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I shuddered, and quickly wrapped up my speech. I swapped places at the podium with the next person and quickly ran down to grab the guard. No one had really seen his entry, but as soon as he saw me he yelled in a raspy voice, “Stop! He… he needs to be stopped!” I pulled him outside and sat him up. “Listen, chump.” I said. “You need to shut your mouth about all thats happened. Or else.” the knight looked very frightened. He looked scared and afraid, with the knoweledge he was going to die. He knew he had no time left, yet was still trying to do his duty.
I quickly called for a doctor. The Knight, whose name I later learned was Patrick, was placed on a bed in the Hospital ward. Or, something of that nature. Surprisingly enough, he was expected to live. He had been bitten in the leg, but because he had stopped the flow of blood with cloth, wrapped around his calf.
Over the following weeks, his leg healed as they cut off the diseased part. He seemed to be recovering nicely, but was unable to talk. I knew i’d have to figure out something before he was good enough to talk again.
I was also asked by a number of people the reason I left the funeral. I had to explain that my Knight was sick and needed aid. Many people bought it, but a few prodded deeper with questions as such: “Why didn’t he come with you?” “Where was he all this time?”. I mostly wove the questions away and seemed to fool most of everyone. I was making good progress.
As much as I loved being a duke, I knew there were so many other people that were suffering, so many other people that were hurting and breaking their backs to keep the country alive. I thought about introducing a new government by proposing it to the king, but realised how drastic of a change it really was… there was no way a king would want to change his kingdom so much, especially from the word of a foreign prince. I thought about how a simple life here could potentially be better for so much people, not just the rich or the people born into high class… there was possibility.
On a lucky occasion, I managed to obtain a private audience with the king. After the usual greetings, the happy formalities and the concerns for my knight, I got straight to work. “Well then, your honour.” I started. “I Propose a new system of government. A way for everyone to have a great life.” I continued. He seemed interested. “I know it sounds crazy, but here’s what I would do. I would lower the taxes, to somewhere of the nature of 30 percent of weekly income for everyone. Then, using the money you have, since, we are at a time of peace and do not need to continually fortify our nation, build instead better homes for the people. Build instead better towns and commodities for our people to be happy. Make the days for work shorter, and pay higher.” I finished. “So!” he scoffed. “You want me to give most of my tax money back to the people? Are you mad?” he chuckled. “You may be a nice prince and duke, but I cant enact this sort of dramatic monetary change to the economy.” he concluded. “My king!” I said. “Make the peasant’s lives better, healthier, longer and happier. They will work longer in their life, harder, and more efficient if you build them commodities such as bars, inns and parks. Places they can go and look forward to after work.” I retaliated. “Give them a reason to say they love you… without being killed if they don’t.” I finished. “While there is certainly wisdom in making the population happy,” the king said, “I don’t think the economy can handle such a large change.” He initiated that the conversation was over, and I left.
I met up again with Lady Grey outside, attended to by Darcy. “My lord.” She addressed. “Hello, M’lady. I’m sorry for the abrupt leaving of your fathers funeral. My knight returned to me with a disastrous wound.” I told her. “Thats very much okay, your grace. I understand.” she elated. She continued, after some pondrance, “Wouldn’t this knight have had to walk for several days to get here? How could he have sustained wound for so long?” she asked. I puzzled. “I wondered the same thing. Its not an ordinary bite, either. Its a snake bite.” I said. “Impossible!” Said Grey. “A man cannot possibly live with a snake bite more than one day. Your guard is an imposter!” she said. I thought about it… it is strange how a man managed to survive and walk for so long. “I will definitely think about it.” I said. “Now, have you got anymore parties or picnics or late night bonfires to go to?” I asked. She laughed, but explained she hadn’t any.
I started to attend fighting lessons. Lessons to teach me how to use my sword and how to defend myself. I trained with Pierre’s men, and eventually moved on to Pierre. He was hard to best but I eventually found myself beating him regularly.
It was in this time, that my Knight had finally gotten the strength to talk. Unfortunately, I heard about it very abrubtly, as I was forcibly taken to the king, with the knight as soon as his majesty heard. “You… you are a fake. A fraud. You have killed the real danish prince and have come here to destroy my city. Destroy it from the inside out! You want me to employ this new system of government to destroy this land!” He shouted vigorously foaming. “You have come here… to kill me, haven’t you!” he screamed. His guards seized me, and forced me to my knees. I had to think of something, fast. I saw the knight, and his chestplate. It had the danish symbol of a red lion on a white background. Damn. I had the same embroided onto my shirt. I remembered what lady grey had told me… no mere mortal could possibly withstand a snakebite for more than a day. “Your honour and grace!” I yelled. “Please, hear me.” The King had already given his executioner the sword. “Have you ever known a man to survive on a snake bite more than a day? The real heresy here is this knight, who, clearly isn’t one of my knights, has come here to kill me! To put me in a bad position. It is HE you must kill your majesty!” I spoke. The knight was flustered. He tried to speak, but the guards had already moved on to him.