“Father I have had sixteen years to enjoy the delicacies of Ascocen. I think it is time to enjoy new ones. Sooner rather than later.” He walked over the closest case of books and fingered the top of one. With a flick he pulled it from its place and looked upon it. Over three hundred years old it was. Accounts of the Drayvons in the Years of the Migration, by one of his own ancestors. He slowly flipped from page to page, not really reading but looking at the words on the page. It was a fragile thing and valuable. He found his oldest books, when touched, would fall to pieces. He had ordered his men to find ways of preserving them but so far, nothing could be found. This was one book that was reaching such a state. The sense of loss Damyen felt at even the possibility of losing all this knowledge was considerable.
                Astor threw the book onto a nearby desk and turned back to his father. Damyen felt his heart stop for just a moment.
                “Honestly father why do you keep these old, dusty things?” It saddened him that whilst Eldin had discovered his love of books and history. Astor had gained only his strength and power. Once more he lamented his eldest son. His Damyen had bore both these talents.
                Damyen looked up the balcony. Eldin still stood there, a most sorrowful, angry look upon his face as he watched the two of them. It made him thoroughly uncomfortable. He nodded towards Eldin, and after an eternity passed, Eldin returned it, almost imperceptibly.
                “Come.” Eldin placed his arm around Astor’s shoulders. “Let us go make the preparations.” He guided his youngest son towards the door, out of the room. “Have you bid farewell to your sisters? You know how Lena and Clara adore you so.” They traversed the long corridor between the keep and the library.
                “What will happen to me father?” Damyen was surprised with the question; it took him a while to formulate an answer. “What are your plans for me?”
                “Ah, that is simple; you shall take your brother’s place of course. I would have you a Captain of the Royal army.”
                “And will that be what I ask of the King.” Such a simple mind. “I mean, when I win?”
                “Oh no, I expect the King shall accommodate you to repay me for the loss of my son, your brother. You will ask for something else. Something bigger...”

The End

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