The man with wings shrugged “This still doesn’t seem to be a big problem. They’re just using fear tactics to scare the farmers into giving them a good bit of coin. Surely there are more important things to worry about.”
“Would there be more important things to worry about if Caelium were under threat, Legate Valerius?” said a man on the opposite side of the table. He had a muscular frame, but lacked the pointed ears or feathered wings of the other members present. One different thing he did possess that Sam noted was a distinctly British accent curiously enough.
The Legate seemed irked by the comment. “Caelium could never be threatened by such an infinitesimally outmanned force. I know not of how well you Earthborn fight, but we of the sky are difficult to scare.”
“It is easy to be unafraid of these beasts when you are high in your mountainous fortresses. We Earthborn must fend for ourselves on the wild frontier.”
“Then I would suggest you either relocate or fight like men, Councilor Hennington,” the legate quipped.
“Were we given a chance perhaps! My people are treated as second class to the Mages and Skyborn in this land!”
The legate gave a mocking expression. “Now I wonder why that would be.”
“Enough,” a woman whom Sam had not noticed before said. “Both of you need to stop behaving like children. This threat is serious for all of us, so put your petty Jealousy aside.” She too had an accent, but rather than British, it had a much more European bent, similar to the accent Elain, Armand, and even Princess Eveline had all demonstrated previously.
The young woman was a Mage too, evident by barely visible pointed ears, nearly hidden amongst shoulder length blonde hair. Sam began to notice a pattern that all Mages had strangely colored eyes, shown by this woman’s cardinal red irises. Considering her a young woman might be a touch inaccurate, however; she looked about mid-thirties in spite of a youthful complexion, but her eyes betrayed a much more intelligent, much more cunning spirit beneath the pretty face.
“Lady DeFroix is right,” Armand said, breathing a slight say of relief. He hated the infighting and general whining of politics. He much preferred it when the challenge was a tangible obstacle that he could attack, surround, and subdue rather than the complaints of weak willed individuals. “This is a threat that we are going to have to stand and face eventually, and it is wise to face it now.”
“Or what?” the legate responded. “We have more pressing matters with the damnable Draconites than these Shifters. We need to back off. They aren’t a big enough threat to be worth going after.”