[Author's note: This takes place the day Sarah arrives in Verdas, explaining the presence of the summons to the King that she receives. It is also a bit of insight into the King and the plight of the country]
A knock sounded on the Royal Study door. King Demetrioso looked up to see his Scout General standing there.
“You wished to see me Your Majesty?” The man bowed.
“Yes, Come in come in,” the King motions the man in. “Please have a seat General Hector I sure this won’t take much of your time.”
“It has come to my attention that there was a woman with Scout Troop Phoenix.”
“A woman, Your Majesty?” General Hector looked perplexed.
“Aye,” the King put down his pen and looked to his General. “You cannot tell me that you had not heard of this before. She was with them for quite some time.”
“Well,” the General looked a bit flustered. “There was a rumor, but I put it down to jealousy. Sergeant Phoenix is a good man, but there are some who do not think he has earned the status he has been given.”
“Still?” King Demtrioso was surprised at this information. General Hector nodded. “So you did not investigate this rumor then.”
“I’m afraid not Your Majesty.”
“You will do so now won’t you?”
“Of course Your Majesty!”
“Good,” the King turned back to his papers, “I expect you to report back to me in seven days.”
“Yes, Your Majesty,” General Hector stood and bowed. He paused at the door before leaving. “Your Majesty?”
“Yes General Hector,” the King looked up.
“If I may, Your Majesty,” the King nodded and Hector continued. “How did you learn that a woman was with Scout Troop Phoenix?”
The King chuckled and steepled his fingers. “Well apparently my son caught our Guest muttering something about Phoenix and Sarah not treating him that way and, as you know my son’s persuasiveness, got the boy to tell him about Sarah.”
“Sarah,” General Hector whispered his brows furrowed in thought.
“Aye, Sarah.” The King watched as General Hector left.
Looking at the letter he had just penned King Demetrioso crumpled it up and threw it into the fireplace. He began to pen a new letter postponing the day of his requested interview with Phoenix and Sarah. General Hector would need some time for his investigation and the King wanted to be sure he knew as much as he could be for grilling the two.
It was not like Phoenix at all to break Scout rules; not like him at all. King Demtrioso shook and stood. He looked out the window over the Great Hall below, his eyes seeking the mountains. Somewhere out there was his daughter, captured and detained by a power hungry General from Azur. Or so Prince Hermanos had informed him. Unlike his son he believed the boy. Then again he could also sense that the Azurian Prince was in love with his daughter.
No, in these troubled times he must use everything to his advantage. If this woman had been used to successfully capture Prince Hermanos, then she may well be useful again. King Demetrioso would just have to determine how for himself and that meant meeting her.
Turning back to the table he carefully sealed the letter. He addressed it to Sarah Ann Smith. The clock struck 6 O’Clock so King Demetrioso took it upon himself to bring it down to the Messenger Room. He handed it to the ablest man there.
“Deliver this to Lady Abigail’s house. It is for a woman that Scout Sergeant Phoenix knows.”
Without another word the King strode up to the Great Hall for dinner.