Due to unavoidable delay, this chapter went up a little late.
Please don't fall behind if you can help it, and react and comment often. (Though it was unintentional, I can tell who's not keeping up...)
As it happened, Valun was thinking of Sir John, but he was simply wondering when his wandering “Official Advisor” was going to come and fulfill his duties. Valun was sitting in his chair at his desk, staring at a letter sitting on the desk which had just been brought by the fastest overnight courier from Carribeasa. Valun stared blankly at the letter for several minutes before shouting in rapidly escalating tones “Who are these people? What is the meaning of this letter? Why has it been brought to me? WHERE IS THAT MAN?!” At this last exclamation, yelled out at top of the king’s lungs, David burst open the door, skidded to a stop, and said, very fast “Did you want me, Sire? What shall I do? Is there something you want brought?”
Startled, but calmed, by the sudden appearance of his servant, Valun answered in a normal voice, saying “There are only two things I require at this time. I wish to know if there is anyone who knows the meaning of this message, and secondly, how was it known that this was meant for me?” Valun picked up the letter and held it out to David, who took it carefully, as if he was afraid that it would fall apart. Then, he read it.
“It has come to our attention that you seem to believe that something you possess remains in our country, having not been returned to you. Despite your best efforts, if your note had reached it’s destination, it would be ignored there, being deemed an insulting manner of retrieving something you would have.
The note had no name or date on it, and David looked at it quite blankly himself for a few seconds, but then the answer dawned on him, and he shouted out “I have it! This unhelpful note is the answer your Majesty has been expecting from the King of Brandia for nearly a month! They obviously do not intend to return your father to Corridane. also, the letter was brought to you because all questionable correspondence is brought to the king anyway. There is your answer.”
At this explanation, Valun raised his voice again, pulling his bell rope and thundering “Insulting, am I? I simply acted politely, as any other true king ought to! But I tell you I have a mind to be insulting now! And there are not many men who will be able to stop me, either!” At the conclusion of these few lines, Sir Richard, the military general, dashed in, just as David had a short time before. At his question, Valun explained. “I have received my answer. It is bad. Send word to the docks. Place notices proclaiming mandatory enlistment in your forces, with vast rewards for all survivors. This is not a time to wait for volunteers. These men shall be fighting to advance their own honor, and to retain the honor of their king and country. Let that be spread about, and send word to Berunthia and Carribeasa to assemble their forces, for war has been declared on the land of Brandia. We shall invade as soon as possible.” Valun resumed his seat, and, for no particular reason at all, reached into an old drawer which had lain open for quite some time. Rustling the papers which lay inside it, Valun latched onto one and immediately drew it out. At the sight of the label which had been placed upon it, Valun drew his breath sharply, but then exclaimed “This must be sent down to Naibern at once! Be sure to lose no time, though it may be too late!”
Snatching the letter, David hurried out, nearly falling down the stairs in his haste to remove himself in order to execute the orders.
Slumping down, Valun cried “Oh, father, why do they do this? Why must you and I be the causes of such dreadful misery as is bound to come?! Why must it come to this? What reason can anyone create for holding you captive, at your age?! It must be fate’s order, for all other methods have failed! Worry no more, for I will go through with this!” Becoming newly resolute in his mind, Valun rose, and being sure to close his desk, marched out of the room.
Stopping in the kitchens to take a small meal, Valun continued on, toward the outside. The first person he met was Sir Robert the Ram, who, seeming to sense what his king was about to ask, announced “The guards have reached the required number. They are all well-trained and loyal.”
“Good. Have them mount a guard upon the walls. I fear disaster, although I can not tell when it shall arrive, or if it will ever come, but I am worried all the same.” With this remark the king of Corridane wandered off, looking for something or someone, though he himself was not entirely sure what it was.