Roshaun followed the others through a series of corridors before they arrived at a conference room. The room had a large oval table made of a dark wood and several chairs surrounding it. There was a map of the kingdom carved artfully into the tabletop as well as several other maps hung up along one of the walls. Aside from these features, the room was very plain when compared to the rest of the castle. The king was sitting in a chair at the head of the table quietly conferring with Sharon’s father, Harold, when they opened the door to the chamber. Both men stood as they entered.
“Ah, there you are,” the king said, “please take a seat.”
“It’s always good to see you, Sharon,” Harold said embracing his daughter.
“You as well, father,” Sharon replied.
Everyone took their seats before the king continued, “I have summoned you hear because Harold has just revealed what he has learned about the attack that happened during the ball last month.”
“So, the assassin finally talked?” Sharon asked.
“Not as much as I would like,” the duke replied, “but enough to cause concern.”
“What did you learn exactly?” Roshaun asked.
“It would seem that Marcus has assembled a large army and has begun marching them toward Lavir,” the king replied.
“What?” Chrono’s surprise was thick.
“How large are we talking?” Jalia’s eyes flashed with fury.
“The prisoner estimated that the army had reached around fifty legions by now.” Harold’s calm reply sent a chill down Roshuan’s spine.
“That’s quite a feat,” Chrono whistled, “He must be forcing people to join in on this campaign of his.”
“Wait,” Roshaun spoke, unable to keep his curiosity to himself, “Who is Marcus? And how big is a legion?”
“Marcus is the king of Aralia,” Sharon explained, “and a legion is equivalent to a little over 1,000 fighting men.”
“1,000 men?” Roshaun trembled slightly as he echoed the words.
“Right,” Sharon continued, “So Aralia effectively has an army of about 50,000 men if not more.”
“Not to mention any war machines, horses, and the like,” Chrono added.
“T-that is so many!” Roshaun exclaimed.
“Yes,” Sharon nodded, “What I don’t understand is why Marcus has built such a force. There has been no declaration of war has there?”
“No, not officially,” the king replied, “but a force that large may as well be one.”
“I have sent a few of my best men to covertly enter into the kingdom to determine what the situation is, but I have not received a response yet,” Harold said.
“Hope nothing has happened to them,” Roshaun said.
“Most likely they just haven’t reached Aralia yet,” Chrono said, “the nearest Aralian city is easily 120 leagues or more away.”
“Right,” Harold nodded, “I suspect I won’t hear anything from them for at least another week, and that is assuming we receive word through one of our messenger pigeons.”
“So, what do we need to be doing right now?” Roshaun asked, “If King Marcus is really planning to attack soon, we need to do something right?”
“That’s why I have called you all here,” the king replied, “I want you to bring word of this to Lavir and aid them in any way you can.”
“The four of us won’t be enough, father,” Jalia said, “Lavir, while a strong fortress, can’t withstand the power of fifty legions of Aralian soldiers.”
“I’m aware of that,” the king replied, “That is why I’ll be sending a contingent of troops along behind you.”
“But it will take time to get them into motion,” Harold added, “And this message should arrive at Lavir as soon as possible. You four will make much better time than the soldiers will, even if they stick to the main roads.”
“Are you suggesting we take another route?” Sharon’s eyes narrowed shrewdly, “Perhaps through the Silver Wood?”
“Yes,” the duke sighed, “that is exactly what I’m suggesting.”
As always, the remaining chapter is here on Wattpad. I try to have these up the Monday before this blog posts. So if you follow me over there you can get the chapter a whole week early!