Once again the King of Tarshish shifted in his saddle, slowly turning to look each king in the eye as he continued. “Our children will learn to preserve and rule our kingdoms through honor and the respect of the people, rather than through fear and greed. I fear that our children, when raised within our castle walls, will fall prey to an easy, spoiled life, and will not be prepared to battle evil. Everything within our power must be done to ensure that Judoc never wears any of our crowns, or sits atop any of our thrones.”
The rustling of ornate robes of the finest silks and velvets could be heard as the kings seemed to ponder the unthinkable idea of stealing their own child. The King of Nok was the first to speak. “How will we get these children to the cottage? Surely it is not that easy to steal children from their mothers and secretly take them far away!”
The King of Tarshish nodded his head, acknowledging this truth and said, “You will each think of a believable tale to reveal to your queen, the royal court, and villagers. All will believe the child to be dead. You will give your next-born child to your trusted aegis to secretly deliver to the cottage within a fortnight of the child’s birth.”
The King of Nok was the first to reluctantly nod his head in agreement. One by one, each of the kings nodded their heads in consent.
“Then it is done, and the pact will be honored by all; but now you should all make haste, as Judoc and the Night Invaders are never far away.”
Once again the night air was filled with the thundering of hooves as the King of Tarshish and his aegis watched the other kings depart as quickly as they had come together. As the pounding of the horses grew faint in the distance, the thick fog lifted for the briefest of moments and the King of Tarshish looked around him, studying the mystical clearing. “Aegis, do you suppose it is true what they say about these woods being enchanted by the wee people and faeries?”
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