Unnormal Normalcy

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King of Blades – Chapter 4 “Preparations”

Coulta had just finished getting his latest report from his people in Port Blasin a week later when Wildas slipped into his dark office.

“You can do it,” the Grand King announced.

Coulta glanced up from the notes he was reading over, looking at his husband with confusion. “I can do what?”

“Train your people.”

That got the wheels turning immediately in Coulta’s mind as to how to actually go about the training. He hadn’t let himself consider it before that point, in case Wildas didn’t want him to do it. Coulta wasn’t about to go against Wildas’ wishes if Wildas didn’t want him to do something of this scale, no matter how important he thought his own plan was. Wildas has the ultimate authority when it came to running the country, and he was much more strategically-minded than Coulta – if Wildas saw more possible negative consequences coming from a decision than Coulta did, Wildas was probably the one who was right. It was why Coulta stayed away from making any real decisions whenever he could. Though, it didn’t stop Wildas from seeking his opinion on issues.

“I thought you wanted to keep their identities hidden from each other?” Wildas asked, drawing Coulta from his thoughts.

“I do,” Coulta agreed. “I’ll talk to Teeya about a way to cover their faces and still allow them to fight.”

Wildas nodded. “I’ll have her sent up.”

“Thank you.” Coulta saw Wildas nod again and turn to go. “Don’t you have time to rest for a moment?” he suggested, getting up from his desk.

His husband sighed and slumped down into a chair. “I guess I do. There isn’t much for me to do right now, except fret about everything.”

Coulta settled into the chair next to him. “We still don’t know exactly where the threat is coming from, or when it’s coming,” he pointed out. “What is there to do when we don’t know how to prepare?”

Wildas sighed again. “Extra training, recruiting, contacting allies. There are a lot of things to do. Much of which is no longer in my control.”

“Can’t we relax until something else becomes known?” Coulta asked, reaching for Wildas’ hand.

“It would be a good thing to try,” Wildas replied, squeezing Coulta’s hand before he leaned over and kissed him.

A moment later, Coulta broke the kiss to tug Wildas to Coulta’s bedchamber. He knew one way to relieve stress, at least.

 

Teeya arrived in his office a few hours later, and Coulta was happy to see her looking well. Teeya had been a servant to his former master – his personal seamstress – and had raised Coulta after he had been dumped with Lord Varin, though she had only been a few years older than Coulta. She was like a motherly older sister to him, and he cared about her so much that he had returned to the city of Arren after the civil war ended just to find out what had become of her. He had worried that Lord Varin had tortured her to death in an attempt to find out where Coulta and the prince had gone, but he had found her alive and well. She had immediately accepted his offer to become one of the royal family’s own seamstresses.

“Your lord husband said you had some work for me,” she said when she entered.

Coulta looked up from his notes and shook his head. “Won’t you stop calling him that?” he requested, but he was smiling.

She grinned as she walked up to his desk and leaned against it. “But that’s what he is. You’re just bothered that I saw it coming before you did.”

He didn’t deny or accept that right then, he just leaned back in his chair and explained, “I’m going to be training my people – the spies – to kill when they need to. I’ve lost too many already.”

Her eyes widened. “I thought it was only one?”

“For now,” he replied. “I want to train those who are currently here, as a group. But I don’t want anyone to know who they are. Even each other. Can you design some sort of fighting uniform that can hide their faces without making breathing or vision too difficult for the training to even be useful?”

She nodded thoughtfully. “I’m sure I can. It may take a few days, though.”

“I know. But the sooner you can make something workable, the better.”

“I’ll make it a priority,” she assured him. “Though, Anil does want some new dresses, to fit her growing body.” She smiled as she spoke.

Coulta rose from his chair. “I was planning to visit her, come with me.”

Teeya followed him into his bedchamber, across Wildas’, and to Anil’s door. It was only open a crack, so Coulta knocked out of politeness, and to make sure he didn’t startle his wife.

“Yes?” Anil called.

The queen was reclined on her bed knitting some article of clothing that Coulta couldn’t really guess at yet. He wasn’t surprised. After all, Anil came from a common family, and she had nothing to do while she was cooped up in her room. Coulta went to her and gave her a light kiss, smiling as she put down her knitting to hug him.

“How are you?” he asked. “And what are you making?”

She let him go to show him. “It’s going to be a blanket. I know I don’t need to do it, but I wouldn’t feel right about it if I didn’t. The blanket my blood mother made me before she died was very special to me. I want to pass on her memory to my own children.”

“That’s such a wonderful thing to do!” Teeya said with a smile, giving voice to what Coulta was feeling.

Anil looked up in surprise. “Teeya! I didn’t see you!”

Coulta gave the two women some space to hug, smiling to himself. All of his spouses had taken to Teeya the moment he had brought her back to Ryal, practically treating her like a sister, which made Coulta extremely happy. He didn’t know what he would have done if his spouses didn’t want to associate with the only other person in the world who was like family to him.

“I thought I could get started on some new clothes for you,” Teeya explained. “Lozk’s Day is only a little over a month away. I’ve been told that the royal family hosts some fairly fancy celebrations then.”

“Very true,” Anil replied. “I leave the choice up to you; show off what little swell I’ll have by then, or obscure it.”

“Definitely show it off,” Teeya declared. “It would do the people good to see that the royal line is already continuing. Don’t you think, Coulta?” she asked, turning to him.

Coulta shrugged, his arms crossed over his chest. “I honestly don’t know, but if you think it’s best, then I’m sure it is.”

Teeya shook her head. “You make a terrible king.”

“I’m aware.”

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January 7, 2012 - Posted by | King of Blades

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