Bridgeworlds: Deep Flux

Bridgeworlds: Deep Flux by Randy Blackwell Read Free Book Online

Book: Bridgeworlds: Deep Flux by Randy Blackwell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Randy Blackwell
lead them all.
This person should be extraordinary and rise above the rest.”
King Erestar rubbed his chin, “What peril do these recruits face? How
dangerous is this Gauntlet to them?”
    King Alagaar threw his head back and growled with frustration. “Why
did a warrior race such as yours pick a sissy for a King? Do you want to hold their
hand through the Gauntlet and sing them lullabies to sleep at night too? Or do
you want real warriors who brush their teeth with gravel in the morning?”
    Kasey had heard accounts that though King Alagaar was a great and
mighty warrior he was a buffoon of a king. He really is doing a great job of living
up to his reputation.
    And King Erestar, The Golden Hearted, lived up to his reputation too.
The King looked down and smiled at King Alagaar. It was not a sarcastic smile,
but one that showed good will. “Alagaar, I am not beyond holding their hands
and singing them songs if that is what must be done to keep them safe. Let us
not forget the purpose of this Gauntlet. We are trying to keep our citizens safe.
Having them killed in a death pit does not help accomplish that goal. This seems
like a way to add insult to injury after losing all of our soldiers. Can we afford to
lose even one more?”
    King Alagaar shook his head in protest. “No! There is a difference
between citizen and soldier. Only a fool would say otherwise. First, we
mustered all of our best men for this battle and now all of our best are dead. All
that is left is criminals, cowards, idiots, and the weak. ”
    Kasey could see the disgust on the other Monarchs’ faces. It was
obvious that Alagaar was right but they did not like the spirit with which he
presented his facts. He did not regard the lives of his citizens or his soldiers the
way the other Monarchs did and this bothered them.
Queen Elizabeth stepped forward and gave King Alagaar a stern look. “I
will not mindlessly sacrifice the lives of my people.”
    Queen Ariana buzzed around his head up to his face until she was
hovering right in front of him. He swatted at her like she was a fly. Queen Ariana
moved out of the way, but only just in time. This angered Queen Elizabeth and
just as she was about to reprimand King Alagaar, King Magus spoke. “You would
do well to use some diplomacy. You would not want the Daqad added to the list
of enemy races you were talking about, would you?”
    Before King Alagaar could respond, King Erestar interrupted with a
booming voice. “Enough! You are all acting like children. Are these the
shoulders that the fates of my people lie on? The shoulders of selfish and
immature leaders?”
There was a moment of silence broken by Queen Ariana, “Well, he
started it,” she said with a half grin on her face.
    “And I am ending it,” came an older and wiser voice. Kasey looked
around but it took her a moment to see the one foot tall Remmy standing on
the ground before them. Kasey knew who this was but she had never met him
before. He wore the standard Remmy mushroom cap on his head over long
white hair that flowed into an even longer white beard. He wore a green cloak
with an emblem of a tree on the back and carried a walking stick that was taller
than he was. Following close behind him in flight, a white owl with a saddle
strapped to its back. It was “The Elder”... the first King of Soterion, the oldest
creature alive, and the father to the Remmy race. He was also known to advise
the Monarchs of Soterion in times of conflict.
    The Elder looked up directly at Kasey flying above them and smiled as if
to acknowledge that he saw her. She panicked. How can he see me? The
Monarchs lifted their heads to follow his gaze, but they did not react like they
saw anything. Kasey quickly darted higher into the air and flew south toward
Philos. She hoped the Elder would not tell them that she had been there spying
on them. She tried to recall everything she could about the Elder and the
Remmy race. They were playful tricksters

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