How did I end up here?
This was never supposed to go in this route at all…. I simply wanted the easiest life. But nothing like this. It shouldn’t be possible… yet….. Here I am.
His soft green lenses peered out into the room. It felt like he could see himself from above, looking down at his body while another person controlled it. The room was incontestably loud, yet all he could hear was silence.
In front of him, sat nobility of the highest order. To his left were Earl Regalia and Count Jidan. To his right were Baroness Ophelia and Baron Marlough. He had always heard of their names, but never once imagined he’d be seeing them face to face, in the flesh. After-all how could he ever have thought he’d be in this place.
He recalled the night this all had occurred. Count Jidan had shown up to his orphanage cloaked in black, along with a few men. The orphanage was located just outside the small tiny village of Beore. The men appeared and demanded they see everyone in the orphanage.
As Jidan walked past all of the kids lined up, that’s when the kid made a critical move. He hadn’t known it would turn out like this in the slightest. No, that’s not entirely true. He knew that something good was going to become of it. The voice inside his head told him to keep his head down. Then it quickly changed, telling him to look up and smile. At that moment Jidan placed a hand on his head and said “This one.”
He was taken without further explanation. He wasn’t scared however. You see, Azer had an ability that was not notable enough to be called a special skill, but not useless enough to be ignored. Since the dawn of his existence, there was always a voice in his head. It would tell him everything he needed to be put into a favorable outcome. It told him when things were going to be alright. It told him when things may go wrong, and how to avoid it.
If he was walking down an alleyway and some misfortune were to befall him a block ahead, the voice would tell him to take a right. He didn’t know what fate had befallen the orphanage, but he was certain that it was not a good one. The voice in his head had an urgency to make sure he did everything as instructed to have gotten out of the impending doom that was awaiting the orphanage.
When he looked up and smiled at just the right time, locking eyes with the count, he had ensured his survival. Because of this ability, he had always lived a favorable life. Even if he was a peasant. But, his wishes, and the wishes of his ability may differ greatly. This was an instance of such. If he had his way, he’d have wished to simply live a frugal life that ultimately bore no merits.
Yet, here he was.
Earl Regalia sighed. The tone in the room seemed very heavy. “It has been a week now, and Duke Eris has not made an appearance or attempt to reveal himself to the public.”
Baroness Ophellia lightly tapped her long, sharp nails on the stone table. “That shouldn’t be of issue. The longer the Eris gives us, the longer we have to set a plan in motion.” She acted surprised all of the sudden when her eyes caught a glimpse of the kid to her right. “Oh? Is that the young brat you had in mind?”
“Ah, yes. This is Azar. From here on out he’ll be known as Azar Falknrix.” Ophelia stood up from her desk. As always, she was dressed very extravagantly. Her Deep blood red satin blouse that hugged her waist. A thick, satin, black sash connected her dress with her blood red skirt. The ends of the skirt were interrupted by jagged triangular cutouts.
Of course, as always she wore the most expensive jewelry and her head was shielded by an exotic triangular hat adorned with the many feathers of rare birds. With each step she took to the sound of her heels clacking and her necklaces serenaded the room.
She was now just a couple inches away from the kid, face to face with him. “Oh my… he really does look like the heir. Of course he might need to clean up his aura first. He doesn’t appear to exude any regal excellence.” She grabbed his chin and had him look up at her.
Do not move, do not speak.
Those were the words the voice was telling him. He promptly complied, averting his gaze from hers. If this were any other situation, she’d have probably marveled at her beauty, but the energy in this room was entirely different. There was an intense with everyones thoughts at the moment.
“He’ll do.” She nodded then opened his mouth, examining his teeth. “By gods! What orphanage did you get him from? Was it ran by wolves? The poor kids teeth are all messed up.” Ophelia clenched her nose, letting him go. It wasn’t uncommon for peasants to be improperly maintained. Oftentimes their communities were rife with hunger, sickness, and tooth decay. Even at the orphanage, without proper funding, they could not provide for all the children.
“Ah yes yes. We’ll make sure he gets cleaned up quite well. For now we’ll just focus on preparing his coronation.” Regalia took a glance at the kid at the kids sullen impression “Look more authoritative, boy. You’re going to become the king of this nation.”
Just as his voice instructed, Azer stood up straight, took a deep inhale and smiled. He leaned back onto his chair and placed a hand to his chin. “I’d hope that once I do, you would not be speaking to me in that kind of tone, your excellency.”
The room was tense for a second. Before Ophelia, Regalia, and Marlough burst out into laughter at the display. Ophelia’s bellows were amongst the loudest, overshadowing everyone else’s with its high pitched shrill. She covered her mouth with her hands as she fanned herself. “Jidan, where did you find this kid?! He’s absolutely perrrrfect.”
“He could do with a bit of manners, sure, but even better for us should we succeed in appointing him. Who would have a king that grovels to his nobles. At the very least he’s competent enough.” Marlough chimed.
“Now the question we have all gathered here for…. How do we dispose of Duke Eris?” Ophelia asked.
To that, both Jidan and Regalia lowered their heads. It seems that they had run into the same roadblock that she did. There was no one in the nation willing to hold their blades against Eris. Even should he be in this weakened state he is at right now. Everyone, even their own hold regarded him as a hero. They would surely question why they want him dead. The plan would be too messy.
She sighed. “Thought as much. Well then here’s the proposals I have laid out for us. There are 2 options. Arson, or Poison. Given his frail condition now, either one should do the trick. As it so happens I do know a place one could get quite the amount of ethershade.”
Marlough laughed. “You plan on taking down the great general with ethershade? I’d personally go for the arson.”
“Hmm… no” Regalia yawned. We’d need to convene another meeting and then poison him there. They were at a loss for options. Even a poisonous arrow didn’t seem palpable. “The only way we could possibly get him would be to catch him off guard. Poison him in such a way that he could not possibly have expected it. That’s the only option that seems feasible enough.
Everyone stopped, shocked at the kid’s interruption. They were presenting the wrong options. Even if they were to try all other ways of killing the general, they would all fail. The end results his voice kept telling him was death, for all of them here in this room. However, if they did not stop him, he would surely kill the entire kingdom with his insane plan.
He didn’t even know what this plan was. The voice simply spoke to him, telling him of the dangers that would befall this country should Eris take power.
The Count cocked an eyebrow at the kid. “Hmm..? Is there something wrong, Azer?”
“It’s just… you’ll die. If you all even attempt to kill him in any way, it would only end in failure… then death. Myself included.”
Marlough scoffed. “Kid what do you know about anything political? Your mind isn’t even close to understanding how these games are played.”
“Games? This isn’t a game. Everyone can clearly see that your plans are as vain as your hair is grey.”
Azure’s retort caused a smirk to appear on Ophelia’s face and she couldn’t help but stifle a laughter.
Marlough was en route to chewing the foolish brat out, before Ophelia interrupted him. “Now now, calm down Marlough. So kid, what do you propose we do?
To that, he could only say the safest option. The one that guaranteed his living and by extension, the others. “The only option that would work.”
“And that is?”
He didn’t quite understand it himself either. When he entertained the thought of doing nothing at all, the dangers he felt coming dissipated. Though they were in a very timed issue. What could this possibly mean? He thought about it harder and harder….
“D..duke Eris… will die on his own. Long before he poses a threat to me.”
Earl Regalia tilted his head. “And where exactly did you get that idea?”
Jidan sighed. “Oh great. Just when I thought we’ve picked someone competent, he turns out to have the ramblings of a madman. Dismiss the child from the court. We’ll be discussing more important matters at the moment.”
Jidan waved a hand, and one of the guards outside led him away. Of course, Ophelia couldn’t help but wave at the child on his way out. “You know, he does say some interesting things. He’ll make a fine and entertaining king.”
“Now, let's presume the blueprints for this.”