Chapter 70: An Audience with the King

When we arrive through the portal we are a few minutes outside of the capital, as I didn’t want to teleport right into the middle of town. Given the fact I used [Gate] on a location I have been to before, it made the spell seem so much easier to use.

We quickly gather up our things and head into the capital, surprisingly this time when I start to turn down the street to the inn we usually stay at Belinda stops me, and we don’t quit walking until we reach the castle.

After entering the gates Amy is waiting on the other side. She seems somewhat nervous as she leads us though the castle.

Amy: “Are you really sure you want to stay in the castle this time?”

Belinda: “Positive.”

Amy: “What about Two-Twelve.”

Belinda: “Of course he will be staying with me.”

Amy: “That will lead to certain expectations…”

Belinda places her hand on Amy’s shoulder to reassure her, and that’s when Amy notices the ring.

Belinda: “I don’t think that will be a problem.”

Amy has a shocked expression. “You mean…”

Belinda: “We are going to make the announcement while Two-Twelve is here for the meetings.”

Amy: “Then you are moving back into the castle?” –She says looking somewhat hopeful.-

Belinda: “Of course not. We are going to remain in Tobes.”

Amy’s tail drops practically dragging on the ground and her shoulders slump as she says. “Oh…”

Belinda: “But don’t worry, I am going to have a talk with Logan, and maybe you won’t have to move to Tobes.”

“I don’t understand…”

Belinda: “Amy is my aid, and she is required to serve me. That usually means she can’t leave my side like Kline does with Logan, but since she doesn’t like leaving the city, we made it as she is taking care of my affairs while I am gone.”

Amy: “If Belinda gets married however her duties to the castle will end and her duties will then be to her husband, so I would no longer be able to stay here.”

“I understand being her royal attendant is almost like when a monster is bound to a dungeon, so couldn’t you just release her bond?”

Belinda: “The magic that affects her is not as forgiving as a dungeon’s… Dismissing a royal attendant would cause her great harm possibly even death.”

“Why would you even bind someone like that?”

Amy: “It is a security measure, a royal attendant hears a great deal of a kingdom’s secrets so not only does it protect the kingdom. It prevents royalty from having to kill their attendants every few years just so they don’t learn too much.”

Belinda: “No one remembers how exactly it came about, but the magic is generational so Amy’s family has been bound since Gowen was founded.”

“The dungeon magic gives you the choice of binding offspring… And humans call us monsters.”

Scylla: “It isn’t really that bad. Kline says he prefers it that way.”

Amy: “You do realize if you two have children that would mean your child will be bound by the same magic.”

Scylla: “Of course. Kline and I spoke about it in great detail.”

Amy: “You talked about having children with Kline?” –She says somewhat surprised.-

Scylla: “There is always the possibility that I may get pregnant when we…” –She begins to blush. – “So of course we talked about it.”

Amy: “… I can’t believe my brother is getting some and I am not… Maybe Tobes won’t be so bad this time. You could summon me a man right Two-Twelve?”

Belinda: “That isn’t how it works, and besides your brother is 10 years older than you.”

Amy: “He may be older but he is still Kline…”

Belinda: “I think we have gotten far enough off topic… and we have reached my room, so I will see you in the morning, and please show Scylla to one of the guest rooms.”

Amy nods and begins to escort Scylla down the hall. As Belinda and I enter the room I hear Amy asking questions about her brother that causes Scylla to blush as they disappear around a corner.

Belinda’s room is much like the one she originally set up in the dungeon, although this one seems to be quite a bit more girly. There are quite a few different stuffed animals about the room, and even a small wooden house in the corner of the room that looks suspiciously like our house in Tobes…

When I walk over to it and start to peer in one of the tiny glass windows however Belinda quickly runs over covering it with a blanket while blushing. “That’s just something from when I was little it isn’t important.”

“You really did model our house after a toy one like Logan said…”

Belinda nervously chuckles. “Yep down every inch of it…”

“I thought he said…”

Belinda: “Well! We should get ready for bed, you got quite a day ahead of you tomorrow.”

“I am kind of curious about your room, not every day I get to see what you were like when you were younger.”

Belinda: “As I got older I only used my room to sleep, so everything in here practically goes way back…”

“Even more reason, I can see what you were like back when you were cute and wore frilly dresses like the ones you try to put on Lilah and Lylah.”

Belinda: “What are you trying to say I am not cute anymore?”

“Well now you are beautiful.”

Belinda: “Uh-hu nice save there Mister Mayor.” –She says while smiling and wrapping her arms around me.-

She then kisses me and pulls me across the floor. I know what she is doing trying to lure me away like this, but I guess it is fair to say that it is working. As I no longer am interested in her old dollhouse. She practically throws me onto her bed then crawls over the top of me.

With my head touching the headboard and my feet sticking past the bottom of the bed she laughs.

Belinda: “It has been a few years, but I don’t quite remember my bed being quite this small.”

“Yea I don’t think this bed is quite made for this…”

She stops pulling on my shirt and sits up. “Oh, you’re right, so maybe we should stop.”

“Well now… I wouldn’t go that far…”

Belinda laughs, then pulls off her shirt, drops it off the side of the bed, then leans forward nibbling on my ear, while softly saying. “Then maybe we should take it easy and real slow.”

It actually proves to be quite difficult as I bump my head more than a few times, and once we even accidently roll right off the bed. I don’t think the bed will ever be the same afterwards, especially when in the heat of the moment Belinda accidently snapped on of the bedposts clean in two. When we finally go to sleep in the early hours of the morning I think the bed is even leaning to one side…

It is also quite difficult to sleep as we both have to curl up on it just to fit. By the time I wake up one of my legs feels weird as I ended up at some point dangling it off the edge using it as a brace to keep me in bed…

When it get out of bed it is leaning enough the Belinda ends up sliding off… She just giggles while pulling a few pillows from the bed and the blanket giving up on the bed completely. After getting dressed I get back down in the floor and give Belinda a kiss.

Belinda: “Don’t worry I will get this taken care of today.”

“How you going to explain this one?”

Belinda shrugs her shoulder. “The bed broke!” She then gives me another quick kiss before cuddling up on the rug on the floor. I can’t do much else but shake my head as I head out of the room towards the meeting destination.

The meeting is long and boring, but it gives me an opportunity to speak with the other Gowen mayors again. They still don’t appear to like me much, but at least the meeting is over early and there is still quite a bit of daylight remaining.

When I return to Belinda’s room, just like she said there is a normal sized bed in the room now, and I never hear anything about the old one. I guess talking about such things in the castle is frowned on. The next few days pass along boring in the morning with a bit of wandering around the capital with Belinda in the afternoon.

We get to eat a few meals with Logan, but other than that it is just us. I find it kind of strange that even Belinda has to set a time to meet with her father, which she plans on the last day of the meetings. Belinda said she did it that way because Mindy will have quite a bit to attend to after that final meeting so we would be able to meet with her father without Mindy’s interference.

On the day before Belinda and I are to speak with her father, Belinda speaks up over dinner that we happen to be sharing with Logan.

Belinda: “Logan… I wanted to speak to you about Amy…”

Logan sets down his silverware. “I figured you might.”

Belinda: “I know there isn’t a way to unbind her, but I don’t feel she should have to leave everything she has here at the capital for Tobes.”

Logan: “Well she is your lady-in-waiting, and as such shouldn’t she be with her mistress?”

Belinda: “I know, but you are the first prince. If you order her to serve you instead she would be allowed to stay here. I am sure you could use the help with the communication parchments.”

Logan: “Then what about you?”

Belinda: “We both know the only reason I ended up with Amy was because she was too young to attend to Mindy and Tanya said that she was allergic to Amy’s tail…”

Logan: “Yes, but I would feel better if my little sister wasn’t all alone out there in the wide world.”

Belinda: “Now you are just teasing me… I am sure you know why we are here in the castle instead of the inn by now.”

Logan: “I would still like to hear you say it. Besides you haven’t gotten father’s or my approval yet.”

Belinda: “I am going to marry Two-Twelve! Besides I am a hero now, so I can and will use my one favor from the king if I have to.”

I realize the conversation somehow got derailed from talking about Amy to talking about Belinda and I, but I am beyond the point of being useful right now so I just smile, nod, and continue eating this god awful soup…

Logan then smiles and sits up in his chair. “There was it that hard to say? Besides I don’t think using your favor will be necessary.”

Belinda: “Then what was all that about, and what about Amy?”

Logan: “Like you said I could use the help, but I got another solution.”

Belinda: “I am not moving back to the capital…”

Logan: “As much as it pains me… that too is quite clear, but no, my suggestion is if I take your lady-in-waiting why not take my valet in her place?”

Belinda: “I couldn’t…”

“I’m sorry, what is a valet?”

Belinda: “He is telling me to take Kline.”

Logan: “Think about it sis… It is perfect. Kline has been with that young lady of Two-Twelve’s practically all week, and the few times I have seen him he has a smile on his face that is borderline creepy coming from him.”

Belinda: “He has always been with you though, and I don’t even know if he would want to be with Scylla if he has to leave your side.”

Logan: “That is why we don’t give him the choice. Yea I might swing by and borrow him for a few weeks here and there, but most of my adventuring days are behind me. Like you said my baby sis is going to get married, so I better get on the ball myself. Kline would be much more suited to serving a hero now then he would me.”

Belinda: “I just don’t know…”

Logan: “Well that is my offer. Little Amy goes with you to Tobes and is miserable, while Kline says with me, only getting to visit his beautiful girlfriend a few times a year making him miserable. Or Amy stays where she wants to be here in the capital, while poor Kline has to suffer in the arms of the woman he loves…”

Belinda: “…”

Logan: “… I honestly don’t see why you are having such trouble with this decision.”

Belinda: “There are a lot of things to consider… What if things don’t work out between them?”

Logan: “Well I guess it is possible she would get tired of him eventually. If that happens you can just send him on back to the capital.”

“I think it’s a great idea. Having a high level adventurer like that around all the time just in case there is an emergency with the dungeon.”

Belinda gives me a bit of a look and then sighs. “Can I at least talk about it with him first?”

Logan: “Well it is your decision. I will consider which one you leave behind when you go back to Tobes as your answer, so take one or the other.”

Belinda seems to be thinking pretty hard for the rest of dinner, and afterwards while we are going for a walk outside in the evening air the mood doesn’t seem to improve.

“I may be missing the point here, but is it really a bad thing?”

Belinda: “You don’t realize how much Kline looks up to Logan, if I were to tell Kline that Logan wants to give him up to me in exchange for Amy, I don’t even know what Kline would do…”

“Logan is trying to make them both happy… Amy would like to stay in the capital, and sure Kline might like to stay with Logan as well, but at least at Tobes he would be able to be with Scylla.”

Belinda: “You just want his xp…”

“I am not saying that wouldn’t be nice, now that my consumption rate is in excess of 250xp per day… but what about Scylla, don’t you think she would like to have Kline with her as well?”

Belinda: “Alright, I said I would talk to him, I guess I should…”

Belinda taps away on what I am sure is a screen. She is probably sending a message to Scylla, and after a few moments she says as much.

Belinda: “Alright, I asked Scylla to bring Kline here so we could have a talk… I hope I didn’t interrupt them.”

It doesn’t appear we did though as it only takes about 5 minutes before they appear from inside the castle joining us in this garden like area. Belinda asks them to sit down on one of the stone benches and by the serious look on Belinda’s face you can tell Kline seems a little nervous.

Belinda: “We need to have a serious talk…”

Kline: “I don’t understand… I thought you were ok with me being with Scylla.”

Belinda: “No it isn’t anything like that. I had a talk with Logan at dinner, and of course it isn’t a secret why we have come to the castle during our visit this year.”

Kline: “…”

Belinda: “As you know Amy isn’t fond of Tobes and prefers the capital life. Well Logan gave me a choice, which would allow Amy to remain here in the capital like she wishes.”

Kline: “I understand you are saying, but what does this all have to do with me?”

Belinda: “Well she is your sister for one… But that isn’t it. Logan decided if Amy is to remain here in the capital then you should return with me to Tobes.”

Scylla seems to get excited briefly but when she sees the look of horror on Kline’s face she quickly calms down.

Kline: “The young master wants to be rid of me…?”

“It isn’t nothing like that Kline… He even said he would stop by when he goes adventuring to come get you to go with him. He just felt if Amy wanted to remain here, you could then go to Tobes to be with Scylla.”

Scylla lightly squeezes Kline’s hand. “Don’t you want to be with me Kline…?”

Kline seems torn. “Of course I do… But I have always been with the young master… He needs me.”

Scylla: “You won’t be that far away, and Master has been able to master his teleport spell allowing him to travel the distance from Tobes to the Capital almost instantly so he could bring you here any time.”

“…”

Kline: “But who is going to take care of the young master’s needs? And who is going to go collect him from the bar when he has had too much? You know my sister isn’t going to take care of him like I do.”

Belinda: “We are not saying there isn’t going to be an adjustment period, but if you ever have any hope of getting to spend more time with Scylla this is it…”

“Think of it this way, while getting to spend more time with Scylla, you will be helping to keep Logan’s sister safe for him so he doesn’t have to worry.”

Kline: “…”

“We will leave you to think about it, and this might be something you need to talk about with Scylla as well, so we will leave you to it.”

Belinda and I leave Scylla and Kline in the garden and head back into the castle.

Belinda: “Do you think it’s the right thing to do?”

“I think that is the question Kline has to answer, but I do think if he chooses to stay it doesn’t look promising for him and Scylla.”

Belinda: “She will be sad, but I don’t think it would be the end for them.”

“Really?  I would think by choosing another man over her, Scylla would have no choice but to move on.”

Belinda: “But Kline takes his duties to Logan seriously…”

“If that was true he would go no questions asked, as that is what Logan wants.”

Belinda: “…”

The mood doesn’t really improve the rest of the evening, and once I get to the meeting the next morning with Mindy running it on the final day it doesn’t help matters any either. Instead of treating me the way she did last year this time she practically pretends I don’t exist which is fine with me.

After the meeting is finally over I rush back to the castle to get ready to see the king with Belinda… Belinda of course has a fancy outfit set out for me when I arrive and coaches me one how to act and what to say for the next hour.

Finally the time has arrived and we set out through the halls arriving at a lavish door. After a brief knock an older gentleman opens the door and invites us in. I have only seen Belinda’s father the one time before and up close was only for a brief minute.

This time Belinda and I are ushered over to sit directly across from him on a small couch. Even though it is Belinda’s own father I am not sure which of us is more nervous. After the older gentleman presents us with a cup of what appears to be coffee, he then leaves the room closing the door.

Belinda’s father never moves until the door shuts, but once it does he takes the cup in front of him taking a small sip before setting it back down on the table.

King Rondsom: “I believe you have asked a meeting with me because you have an announcement to make?”

Belinda stutters a bit as she says. “Ye…Yes father, Two-Twelve and I have decided to get married… That is of course if you approve.”

King Rondsom: “I do believe this Two-Twelve of yours is an intelligent and good man, after all that I have seen him accomplish. However there is still the matter regarding his name. I cannot, and will not accept any of my daughters to marry a man that doesn’t even have a name.”

Belinda: “But…”

King Rondsom cuts Belinda off as he says. “As such if I agree to such a union I will require this Two-Twelve to take the name I provide him.”

“I have been called many things, and in truth the only reason I have remained as Two-Twelve so long is I never found another to my liking. That being said Two-Twelve is part of me now and even if you wish to call me by another name I will still be who I am.”

King Rondsom: “Are you saying at even at the cost of being denied the privilege of marrying my daughter you will not accept a name from the king himself.”

Belinda: “That isn’t what he is saying at all… Right Two-Twelve?”

“I am saying my name despite the fact it is unusual, is the name I have used to get me where I am today, and although I don’t mind you giving me another, I will always be Two-Twelve.”

Belinda seems to get extremely nervous, and the king narrows his eyes sitting back in his chair just staring at me seeming to be deep in thought. After a few silent moments pass he sits back up taking another sip from the cup then says.

King Rondsom: “My daughter, leave us. I wish to speak to the young man alone.”

Belinda seems to start to panic even standing up as she says. “But Father!”

King Rondsom: “Now girl.”

Even speaking to Belinda he never takes his narrowed eyes off of me. Belinda looks torn on what to do but I gently take her hand, look up to her, and smile. After a few seconds she then nods and then walks from the room, but the door closes ever so slowly.

King Rondsom: “Any or all of this conversation may never have taken place. I have put a great deal of effort in gathering information on you. The only information I can turn up before when you showed up in the small hunting village of Tobes is the word of an adventurer that is only just as elusive.”

“As you can imagine about my background, there isn’t much that can be said about me from my time before.”

King Rondsom: “There however are not even any records of any slave referred to as Two-Twelve that I have been able to come across, and I assure you as king there isn’t much I am unable to find out. After the gift that was the communication parchment it seems clear you don’t have any ill intentions, so what is it you want from my daughter?”

 

“It is as simple as stated… I wish to marry her.”

King Rondsom: “Giving the communication parchment you could have been granted a position of Duke in any kingdom, and sure it might not be king, but the area you would have had control of could have even exceeded that of the entire Gowen kingdom. If there was a reason specifically that you wish for Gowen, my eldest daughter Mindy would have been the far better of choice. What I mean to say is Belinda holds no political weight in the kingdom.”

“Matters like that do not concern me… Even with my duty as mayor of Tobes, when something falls too heavy on the side of politics I leave it to Belinda.”

King Rondsom: “If not for political gain, why seek out my daughter? I have heard you have gathered a great number of beautiful women around you from all races, what makes my daughter special?”

“Giving my background I knew very little about most things concerning others when I arrived in Tobes, and I even admit when I first met your daughter I thought her to be trouble and on the annoying side. She however tried to assist me when everyone ignored me even leading to great personal sacrifice just to do so. Even now I admit there are many things I do not know, but the one thing I am sure of is I love your daughter.”

I am not sure how he felt about my answer and he has returned to the stoic expression while he appears to be deep in thought.

King Rondsom: “There are quite a few other factors that concern me as well. Since Belinda took up residence in Tobes to study the dungeon there she has spent a great deal of the kingdom’s gold. My eldest Mindy has meticulously monitored her spending and although some of it may seem to have been sent in an effort to impress you none has ever seemed to be spent on you. Yet several of the items you have presented to her, like the armor I heard you recently gave her, could have easily drained the coffers of the kingdom.”

“With the addition of Katie to Tobes the armor I presented to Belinda was a gift for me allowing her to get on her feet there in Tobes. It may seem a bit excessive, but for a dwarf the gift of her finest work seemed an equivalent exchange.”

King Rondsom: “Putting aside the fact of the dwarven smith for a moment, even the ability to acquire enough dwarven metal to make such armor would be more then I could even bestow on my very heir.”

“The ore along with Katie were both sent to me from Madam Erin.”

King Rondsom: “Madam Erin… I have of course heard her name before, and even believe I seen her once in passing as a young man. Her name predates the kingdom of Gowen, and I would hazard to guess predates written records all together. Even my father and grandfather spoke of her as some spirit or other worldly being, and yet I hear from my Logan that you are close enough to her for her to even refer to you as family.”

“Family is a bit of a stretch… However she was the one that gave me a hand when I needed it the most, and although I can’t say I know her well. I do have means of contact with her. Although giving her personality I tend to avoid such things if all possible.”

King Rondsom: “When my son came to me stating he got to meet Madam Erin at a party prepared by you and my daughter, I was disinclined to believe him. From the stories I heard of her. To even share a dance with my son seemed rear impossible. I am half-tempted to allow you to marry my daughter just in the hope she would attend.”

“…Well although I don’t know if she will attend I am sure your daughter will extend her an invitation if you allow it.”

King Rondsom: “Not only the elusive Madam Erin, there are even the matters concerning the Hero Dyson.”

“… I’m sorry I don’t quite follow.”

King Rondsom: “When my son said he began dating the descendant of the greatest hero that ever lived I sure he was being deceived, but after seeing her armor for myself it left no question. Then to only find out the only reason I was allowed such a meeting was due to the fact she arrived at the capital to attend a secret meeting with you.”

“…”

King Rondsom: “I don’t know what kind of contract you seemed to form with the house of Dyson, or why after all these years they have suddenly reappeared, but to even have another descendant of Dyson make frequent appearances in Tobes who is a splitting image to the Hero Dyson himself, and wearing the Hero Dyson’s armor which only legends could conceive of…”

“I assure you it is nothing as grand as you may be imagining, I am just trying to get by the best I can…”

King Rondsom: “Then there are the matters of the beastkin, and now others that seemly appear out of nowhere around you. Some of which are of uncommon to never heard of before races.”

“To be honest I am not sure how they find us, but I am now in a position to help those in need and I won’t turn them away just because they might be unusual…”

King Rondsom: “The truth of the matter is I have no reason to deny my daughter’s wish to marry you. Given your gift that was the communication parchment in itself was grand enough to ask for my 3rd daughter’s hand, but not only that you have taken Tobes and made a great progress with it as well.”

“Well Belinda did most of the work in Tobes I was just there to help her, and Logan did equal amount of work on the communication parchment…”

King Rondsom: “Very well. I King Rondsom Gowen the 2nd grant you the blessing in marrying my daughter. However don’t take that as a sign of trust, as you may have performed great services for Gowen, but there are many things about you that are just as troubling. Keep in mind marrying my daughter will give me the chance to keep a closer eye on you.”

After taking another drink from his cup he then picks up a bell from the table ringing it. After a few seconds a servant enters the room and Belinda quickly rushes back in the room behind him. The King then dismisses the servant.

Belinda looks nervous as she joins me back on the couch.

King Rondsom: “I have decided to grant your request to marry. I will not require him to change his name, but as he doesn’t have a family name he will take the Gowen name after the wedding. Any formal communication will be directed to Mayor Gowen. Those are my terms.”

“I accept.”

King Rondsom: “With the influence Gowen has been able to obtain with the communication parchment. Mindy’s re-marriage into the Korta royal family has been renegotiated. As such preparations have already begun to be made, so we shall repurpose the date, for your wedding. That should allow plenty of time for any guests as far as Merretta to attend.”

Belinda: “But I was hoping we could choose the date ourselves…”

King Rondsom: “If you wish to have the wedding at the cathedral here in the capital the date must remain firm. They have already delayed a reconstruction plan for a year.”

Belinda: “What are they are going to do to the cathedral?”

King Rondsom: “As the favor of the old gods has begun to fall only the Faron church has remained strong. They have taken up the Gowen cathedral and plan to convert it to a temple of Faron.”

Belinda: “But all the statues of the old gods and goddesses will be removed, not to mention the beautiful windows…?’

King Rondsom: “The cathedral is not a cheap building to maintain, and only the Faron church was willing to cover its costs. We had little choice but to accept.”

Belinda: “Fine… If it is ok with Two-Twelve we will keep the date then.”

King Rondsom: “I also have a request for your honeymoon. I would like you to consider heading to Catalina.”

Belinda: “Isn’t that the capital of Longolia?”

King Rondsom: “Indeed. With the founding of the beastkin village just north of their border at the old Leona ruins, many of their beastkin residents have begun to relocate to Gowen. It hasn’t helped our already strained relationship, so I believe if you choose their capital as a honeymoon destination as a princess and a Gowen hero it would go a long way in soothing the tension.”

Belinda: “I don’t know… We will already have to spend a great deal of time away from Tobes for the wedding itself, but a trip that far would surely take at least a few months…”

King Rondsom: “I ask you to at least consider it.”

“We will.”

Belinda looks a little taken aback but my words but she then nods. We continue to discuss the fine details of the wedding for the next few hours, and although most of it is lost to me, Belinda seems to greatly enjoy getting to speak with her father in any capacity. The king even he seems to lighten up after a while even forming a smile.

After everything is set Belinda hugs her father, but afterwards she quickly bows lightly to him and things then turn back to that of seriousness. We then excuse ourselves and depart to find Logan waiting in the hallway.

Belinda quickly gives him a bright smile and gives him thumbs up before Logan smiles and nods. Without exchanging any words however Logan then heads into the room with the king and shuts the door. We then retreat back to Belinda’s room where she collapses onto the bed.

Belinda: “That was so nerve racking… But it looks like things worked out in the end.”

After lying down on the bed next to her she rolls over the top of me kissing me. “You must of impressed father. I haven’t seen him that excited in a long time.”

“That was excited?”

Belinda laughs. “He showed emotion, that is quite the feat… I know he has to remain that way when he is around people, but it wouldn’t hurt him to lighten up when it is just family.”

After we talk awhile we then go to sleep.

 

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