Now this ficlet is set completely in Ærworuld, the world I created for FWtBT. Those of you reading this will know which scene in FWtBT this ficlet expands on. (The scene is in chapter 11.) There is no Spike or any other Buffyverse characters mentioned since this scene takes place a good fifteen years before FWtBT starts.
So enjoy this little look into the history of my world, and I promise to get back to fixing chapter 12. :)
King Edderon had rarely spoken, believing words should only be used when necessary. On this day though, the words seemed hollow. His father was gone and no letter, no matter how heartfelt, would ever be enough. As Frederic read the letter, Aneirin wiped away tears. He was now king of the Mountain province, and as king, he needed to remain strong.
“How did it happen?” Aneirin asked as he brought bloodshot eyes to rest on General Einarr.
“We were riding along the highway between Syan and Hallow,” Einarr answered, his voice rough. “It was an ambush. The Dark One’s minions swarmed us. It was like they appeared out of nowhere.”
“You believe Ktulu might have had some aid in planning this raid?” Frederic asked, his brow wrinkled in concern.
“It is possible,” Einarr replied. “Our scouts had just reported that the road ahead was clear.”
“This is disturbing news,” Frederic stated as he began to pace his late King’s office. “If Ktulu has somehow enlisted aid in his cause to release his Master, then there is no telling when that beast may strike.”
“We need to warn the Alliance.”
“First off I need to know how this happened,” Aneirin said, anger filling his words.
“My Lord,” Frederic said. “General Einarr has already told you. Your father’s own words have told you.”
“You were supposed to protect him,” Aneirin said as he ignored his advisor’s words. “That was your job. Now tell me General, how the hell did this happen!”
“I told you. We were ambushed!”
“Aneirin, Einarr, please,” Frederic said as he stepped between the two. “There are more important things to discuss.”
“Like what?” Aneirin asked, his voice harsh. “The kingdom? The war? My father’s funeral?”
The last was said in a choked whisper as tears clouded his vision once more.
“Your Majesty,” Einarr said. “You can not know how sorry I am for your lose.”
Rage filled green eyes met his. The expression on Aneirin’s face so similar to his father’s that at first Einarr did not hear his words.
“You should be,” Aneirin snarled. “It was your job to protect him, and now he’s gone. You sir, are a traitor and a coward, and no general of mine.”
Shock flooded Einarr’s body as his heart broke for a second time. Anger soon followed his grief, and over came his guilt.
“And you are a spoiled brat not fit to follow in your father’s footsteps!”
“General Einarr!” came Frederic’s horrified words. “You will apologize to your king at once or be stripped of your title.”
“Take the title Frederic,” Einarr growled, eyes still locked on Aneirin. “I’m just a traitor and a coward after all.”
With jerky movements, Einarr pulled his tunic over his head. The garment came to rest at Aneirin’s feet. Then with a violent shove, one that sent Frederic stumbling back into a wall, Einarr stormed from the room. The door to the office slammed closed behind him, sounding like the death toll of a bell.
“Frederic,” Aneirin said, his voice barely above a whisper. “We need to discuss arrangements for my father’s funeral.”