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“Well that was unexpected.” Aled muttered to himself as he burnt the letter he had just received, preparing to draft his own. He had not expected Duke Rotleach’s knights to make any moves of their own since their liege had died, rather he expected that they would try and meet up with Duke Tetland. At the very most, he thought that they might still try and align themselves with Duke Burn. But this was truly unexpected.
The King had been making sure to keep his involvement in the death of Duke Rotleach and under the table agreement with Duke Tetland hidden. So much so that he had not even told his closest supporters. And now, if he played his cards right, he might be able to benefit even more than before. Though if he acted rashly, he might end up estranging his relations with Duke Tetland before he could stand on his own.
“Hmm…” King Aled paused after finishing the letter, thinking about what else he should do. While he had hatched many schemes to try and come out on top, most of them relied on the actions of the other factions. He wanted to start making his own moves.
“Let’s see how this goes.” Having come to a decision, he started writing a second letter. He hoped that this would work in his favour. Even if there was a chance that it would backfire, he did not see the repercussions as too costly. In fact, he was already trying to think of ways to get Duke Ryder to be hit by them instead. Having finished both messages, Aled tied them to pigeons before setting sending them to their destinations. If all went well, in a days’ time, he would see the fruits of his labour starting to bear.
“Perhaps I should tell Sir Kelly about this now, in case things go wrong.” He had planned to inform his inner circle about his correspondence once Duke Tetland had met up with the late Duke Rotleach’s men but things had changed. And he was not sure if they would play out in the same manner. It was better to prepare some countermeasures in the event of failure.
“Are we certain that we can trust them?” Rhydian was very sceptical about the idea of trusting foreign invaders to side with them. Especially since Duke Rotleach had previously made an agreement with the Twin Duchies.
“Duke Tetland should be fine to trust. I have been in contact with him for a number of years. It is that pair of knights that I am unsure about. They might have decided to side with us for survival but if the situation changes they are the biggest wild card.” The King knew that agreeing to their proposal was risky, but it was too good an opportunity to miss. Not to mention that if he had not agreed, there was a chance that they would have done something truly drastic.
“Let us hope that it does not strain your plans with Duke Tetland then.” Rhydian was more worried that Duke Tetland would see the King’s actions as going back on their previous agreement. If they lost the support of Duke Tetland, it was not like the man could just go home. He had already crossed the border into Fiveria. He was in for the ride, and it was better to have him tied to them than to become another wildcard. Or worse still, side with somebody else.
“He is an intelligent man, I do not think that he would give up on this so easily.” Aled did not think that Duke Tetland would take any rash actions based on one letter. His ambitions were at steak. If anything, his letter would only prove to Duke Tetland that Duke Rotleach was truly dead. Since there was no way that the late Duke would ally with the King of Fiveria after making an agreement with Duke Burn. He may have been many things, but Duke Rotleach had not been a treacherous man.
“Then should I start giving orders now?” Rhydian realised that this was a time sensitive matter. Giving out orders too early would likely alarm Duke Ryder. Moving too late would mean that Duke Ryder would have time to turn around and stop whatever funny business they were up to.
“Tomorrow morning. It should give time for our new allies to take action, and Duke Ryder should not be too suspicious if we do not follow him right away.” They had already heard that Duke Ryder had changed courses to go after Duke Burn once more. And he was more than likely expecting them to follow, even if they did not take part in the eventual battle.
“Noted. I hope that this will be successful.” Rhydian nodded, they were already planning to move in the morning anyway. It would not be a great change of plans if they were to go south instead of north.
“I will leave you then, I am sure that you have things to do and people to see.” The King turned to go back to his tent. He knew that if he spent much longer discussing with Rhydian, that the various lords would take notice. If the lords took notice, it was certain that any spies would have noticed too, something that he wanted to avoid.
“I will go and rest as well.” Rhydian said just loud enough for the King to hear. He knew exactly what the King had meant by ‘people to see’. They both knew full well that Rhydian would tell Braydon about the things that were about to happen before he started making orders. And he was not about to pretend like it was something that he did not do. If the King had truly been worried that Braydon was a spy, then he would never have let Rhydian be in charge of the army in the first place.
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