Chapter 2

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The Future Ahead

Stirring his tea gently, Marcus had his nose buried in documents laying across the table in front of him. The crackling sound of the fireplace created a soothing ambiance to the silent parlor room. As he was writing notes onto a parchment, the door opened, and the king looked up from underneath his reading glasses.

The elderly man, Aethos Stormcaller, walked in wearing his custom-fit noble robe. With a simple greeting, he sat down on the sofa on the opposite side of the table, saying, “all right, it should be delivered by tomorrow morning.”

“The letter to your son? You’re sure those birds will reach that high up in the mountains?”

“Of course, it’s the main form of message delivery used by the scholars of Felgarth.”

“Yeah, I’m not convinced that poultry is the most reliable method of transportation, but if you say so.”

Leaning back on the sofa, the old man smiled as he stroked his long beard.

Moving onto the next topic, Marcus turned his sight over at the dancing flames of the fireplace, asking calmly, “are we still on time with the constructions in Syranhold?”

“Yes, in about half a decade, we should be ready to begin the operation. My oldest son, Ferthur, will lead the Stormcaller fleet upstream. I’ll personally see to it.”

“Aethos, have you received any more information about this monstrosity from your contact? If it’s countless times worse than the beasts we’re hunting, then he should shed some light on what precisely this thing looks like.”

Before Aethos had time to reply to that question, the door opened once more, and Queen Mother Eleanor, stepped into the room with the butler, Robert Harrington by her side. Holding onto her cane with her wrinkled hand, she stated with a slightly agitated tone, “Dear, I don’t mean to sound rude, but when we schedule a time, I expect you to be there.”

With a surprised expression, the Marcus got up and looked over at his mother. “Is it that time already?” he asked.

With a sigh and a prolonged sunken stare, she shook her head slightly as she replied, “no, that time was an hour ago. You’ve had me waiting with the help!”

Trying to explain himself, he walked over to her and smiled apologetically. “I’m terribly sorry, I will make it up to you.”

Coming up beside him was the old Lord Stormcaller. Tidying himself, Aethos gave Eleanor a respectful bow as he stated, “Queen Eleanor, such a privilege to see you again.”

Moving her eyes up and down at him, she seemed baffled as she replied, “Oh my, are you still wearing that dressing gown?

“It’s a scholar’s robe, Eleanor, the attire goes with the lifestyle I’ve chosen.”

“Then I would suggest a conversion while you still have a few years left.” Setting her sights on the sofa, she walked past them and took a seat as the butler asked politely in his deep voice.

“Would you like some tea, my Lady?”

“Yes, thank you, Robert. Would you also send for my granddaughter?”

“Very good, my Lady.”

Leaning closer to Marcus, Aethos slightly shook his head as he said in a low voice, “your mother hasn’t changed at all.”

Staring amusedly at the Queen Mother who wore an elegant red dress with her hair set up, Marcus went on to ask Lord Stormcaller if he knew anything about the fleet yet. However, there was no information at the time, but based on speculation, the Stormhold fleet should be arriving at Scayles in a couple of days.

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