, Sir Arthur is a Knight of the Royal Guard, Phillip is to become a Fayther right after this mission and Jason, Scout Sergeant Phoenix, is leading the mission. But, poor Gregory cannot go on the mission as much as he wants to. Here is Jason explaining why. But don’t worry, Gregory will be rewarded. The Gods have a use for him, even if it may not appear in the actual novels.]
“Why can I not go, brother?” Gregory demanded to know.
“You can barely hold your own against Reed, who is a First year,” Jason responded evenly.
“Lynn can’t either.”
“But Lynn happens to be a Weather Mage, you are just a fighter.” Gregory pouted. Jason laid a hand upon his shoulder. “Gregory,” he spoke kindly, “You have helped tremendously by providing us with the ruses and by sparring with the women.”
Gregory’s face suddenly changed. “Sarah wasn’t the only woman?” he asked perplexed.
Jason had to laugh. “Gregory, Gregory.” He shook his head. “Laura is an Arenian woman, as is Sergeant Sparrow. Lynn is Griffon’s daughter and Sarah is my betrothed. Of course,” he placed his arm around his brother’s shoulder, “if you tell anyone about what you have been doing you will be tried for treason.”
“There really is no way for me to go,” Gregory sighed.
“No brother,” Jason replied. “We have already lost too many seasoned Scouts to place the women and Azureans into the groups. I am sure you will be compensated for your contributions appropriately.”
“By the King or the Gods,” Gregory muttered.
“If you are lucky,” Jason smiled at his brother as he left, “by both.”