King Amos Coghill I
If he was being honest, he was scared.
That's right; the King of the Western Isles' powerhouse of a Kingdom, with the most advanced weapons and battle tactics, the leader of the aristocracy that helped run the Kingdom, was scared.
But he was within every right to be, in his opinion. There had already been a successful act of regicide within the Kingdom's walls in the past few weeks that had been aimed at the queen, and there had been a failed one targeting Amos. Every rational part of his body told him to be afraid.
But he wasn't scared in that sense, at least where he was standing then. He was scared because his leadership was about to be called into question. Not as in a debate or any sort of public political quiz, but the moon. The whole concept had been explained to him by Cyrus, "Nature runs primarily autonomously, but when something extraordinary happens, such as the crowning of a King, the Watcher intervenes, telling us whether the path we're walking is righteous and sustainable, or if we're following the footsteps of wicked."
"What will he say if I'm to be King or not?" Amos had asked, confused.
And Cyrus replied simply, "Clear sky and bright moon for you to be fit, and cloudy sky and black moon for… the less favorable option."
And that 'less favorable option' was one of two, either die by hanging or be exiled from the Kingdom for life. So, as it was obvious, Amos had a lot riding on this. It was six in the morning, though. That meant that Amos had a full fifteen hours before nightfall.
The teen had no idea why he had woken up so early, but he had chalked it up to nerves. He had started his day off with a bath, with a young servant girl coming and offering to dry him off. A very flustered Amos told her 'No' and started mentally complaining how it seemed to always be pretty servant girls that barged in on him during times that most would understand he'd want his privacy.
He quickly got out and dried himself off, shrugging on a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. At least, that's what he thought of them as. They were the ones he had bought at the tailor's shop, but with a few modifications from court tailors. It had a ruffle chest-scarf-thing, and the ends of the sleeve were similarly 'poofy'. Otherwise, it was similar to its 21st-century counterpart. In regards to the pants, he had simply thrown on whatever looked decent with the golden coloring of the shirt, which ended up being brown. He had also chosen the leather boots. They looked nothing like cowboy boots, but more like boots that'd be worn to an office meeting that happened to be made out of leather. They also happened to have the Coghill insignia on the sides.
Most of the day was going to be casual. For once, Amos had no duties, no issues to fulfill, and only two classes in terms of training. This was to compensate for the typically stressful night that followed, as he had heard from one of the servants.
So that was why he was then laying in his bed, with a cup of tea next to him, reading a book he had found in the library called, 'My Mechanical Angel'. The thing itself was a romance, and Amos had been wary of cheesiness when opening it, but he had been pleasantly surprised with a good plot and well-written characters.
He was enjoying himself, even though he had the stress of the upcoming night lurking at the back of his mind. He was not one to freak out; at least in most ways, of course. He had lived with a very laid-back mentality. Granted, hopping dimensions and being wrapped up in a war when you've barely got past being able to restrain a stiffy will mess with a person's perception of reality itself. He had been somewhat off his rocker for the past month, with his sort of daze in the first few weeks, and then the assassination plot following.
Amos could see from the corner of his eye that Cyrus had entered the room. For a man that was over 6'5" and even taller in armor that weighed over two-hundred pounds, he was very silent. Scarily so, to a degree.
"You need anything, Cyrus?" Amos asked, placing his book face-down on the bed.
The man responded bluntly, his tone tense, "There's a somebody waiting for you in the throne room."
The hairs on the back of the teenager's neck stood on end, the previous memories of the attempts on both his and his mother's lives coming back full force. He reasoned that it was Cyrus, though, and that he was Honorbound to protect the royalty with his life; Amos desperately wishing it didn't come to that.
He slowly nodded and gestured for Cyrus to exit the room. The Archpaladin did so, his footsteps just as silent as before.
Apprehensively, he slid out of bed and slipped on his armor with minor difficulty, wanting to be prepared for any situation. He also made a mental note to stop by the armory on the way to grab a pistol; just in case.
After finishing strapping on his gauntlets, he opened the door, an empty hallway and the now familiar panes greeting him. He stepped out, worrying for the worst. He hastily walked down a few hallways, them gradually filling with servants and soldiers. He quickly made his way to the armory, where two heavy guards were waiting at the door.
Normally, they'd most likely check for an ID or something of the sort, but they automatically let Amos in. One of the perks of royalty, it seemed. Inside, it was like an action movie had decided to phase into the real world. Hundreds of rifles, all different models, lined the walls in racks; tables were laden with pistols, and there were at least a hundred soldiers or more.
The entire armory was massive, with the roof being at least nonuple Amos's height. The soldiers in there took notice of him, often giving a quick salute, before continuing their work. He looked around for about a minute before spotting a bearded man donning ceremonial armor. The man was intimidating, more than a foot taller than Amos, with intense eyes.
"Uh, sir?" he asked, momentarily forgetting that he had higher authority.
The man pivoted towards him, most likely with a generic response, before realizing that he was speaking to the King and stating, "M'lord."
Amos nodded, remembering his position, and stated in the best politician's voice he could, "I need a pistol; something compact."
The man seemed to scour his mind for a second, before pointing at a small pistol to his left on a display rack and replying, "I do believe that a Hortag is what you need, m'lord."
"I'll take one with two extra magazines," he internally winced, not liking how domineering he sounded.
"Yes, m'lord," he quickly turned to a soldier that didn't have a helmet on and seemed to be a new recruit, "Kerwyn, could you please grab a Hortag with two extra magazines for the King?"
The soldier seemed to have not noticed Amos' presence before, and had a minor freak-out before responding, "A-Aye, sir!" and scampering off.
The man turned to Amos again, "M'lord, I don't think we've properly met. I'm Gruffin Rosser, head logistics manager."
Amos, again, put on his best politician voice and extended his hand, "A pleasure to meet you."
Gruffin took his hand and shook it, "Likewise, m'lord."
The recruit came around again, this time with the small firearm and the extra requests and holding the pistol out grip-first to Amos, "Here, your majesty."
The King nodded, grabbing the pistol, measuring its weight in his hand. It was very light and definitely small enough to fit under a sash or in his pocket, "Thank you."
With that, the recruit dropped the two extra mags in the teenager's hand, and said teenager bid the two farewell. After he closed the armory door behind him, he exhaled loudly, though he doubted anyone heard it over the ruckus that was now going on in the hallway; a side-effect of all the servants passing through.
He rubbed his temples as he started to walk, making his way to the throne room. He felt an overwhelming sense of dread, and the atmosphere felt like it would crush him with how heavy it was. Well, his perceived atmosphere. Everyone else seemed to be fine.
He eventually found himself in the throne room with no recollection of how got there, having been too absorbed in his own thoughts. He was surprised, though. Whether it was a pleasant or disastrous surprise was yet to be seen.
In it, a girl, maybe a few years older than him and wearing what seemed to be a ball gown, stood on the carpet in front of the throne. Beside her, an elderly man stood tall and proud, with bright white overcoat and navy trousers.
They were discussing something with Cyrus which Amos was too far away to hear. Before they took notice, he mentally willed himself to calm down; both psychologically and physically. He then slowly walked forward, his hands clasped behind his back in his best imitation of a "power pose".
As he neared, he could hear the conversation.
"…ill confused, though, Sir Cyrus. How come that, little more than a year ago, there was no heir to the throne, and now, there's a fully-grown King that took over immediately."
Cyrus kept his face blank, giving away nothing as he responded, "His majesty had to go into hiding for most of his life due to pressure from the Brothers of Vonsbury guild, so he was sent to another realm. He was brought back merely a few months ago, now that the Vonsbury guild is no more."
He walked up to them with a simple, "Greetings."
That was sufficient, right?
The elderly man turned to him in surprise, as did the girl. Cyrus either knew he was there from the start or knew how to disguise surprise very well, and both were equally likely.
His eyes automatically turned to the girl, though. She was near his age, in that assessment he was correct. She seemed to be eighteen or around it. Her hair was odd, though, as it was basically a light-brown cascade reaching down to her waist, though it was neatly combed.
"Golo," she smiled, Amos only knowing so because his mind registered the corners of her mouth go up and white teeth, as his eyes were still glued to her hair. It took a split second to rip them away, though, and to make direct eye contact.
He wondered what to do for a second before the elderly man spoke up, "Greetings, King Amos." And extended his hand.
Amos shifted his attention to the man, taking his hand and shaking it, quickly recalling his previous meet-and-greet, "You know my name, but I'm not aware of yours."
The man quirked an eyebrow in a way where Amos concluded he was mildly impressed, "I am King Józef II, from the Kingdom of Argentum."
"Pleased to make your acquaintance," was the teenage King's response. The elder King nodded, in which Amos assumed meant 'likewise'.
"And who is this?" he asked in his most polite tone possible, turning to look at the girl again.
"This is my daughter, princess Violetta IV," the elder King replied.
Before he could actually formulate a response, his mouth seemed to decide to go rouge, as he stated, "That she is."
I'm getting way too much into this role.
It seemed to be a rather normal response, though, as the man didn't seem phased, "We have come with the offer of a temporary alliance with the Coghill kingdom. And possibly a permanent one, should you take my daughter's hand in marriage."
AN: Alright, so now that I have this chapter done, let me just explain why it took me near four months to make this. In June, I was swamped with work for college and school in general, along with trying to find a job. And then in July, I got hit by a bloody truck and got knocked into a hospital room for nearly three months with a broken arm, a fractured skull, and six broken ribs. And once I got out of the hospital in late August, I still had a shit ton of work to do. I did try writing this chapter, though, and I actually went through over twenty separate versions that all went into alternate plotlines since, if you couldn't tell already, I'm sort of just making this stuff up as I go with a vague idea of the plot points I want to hit.
I want to apologize for how short this chapter is, as it's more of a sort of transitionary phase for me to possibly start working on this story regularly again.
Also, in response to thatshirleygirl's review on chapter nine… Amos might possibly suffer a fate arguably worse than death. I'll leave it to you to guess on what it is.
Anyways, as always, review! Serves for great motivation.