King Bertrand Catheldor stood towering over Arlin. His booming voice filled the throne room. “What in the name of Dian Cécht did you think you were doing? Those were Ildonian assassins. If they had realized who you were they would have stopped at nothing to kill you. A fitting punishment for your stupidity but in these trying times I can’t afford to lose any of my sons on castle grounds.”
“But father,” Arlin’s head hung low. He dared not look at the man who showed such disgust with him.
The king paced about the throne room. “You should have alerted the guards to your schemes. Real military men would have taken care of the Ildonians and prevented Mandel’s tome from being stolen. You had no business being anywhere near the fighting.”
“Don’t be too harsh on the boy,” the queen said. “He tried to keep our castle safe. At least he wasn’t hurt.”
“Our castle isn’t safe.” The king stared out a window as early morning golden streams illuminated the courtyard below the throne room. After a few moments he turned to face his queen and son. “With Mandel’s spell tome gone our army is compromised. The Ildonians will attack our kingdom in force any day now. I can only hope our scouts can track down the thieves before they cross back into Ildonian territory. In case they fail we must fortify the castle for a siege. This castle will not fall into the hands of our enemies. My queen, you must take the youngest children to the country villa. There you should be far enough from here to be safe. Arlin, you have done enough damage here and I cannot jeopardize any of my men to protect a prince who cannot fight. You will accompany the queen to the country.”
“Yes my king,” the queen bowed. Arlin nodded, his eyes still did look to his father.
“Make arrangements to leave at once my queen. Take a small detachment of men and those elves if they are will to have our protection. Any more than a handful would alert our enemies to your presence. I must attend a strategy session in the war room, so this will be farewell. Word will be sent as soon as the castle is safe again.” King Catheldor kissed Queen Heather on the cheek and then stormed from the throne room.