Prince Shadis Koles of Ixion, the third of three siblings and the current ruler of the kingdom of Ixion, was listening carefully to a report written from Baron Cypher Nullcero, and was incredibly bored.
"'We have had a little mishap at the Labor Camp, o esteemed prince. Three rebels attacked earlier today, and all of the slaves escaped during the confusion. Rest assured, milord, that I am taking every step necessary to resolve this unfortunate dilemma. Your most faithful servant, Baron Cypher Percival Nullcero.'"
After the report, Shadis yawned. "Must he use such language? It makes me fall half asleep whenever he starts kissing my royal rumpus. It's so very boring."
"Sir, this is how they must address you. After all, you are the ruler of the kingdom." The messenger said, bowing.
Shadis stood up, brushing past the messenger. "I honestly don't give a damn. I am going to Daedalus's laboratory. I am not to be disturbed."
Shadis walked down the hallways, the guards saluting him as he passed. He didn't take up the throne for the power, he didn't do it for the glory... he did it for this kingdom. To save this kingdom. He would not allow it to be destroyed! Not while he still breathed!
Shadis entered Daedalus's sanctuary, which was filled with beakers, quills, and parchment scribbled with strange symbols and formulas. Daedalus was in the back, looking at the wall, which had a black magic seal on it. "How goes your research, Daedalus?"
Dr. Daedalus Arkham was a strange man, but incredibly brilliant. He served his sister during the time the Lord of Darkness assaulted the kingdom, and was the man who came up with the method they used to defeat him. However, the seal had been weakening... and just being near the seal was enough to make one feel an eternal sense of dread.
"The Lord of Darkness is still attempting to break down the barrier. It seems trapping his soul within the Realm of Dreams and Nightmares has actually increased his power rather than weakening him like I originally predicted." Daedalus answered. "I fear that at this rate, he may be able to shatter the barrier once he has regained his full strength."
"How much time do we have?" Shadis asked.
"We have less than a year. I'd be surprised if we survive the next couple of months." Dr. Arkham responded, his head downcast.
"Then we must do something drastic... we must either weaken him without destroying the barrier, or prevent him from returning to his... body at any costs." Shadis ordered. Then an idea struck him. "What would happen if we siphon his energy out of him and use that very same power to destroy him and the remnants of his army in the Dead Marshes? Then all these years of cutting the budget to finding a way to stop this would actually pay off in a way that I never thought of before?"
Daedalus thought about it, and nodded. "I suppose it is possible... but we need to make absolutely sure that doing so will not cause you to fall under the Dark Lord's sway. If that happens, all we succeed in doing is giving the kingdom directly to him."
"The risk is worth it. I didn't spend the last twenty years slashing the budget for food, upkeep, and education just to fail now." Suddenly a guard ran in, exhausted. "Didn't I say that I did not wish to be disturbed?"
"There's a crowd of protesters outside. A demonstration by the looks of it." The guard answered.
"You are to shoot to kill. Start with the ringleaders and if necessary continue with the crowd." Shadis responded. "I cannot afford any alterations of the plan now that we are so close."
"As you wish."