Aleyne was heading to the dining hall with Iacaus to see if any food was left. Kaecon called out to her.
“What can I help you with?” she asked.
“How soon could you be ready to leave on a project?” he asked, just as Aleyne and Iacaus came into the small room that Kaecon used as his office.
“The King sent a rider with a message that he would like to have you go to Euphica to negotiate trade,” Kaecon said, sounding apologetic.
Aleyne sat with a thump. Iacaus placed his hand on her shoulder. “Why now, why me?” she said, her voice trembling.
“I expected it. It was going to happen eventually. You are the King’s only heir. He needs someone to help be his presence outside of the country. Yes, he has ministers and diplomats, but someone who is heir makes a far better negotiator. Especially when the talks are not going well.”
He continued, “You are sharp, you learn fast, you remember everything you hear so you do not need notes. Most of all you can control a room just by being there. Someone would be insane not to use you if they could.”
Aleyne sighed, “So I become my father…”
Kaecon thought a moment, “It seems it is so.”
“And since I will have no heir, I will be expected to do this forever.”
Kaecon considered, he had not thought of that. “It is your choice,” he said, looking at Aleyne, “What do you want to do?”
“What can I do? Let what little family I have down by refusing to go? Or let myself down horribly by going?” Her eyes were welling with tears and her voice broke, “I guess it is my duty to do this, at least until a replacement heir is found. I will not do it forever. I am beginning to think my parents were the ones with the blessing.” Kaecon’s eyes widened.
“You do know that is the country my parents were returning from when they were killed?” Drying her nose she stood tall. Abandoning her tears, she looked him in his eyes. Her glacier colored eyes stared unwavering. “When do I leave and who am I taking?”
“Tomorrow morning, if possible. You will take nearly the full platoon plus selected support.”
So begins the story “Athandraul”. Athandraul is the name of the residence of King Dianarran. The palace overlooks the capitol city of Eodara in Aleyne’s home kingdom of Utonica. Although Aleyne is heir to two kingdoms, it is Utonica – and thus Athandraul – that call to her. In this, my third book on the life of Aleyne and those who call Ethaia home, she finds herself stepping into the shoes of her father. This means she is expected to represent the kingdom in trade talks near and far. As she explores her kingdom fully, she meets many fascinating people on the journey. Including some who will change her view on life forever.
Est. June 2012