“As I said, a small thing, and one I presume to believe you would agree I deserve. For I have lost one of the sweets your ancestors gave to me—“
            “—your ancestors have lost many sweets, and I would presume nothing, after all, it was not I that gave the sweets in the first, or lost them for you.” The King’s expression was hard to read. It mouth was set in that straight line once again, neither happy nor angry. Just, it must be a just expression. Surely he can see the justice then.
            “You speak wise truths, Your Majesty. Then let me ask it and be away.” Damyen said. This was it, he would get his wish. “My son is dead, lost to me by the bloody hands of the Barbarans. It is my belief he did you good service whilst he lived. You know then that he was strong, he was loyal and he was a good boy.” The King nodded. “He was my son, born from my loins and his gifts, the gifts I described came from me.” He looked to see if the King understood, but he still gave nothing away. He took a deep breath. “So all that I ask, is that you place the trust you had in my son, and extend it to another of my boys.”
            King Leon considered him, placing the finger on his chin, leaning against the arm as the owl fluttered back up to its perch. After a long time of silence, the King finally spoke.
            “It is no small thing you ask.” He smiled. Damyen took that as a hopeful sign. “I understand of what you speak but—“
            “—you cannot mean to rob me!” Damyen snapped. Then took a step back, realising what he had done.
            Two men appeared from the shadows he had not noticed previously. It was the slithering of their steel half drawn from their scabbards that drew Damyen’s attention. Now their glistening fangs were bared. They were part of the royal guard he knew, sworn to protect the monarch, their family and his capital. Both of them were knights, Sir Rellan and Veylan of House Esterly.
            Damyen was a fool to have believed the King and he were alone. He was surprised he hadn’t noticed that before. King Leon motioned to them with a hand and they stepped back, hidden again.
            “Robbing would imply that this thing was yours to take in the first place. Here I had thought we had agreed that this sweet was mine to give. You disappoint me Lord of Drayvon.” Damyen’s face reddened again.
            “Please accept my apology, Your Majesty.” The King laughed then, which surprised him.
            “Well, not accepting would indict you of treason, and that would be such a waste, think you not?” He did not deign to answer. “Let us first see how this conversation progresses before making such a judgement. “The smile fell again to that hardest of lines. “Now you have two sons. Which should I consider first?” Now King Leon gestured for him to speak, leaning back on his throne.
            “I would ask that this honour be granted to my third son, Astor. He is—“

The End

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