Back in Alvannia, prince Gladiolus has already left the palace with his new bride the second princess Elizabeth. In the latest discussion between Jennova and Alvannia, King Edward only agreed to send half of his army to lend a hand to Jennova in this war if Prince Gladiolus honors his previous word to marry his second daughter Princess Elizabeth therefore making a union between these two countries by marriage.
King Edward was sitting in his office with his head nestled in his closed fists deep in thought. He looked very troubled and seemed to have aged within such a short amount of time.
"Father!" Richard came inside abruptly. King Edward looked at him with irritation.
"Didn’t you learn how to knock first before entering someone’s office?" King Edward frowned.
"That isn’t important now!" Richard said with a raised voice. "Why...why did you lend Jennova half of our army? And why did you make my sister marry that perverted prince?! He openly says that he loves my sister Alicia but he is marrying my other sister Elizabeth. Isn’t that just weird or what?! And he was the one that kidnapped Alicia. Do you remember that father? They are using my sister Alicia as a hostage!"
Richard was visibly frustrated with his father’s decisions right now. The war of Jennova and Grandcrest is a big matter to this continent right now. The result will shift the balance of power in the continent. Alvannia should decide cautiously to whom they will side because the future of their own country hangs in the balance.
"I know that!" King Edward also raised his voice in anger. "Don’t you think I am in a tight spot right now? Jennova has your sister Alicia as hostage and Prince Gladiolus wants her so badly. And your sister’s fiancé, that damn brat just became king of Grandcrest. He is also pressuring me about this war. I do not know who to ally with at this state." The king sat back on his sit and sighed.
Grandpa Robert also entered the room and closed the door behind him.
"Calm down Richard, your father is troubled with the situation right now." Grandpa Robert patted Richard’s shoulder.
"But grandpa..." Richard wants to object but Grandpa Robert looked at him seriously. And so he shut his mouth and looked over to his father the king.
"I saw the army you have dispatched to follow the crown prince of Jennova back to his country." Grandpa Robert said. "That was the newly formed army that replaced McGregor’s army, correct?"
King Richard looked at Grandpa Robert with a defeated look and sighed once again. "Yes, that’s the new unit."
"You sent the new recruits to Jennova rather than sending my army which is more experienced in the battle field." Grandpa Robert said calmly. "That just shows who you decided to side with in this war."
Richard looked at Grandpa Robert and then his father. "You send the new unit to Jennova? But that isn’t even half of our whole army? That means... you don’t intend to help Jennova win this war?"
"Yes, I intend to ally with Grandcrest." King Edward looked at his young son. "I understand what you are feeling right now, but as a leader of course I should not let my emotions affect my judgement."
Richard’s frustration vanished and a smile crept on his face. It was evident that he also wanted to side with Grandcrest in this war. Not just because he is fond with his soon to be brother in law but also because of what the crown prince of Jennova has done to the capital in his wake and of course his sister’s kidnapping.
"Tell me your majesty, what made you decide to side with Grandcrest?" Grandpa Robert asked. He was curious what made the king’s mind change because at first, King Edward was about to ally himself with Jennova.
"With the way the war is going on right now, you would know who is at the advantage." King Richard replied. "By just that, as a leader I know where our country will most benefit with."
"And?" Grandpa Robert knew there was more.
King Richard sighed. "This reason is a bit personal. Jennova wreaked havoc inside the capital and they kidnapped one of my daughters and kept her as hostage. Do you think I will just take their hand and shake it?!" The anger in the king’s voice was heard clearly. "Many of our citizens died and were injured with that Prince Gladiolus’s attack and they expect me to send reinforcement to them? And there is still no word from your sister. Do you think I will trust that Jennovian prince’s words that she is doing fine? The heck, I don’t even know if she is sleeping and eating well! Just thinking that damn prince holding Alicia burns me with rage."
"Hahahaha... So you called for him to come here because you don’t want him to get near to Alicia. Is that why the negotiations in lending the army took months? Hahaha..." Grandpa Robert laughed out loud. The king looked at him in confusion. "I am happy that you have already changed now. You are thinking of your citizens, even though your decisions have some personal vendetta."
"Hah..." King Edward sighed. "I feel that I got so old this past year because of worries."
"Do not worry father. I am here to help you with your burdens." Richard said proudly.
"I think your son is ready to take some responsibilities and lift some of your burdens. Why not let the lad learn about your work?" Grandpa Robert said.
"You’re right." King Richard said. He looked at his young son who was now fifteen years of age. "After three years you would become an adult. I will personally teach you of my work and once you are of age, I will step down and give you my post."
Richard was surprised with his father’s sudden announcement. "Father? You don’t need to step down early. I am still young and need to learn more."
King Edward shook his head. "I have coveted this position in the past. And I just realized that maybe this position isn’t really for me. You on the other hand, were born to be king. I have the outmost confidence with father in law’s education that he gave to you. I will be at ease to give you my seat once the time has come."
"T-Thank you father!" Richard kneeled down in one knee. "I promise to uphold all grandpa’s teachings and work hard. I won’t let you down."
"Haha, no need for formalities my child." King Edward stood up from his seat and kneeled down as well in front of his son. He put his hand over Richard’s shoulder and looked at his son with proudness. "I am sure you will do better than I did. I am proud of you my son."
"Thank you father!" Richard was hesitant at first but then embraced his father. The king in return also hugged his son.
Grandpa Robert felt the warmth of happiness in his heart. He may not have made a good job raising his daughter but at least he made a good job raising the future king of Alvannia.
"General Robert." King Edward called out after standing up with Richard. "I need you to mobilize your army. Make them be ready to stand by. Once I send the word to Gandcrest about our alliance. If needed, I will let you march to the battle fields."
"As you wish your majesty." Grandpa Robert saluted.
"I hope this will be the last war for you, father in law. You need to retire from your post after this. You are growing old now." King Edward’s words have another meaning. He also meant to tell the general to come back safely from this war to retire and live his remaining days in peace.
"Hahaha, I might just take you up on that offer your majesty." Grandpa Robert laughed.
"But what about Elizabeth?" Richard asked. "You just let her go to Jennova and marry their prince."
King Edward sighed. "I did that to buy some time and also to trick Jennova. It is also some kind of punishment for her. After William’s refusal, she has been unruly and often creates problems inside the palace." The king explained. "Do not worry. While she is officially a crown princess, Jennova won’t hurt her. And I plan to rescue your sisters before Jennova finds out about our deception."
Richard nodded. A sacrifice must be made for this deception to work. Elizabeth might not be the best sister there is, but she is still his sister none the less."
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