His head shot round, faster than an arrow let loose. It humoured Damyen how his son, as bookish as he was, could fail to see such a simple fact. Ascocen, of course, could not rule itself. He allowed himself to taste a few more instants of Eldin’s disbelief before continuing.
                “It is you that shall rule in my stead, with your little wife, and I expect everything to be just as it were before I leave.” The book had fallen from his hands, and lost him his place.
                “Me?” he frowned deeply, as if trying to solve some great puzzle. “But—what about mother? What about your steward?”
                This is your test fool. Oh how I hope you fail. “Your mother is leaving with I, and my steward shall be your guide. It is my wish that you learn from this time; use it when you come into your inheritance.” He turned away then, leaning instead on the rail looking down on the cases, down of the floor below. “I trust you have the wit to lead my people.” He looked around at his son. “Or have I made a grave mistake?”
                There were so many feelings flashing through his eyes, it took him a while to pick one. And much to Damyen’s annoyance, he went back to his book, and cursed when he realised what had happened.  “I suppose I should thank you.” He looked back at Damyen. “Thank you.” And he smiled, a smile not quite reaching his eyes, not even nearly.
                Damyen turned back around and inhaled much air.
                “Come with me.” He ordered. He did not bother to turn around and check, but walked around the balcony all the way to the North wall where a large window stood. Eventually, he heard the footsteps of his son, dreadfully slow in making his way.
                “Look.” He commanded once more. “Out of the window, take a good long look.” Ascocen was grand. Unlike most towns and some cities, the entirety of Ascocen was walled in the same grounds as the castle, the poorest sections and the richest. All except many of the crops. And all of the buildings, even those of the basest families looked beautiful. White walled, wood-panelled and red roofed. But the innermost parts of the city were the greatest. Several of the largest buildings sprouted from the grand with green lawns. But at the centre of these buildings was a stretch of grass blanketed in roses of many colours and at its heart, a fountain that shot sprays of water towards the sky.
                Beside this highest of residential plots, the crafting section of the city bellowed with smoke. Ascocen was one of the Kingdoms most prominent manufacturers of all kinds of carpentry and leatherwork. But mostly, it was well known for its city square where multi-coloured stalls sold every manner of import from all over Louena.
                He had been born here all his life when war did not call for him, his father had ruled here before him and for over nearly two hundred years his family had ruled all of Ascocenda from this seat, just as he.
                And now it would be passing on to Eldin. And regardless of his current disposition, Damyen would not allow this to be squandered by him.

The End

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