Chapter 6 (Swordsmen)
The General stepped up to Bill a moment later. “Sir, do you think that the palace is safe enough now? You really should be crowned to help allay the fears of all.”
Bill thought about it for a moment then told the General, “No, at the present moment with this new threat that is posed I really don’t. We still need to weed out all of the traitors. First though I am going to have to handle this problem with the Jaguar clan. I know it would stabilize the kingdom more but with the constant attempts on my life, I think we should wait. Besides it would afford you the time to find the other three. Don’t you agree?”
General Roth sighed as he suspected life with this new king was going to be anything but dull that was for sure. “I guess sir, though I am still not sure that any of them will agree to this. As I told you we all were glad just to do our duty, for the kingdom and your father. Though the allure of being a knight does sound good, it also brings further responsibilities. It is THOSE that I believe they will balk at.”
“Hmmm perhaps you’re right Roth, maybe I should prevail upon their sense of duty?” Bill suggested.
Roth was scratching his head staring at Bill with a suspicious look. “Uh huh. Just how do you presume to do that?”
“Oh, something I remember my father telling me. I’ll just throw them in the dungeon ‘til they agree.” Bill said nonchalantly.
Roth began to smile widely shaking his head. Yes he remembered when Bill’s father had used the same tactic though for different reasons. He’d been worried that they might hire themselves out to his enemies. He had therefore summarily thrown all four of the swordsmen in the dungeon. As he remembered it was far worse back then. No where nearly as nice as they were now.
“Yes I think it might work, though I have to ask. Are you thinking of also including me in that group?” Roth asked.
Bill thought a moment then said, “I might if you continue to refuse Roth, I just might.”
“Lucky for you I am not against the idea. I might be able to convince one of them, though the other two, I am not so sure of. The one I hope will join with me could actually convince the others to concede. I wouldn’t hold my breath though.” Sighing Roth shook his head, “I am afraid that you just might have to throw them in the dungeon.”
Bill began to smile, “I was thinking about the same thing. The thing is though I am not sure just how many men I should send. Suggestions?”
Roth seemed to be lost in thought a moment then looked up. “Might I suggest all of them? I of course will lead them. They were and somewhat are still loyal to me. They parted ways after your brother took over years ago; it wasn’t under their terms either. I think they are still angry about that, all three of them have extremely long memories.”
Bill smiled then nodded. “Make it so, then as I said if they refuse throw them in the dungeon. Oh, not the new ones but the older ones. You know the vermin infested ones. A short time there might convince them otherwise.”
Roth smiled so the young one had indeed done his research, “Very good sir.” Roth headed for the door pulling his com as he started to bark orders.
Bill looked behind him at his mates and soon to be Queens. Both of them had a smirk on their faces. “You really think that they will agree?” Twitty asked a more amused look starting to dominate her face.
“I have to agree and ask the same thing,” Glenna said. “These are after all the greatest sword masters of the kingdom. You really think they are going to agree with the brother of the king that threw them away, as if they were nothing? No I think you are in for a long battle with them.”
Sighing Bill replied, “I am relying on their sense of honor to overcome their anger.”
“Ha!” Twitty shouted. “They are, please forgive me sir, they are males. Pride is far too great in them for them to overcome it. No I think they will fight claw and fang to NOT help the kingdom.”
Bill stared at both of them with a shocked look. Did they have so little faith in males? “So then I take it you also consider me within that group?”
Both Twitty and Glenna smiled widely as they both shook their heads no. “You were taught to ignore pride and use your knowledge to solve problems, well most of the time.” Holding up her paw Twitty continued. “Our world is a savage place as is the realm and there are truly times that aggression is the only answer.”
Bill was shaking his head agreeing, “So you agree with all of my decisions?”
Both females shook their head no. “Almost all of them yes we do, though the killing of the house head seemed a little much.”
“So the killing of traitors that would spill my blood is fine with you?” Bill growled in a low dangerous voice. Turning he watched as several of the servants made their way through the room.
“NO!” Both of the females hissed back. “We could have used her to find others. Now she is but a bad memory.” Glenna growled also.
Bill smiled as he grabbed both of the females around their necks. “I am not to be questioned in front of the lower caste. I can forgive this for now; but I do not expect it to happen again though. I hope I am making myself clear on this.” Both females smiled as they nodded as best they could. Lowering them to the floor both started to purr and rub against Bill. “We have to make ready for this meeting. Though I do not expect them to not bring weapons, I don’t expect a lot of their followers either.”
The next day Bill and both of his mates were on their way to the same small village that his third mate was in. Finally on the outskirts they stopped awaiting the arrival of the Jaguar clan’s leader.
It was one quarter of a toton later that they heard the approach of another transport. Pulling up to stop a good distance from them Bill moved closer feeling that the clan had a trick up their sleeve.
“I thought you wished to parley. I advise you right now that if I do not return, the devastator canon is trained on your home. I know that you don’t wish to lose almost all of the clan.” Bill spit into the com that was tuned to the one the Jaguar clan had.
A sigh erupted from the com, “you truly aren’t like your brother. We will meet you.”
A few moments later they were beside each other. “Hail Jaguar clan!” Bill gave the traditional greeting.
The leader’s eyes went wide as he replied, “Hail Lion clan and king elect. It is good to hear one as young as you respect the old ways.”
Bill smiled. “I was taught by my father for a time though many consider me a bastard, as my mother was of a different clan.”
The leader nodded, “We are all familiar with the story. We ourselves cannot dispute this. Many of us are also of two clans.” Here he looked at his daughter. Sighing, the Leader shook his head, “I am afraid that it will be some time before my daughter can move her arms again. Though I do thank you for the honor of sparing her life.”
“I take it your physicians are still unable to readjust her non-broken arm?” Bill asked.
A shocked look appeared on the leader’s face as he nodded. “This is true a great skill you have shown I am sure they will figure it out one day.”
“If I may I can reset it; though I will require something for it.” Bill replied.
Again the leader’s eyes went wide as he bowed to Bill and motioned him to his daughter.
As Bill drew closer the young female started to hiss and growl. Bill slapped the hell out of her. “If you attempt to bite, claw or kill I will do far much worse!” Grabbing the arm that was in a sling Bill twisted slightly as there was a sickening pop then the female screamed. Backing away Bill watched as the female’s face registered surprise then shock.
“She should be fine in another day. That was a simple thing to fix.” Bill told the leader.
A new respect started to show on the leader’s face. “I haven’t seen such skill since your father was king! That brings back many memories, your father was a great king, a good friend.” Bowing low the leader stated, “The Jaguar clan would be honored to help you sir, king elect. There will not be any other attempts by the clan on your life.”
With that both of the startled Jaguar clan members left. Bill turned to his mates who were nodding. “They had obviously planned trickery but shut it down. Mate, think it wise to let them go?”
“We may be somewhat savage but honor always comes first. I will repeat it again, I DO NOT like deception. They weren’t traitors they hold honor almost as high as I do. Today I was hoping for an alliance, I believe I have one.” Sighing Bill thought well that’s two, no three down only everything else to go!
Returning to the palace Bill had a sudden thought as he called Mikos. “I need you and a tech to come to the palace. We may have cleared it of traitors but knowing my uncles, they have devices in place in case the traitors failed.”
“I’ll be there in a specton. It shouldn’t take too long on each room, though the whole palace will take a few hours. Any place we should start?” Mikos asked.
“Yes, I suggest the King’s bed chamber. Then move outward from there.” Bill responded.
“Yes sir. We’ll be there soon.” Mikos said.
Bill and his first two mates sat outside waiting for Mikos and the tech to appear. Within moments Mikos and the tech had entered and were scanning.
“Alright sir, bedchamber started anything I should look for?” Mikos asked.
Opening a channel on the private com Bill told him, “Silence mode.”
“Affirmative sir.” Mikos said and switched over to a secure line. “Yes sir,” Mikos replied a moment later.
“I don’t want you to say anything. I am sure that there are listening devices all over the palace. Find all of them use both the narrow and wide band width locators. If I know my uncles and a few others they have the palace loaded with them. Remove all from the bedchamber and adjoining rooms. After that I’ll advise you as to further action.”
As quietly as he could Mikos replied, “Yes sir, I’ll notify you of amount.”
Bill smiled as he clicked off. “I guess we wait for a bit ‘til...” About that time Bill’s com went off a call from Niaco.
“King elect, I have further news,” came her voice.
“Yes Queen Niaco, anything you can supply before I ascend the throne will help.” Bill said, observing tradition of her being the Queen ‘til such time as he was crowned.
“It appears that many of the nobility are starting to grow a little anxious. There are many grumblings that you will not ascend the throne ‘til such time that they have lost their holdings. I have started spreading rumors that you are clearing the traitors before you do. It hasn’t served to allay many of their fears. I am afraid that you may have to accept the crown sooner than you wish.” Queen Niaco told him.