Chapter 259: Will You Meet the Duke?
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“Do you know if your father has already arrived?” Braydon looked to Nela. If he wanted to be in Boshil in time for the wedding then Cinar would have already arrived or would be very soon.

“I believe he should be here by this evening if there is nothing to hold him up.” Nela was not concerned, her father had a great sense of responsibility, there was no way that he would let himself be late.

“Then I assume that you will be going to the wedding with him.” Braydon nodded. No matter what the King had said to him on previous occasions, Nela was not engaged to Braydon. For a formal occasion such as this, she would be accompanied by her father.

“Yes, I shall be going to see him tomorrow morning. I doubt that I will be back here before the wedding happens.” This was not just because she had not seen her father in a while. She had her own preparations for the wedding too. If anything she only had more preparations than Braydon since she was a lady.

“I can imagine. Make sure that you remember to eat between now and the ceremony.” That was only half a joke, the preparations that she would have to go through were exhausting and time consuming. 

“Glad to see that you have finally grown a conscience in between taking empty castles. Though, I am sure that my father will be worried for me enough for all three of us. My health will likely not be an issue.” She said it like that but she had a much brighter expression than what her words conveyed. It was clear that Nela was more than happy to receive her father’s affections.

“Worried enough to come looking for me to ask what I have dragged you into?” Braydon asked that but he intended to speak to Cinar at least once before he returned to his pet project in Shuluk.

“If he has caught wind of it then he will have already asked the King about it before looking for you. Or sent me a letter. Not that he has, yet.” Cinar was not ignorant, he at least had some idea how far the King had cast his net for gathering information. 

“I guess that is true. All the more reason for the King to ask questions. Not that he lacked one.” He had already prepared himself for that, so he was not too worried even if Cinar had asked Aled about it.

“I presume that Duke Burn is in the capital by now, are you going to visit him at any point?” Nela changed the subject to something that Braydon had not thought about. Since all of the nobility that could make it were gathering, it would usually see the lower ranked nobles going to meet higher ranked nobles. 

If not for some purpose then at least out of courtesy. And given that Braydon was an earl, Duke Burn was one of four people below the King of a higher station than him. Duke Oakley was still missing and thus could be ignored for now. Marquess Downs, whilst of a higher rank than Braydon, was more of an equal to Braydon than a superior. So long as they were cordial then their relationship would continue on as is. But Duke Burn was probably the most politically sensitive person in Fiveria that Braydon could meet. Especially since it was days before his daughter married the King.

“If I do it will be after the wedding and after I meet the King.” He did not want to jump on that fire willingly, at least not in the capital. Even if he did eventually have to meet the Duke to maintain etiquette. 

“You could always go to see my father first if you are worried about what the King will think.” Neither of them had any doubt that the King would be watching to see who went to meet which Duke and in what order to see how future political factions would emerge. 

As much as he may wish otherwise, that was how court politics worked. Power abhors a vacuum and with the removal of Duke Ryder and replacement of his faction members with new lords; not to mention the effective dissolution of Duke Oakley’s faction, the King could only take up so much of it. There would be new factions and the surviving factions would seek to expand their influence. 

“That will probably help though I do not know how much.” The King knew that Braydon was friendly with Cinar already from their time fighting together and how close he is with Nela, Cinar’s daughter. He would likely not read as much into Braydon meeting Cinar as he would with Duke Burn. Even if he went to see Cinar first.

“So are you going to?” Nela asked. Since even her father saw her and Braydon as joined at the hip, it would be better for her to know something as politically significant as this in advance.

“I think I will. I probably need to talk to him about Shuluk at some point before he comes to talk to me about it. I can only keep trade with Narabun completely to myself for so long.” That so long would probably be until the end of the civil war. King Aled would likely take interest at that point, let alone someone as self satisfying as Duke Burn.

“Then I will try to not make a faux pas on my side of things, I pray that you keep your foot out of your mouth too.” This could be a large issue or a small issue depending on how Braydon handled it. He was one of a handful of lords who made it out of the civil war with more power than they went in. His actions now held weight. And given who he was friends with, even more weight than his younger brother. Despite his brother, at least on the surface, being an equally powerful earl. Though that would likely only last for so long. Braydon did not doubt that Duke Oakley’s faction would resurrect in some form or other.

Hi Hi. 

Sorry for missing an upload, apparently my body decided that now it is a little cold it will hibernate. I have legitimately slept for 24 hours of the past two days.

Come join me and others on my discord server and have fun chatting together! You can come and talk to me about my thoughts on the novel or point out any mistakes I made in my chapters. Or if that doesn't suit your taste then just talk about whatever random stuff is on your mind.

And if you are willing and able, you could always show me some love by contributing to my snack fund over on Kofi. =P

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