Only Fools Complain: Cp30

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Only Fools Complain
Chapter Thirty

Complications Faced

I found it strange that I did not think of the power struggle between various mages. With both my wives taking me to bed, my thoughts fully turned to them. For the first time I felt the fact that I was married to these ladies settled into my thoughts. Unlike the whores I had before, I found myself accepting that these two ladies would stay with me. They would have my children. They would grow old with me. Instead of worrying about magic and those who manipulated such forces, I thought of the life I now would live.

There was no doubt in my mind that the life I had been living would no longer be possible. I could continue to claim my home as the family workplace because it required nothing from my older brother than to provide a bed. Now I would need something larger, and the demands in space and other matters would surely only increase. No longer being a single man, my living arrangements would have to change.

Life in Serussdal would put me around my family, so I considered that the better option. Of course, Thiminy was not that large of a land, so if I did settle in one of the other towns it would not be too much trouble to visit. I however did not want my family to only know the rest of their relatives by occasional visits. I thus considered settling in Serussdal to be my preference.

It caught me by surprise to hear the voice of Aden ask, “What are you thinking about, my lord?”

“Us.”

“That’s good. I am yours, my lord, if you desire.”

Those last words were mumbled. I gained the impression that she had not fully awakened. I however wondered about her true feelings concerning her situation. I would speak to her, but some decisions were not hers to make. She basically had no choice about traveling to Thiminy and securing the future of my home in this completely different location. Already she had to accept me as her husband, and Mersidda as an equal to her status and association with me. Surely she had some thoughts about that. While I had heard a lot of words from her, I wondered about what I would hear after the stresses from all the changes in her life became evident to her.

Somewhere in the various plans I felt needed forming, I fell asleep. I woke to having my wives demanding time with me. I then found myself wondering not about the changes coming to the life of my wives, but my own. My relationships with friends and family would change. My life in my kingdom would have to adjust. Not believing that I had any idea about how to make plans, I simply hoped that my wives would continue to support me even as I tried to do my best for them.

It was as I sat down at the table for breakfast that I finally put my mind back on matters other than my personal ones. "Does anyone know some recent news on Gagspeak?"

My two father-in-laws looked to each other, then Lord Harbest said, "He lost his wife recently, so I suspect he is mourning. Of course, I would suspect our king of having him do something to help in the situation."

"Does he have boys?"

"Two: Chample and Learnid."

The table had become quiet as everyone focused on what I considered a simple set of questions, so feeling that I had touched a nerve I asked the next one. "Either of them following in their father's footsteps?"

It was Aden's father that answered, "Neither. Methoull, his apprentice, had been recognized as his replacement. I believe... Damn, why didn't I think of that? Harbest, how much do you know about this?"

A grumble resounded, "What?"

It was Mersidda's older brother that said, "That does make sense. Chample gets Nemurk, Aneron gets to become king, and basically the kingdom holds, although with new leadership."

Assuring that I understood the flow of the conversation, I said, "So Gagspeak has negated any influence of his apprentice in order to put a son in authority. Aneron gave him the opening, but not without being marked as a traitor to Chellor. Gagspeak must then support Aneron, although to protect his sons he has to stay in the background. However, since Gagspeak is not of noble birth, Aden is the prize assuring the quality of the rulers of the barony."

Lord Harbest appeared slightly perplexed as he suggested "Then Baron Norvaum is actually supporting the king. Should Aneron win, Baron Norvaum loses control of Nemurk, but gains his son as king. Should Aneron lose, Baron Norvaum retains Nemurk presenting a bastard son as the heir."

Aden concluded, "That would mark him as not wanting Therlik dead. I mean, if he lived then he could be a very legitimate heir."

I replied "I never got the impression that he was one that would kill his own children. He did seem to care for you, Aden. I also believed that he wanted to give you a good life, if not one of your choosing."

Baron Behammir said, "Okay, so that presents a squabble that my kingdom needs to stay out of, as the participants would most probably thrash any invading army before returning to their private war."

"The only problem with that conclusion is that is not what Thorevin spoke to you about."

"No, but it does fit with our conclusion. We were to suggest to you to take your wives and go on home."

I felt that I had touched on the right line of thought, so worked to keep my mind thinking even as I spoke. "I brought down the sphere put into place by Aneron. I killed his dragon. Aden being married to another represents a threat to Aneron's hold on Gagspeak. I believe that he wants me away."

Lord Harbest declared, "May the gods bless you, lad. Go."

"No," I replied. "At least, not without your statement that you will support Aneron."

Aden said, "My lord, this is not your fight."

"No. It is. This is Mersidda's home. What matters here will affect her family my -- our family. Your home is in a neighboring kingdom. Your father is here scouting out the situation because it could affect him as well. My problem at present is that I do not know King Chellor. I have been basically helping him, but not in any knowledgeable manner."

Lord Harbest asked, "Are you expecting some contact from him?"

"Well, it would be nice. As it is, my hand is forced. I need to ride out and contact him."

Aden said, "You're joking."

It was however the words from Emoya that I considered of worth. "Berair, if he gives you leave, will you go then?"

"I guess that I will have to." I thought for a moment, then concluded, "Yes, if he gives me leave, or just a casual dismissal, I guess that I will not have any reason to stay."

Baron Behammir said, "I can give you a letter from me. That way you have an additional status as a messenger. It should assure your safety."

Emoya commented, "Honestly, Harbest, that is a better option than what you boys thought up last night."

Mersidda's father admitted, "Our plan was to have you, Berair, go back into Nemurk and get Berallid to make a stand."

I spoke to let them know that I did not think highly of that plan. "He did, as he is responsible for bringing me here." Wondering about their reasoning, I asked, "Why did you rule against approaching the king?"

"Because I am fief-bound to Baron Norvaum, and Behammir is from another kingdom. King Chellor has no reason to trust either of us."

"But he should have every reason to want to speak to both of you."

"After throwing us in irons."

That ignited a conversation that I felt had raged last night while I had my wives subdue my own fire. Not just my two father-in-laws, but Emoya along with a number of the adults from the holding and what soldiers of Thaulirn were trusted to be inside the house spoke mostly at the same time. I had Mersidda refill my glass, then I pulled her into my lap and sat next to Aden as I did my best to listen to the conversation.

Finally, Baron Behammir lookd to me and said, "I will write the letter," before signaling his men to follow as he moved out the door.

I believe it was the sight of Mersidda pleasantly in my lap that had Lord Harbest quiet the room, then say to me, "Thorevin does trust Berallid."

I replied, "I will keep that in mind should I need to flee from King Chellor."

"Listen, two wives is enough of a doom to any man. My daughter might be young with a lot to learn, but her mother did learn. She is now a threat to every breath I breathe." He paused I fully believed to give the lady an opportunity to inject her own comments, but she just smiled. "You treasure Mersidda as much as you treasure Aden. That is all I am going to ask of you, Berair. You treasure my daughter as much as you do that princess."

Mersidda just wrapped her arms around my neck while Aden hugged an arm, so I was free to say, "However much they both grow and change, I don't ever believe that I could not love them. They are neither the same lady, so demand and honor me in ways unique to them. I cannot imagine ever confusing them, or feeling their presence in my life could be duplicated or ignored."

The man clapped to signal his people as he said to me, "Put your armor on. You need to look your best when going before the king."

Both my wives took me to assure that I was dressed properly. As they handed me pieces, I tried to point out certain devices to let them know that they had meaning and were not simply lovely decorations. They did listen, but I felt still felt it of greater importance that I looked good.

Baron Behammir mentioned that he would have a squad within the trees watching. Should I need to flee from the royal army, there would thus be a possibility that I could gain aid. I reminded him that I did have the duty to work with people, so could be sociable. He again mentioned that he would do his best to watch out for me, and I took the letter he handed to me assuring him that I would not do anything stupid.

I had to ride all the way back out through the forest. Not pulling a wagon, I expected to make much better time than the trip in. I also had the horse keep a fast pace. It still took a good part of the day to reach a point where I felt I could safely walk the horse the final length to my destination.

A squad of soldiers wearing the colors of Peranty rode out to me. I announced myself. Not hearing anything in response, I asked them if I needed to mount my steed and follow.

The officer, a lieutenant, asked, "What's your purpose, foreigner?"

"I have a letter from Baron Behammir of Thaulirn. He has the standing to represent his king. As for me, well, I am wondering if your king has anything to say to me."

A bag was tossed in my direction, and I heard the sound of coins as it hit the ground. "Go."

"That is an acceptable response for me. Please accept the letter. I will go, but those of Mernill will continue to share a border with your land. You might as well deal with whatever Baron Behammir might have said."

As he took the letter, the lieutenant asked, "Baron Behammir, that is Princess Aden's father?"

"Yes, and now one of my father-in-laws. I have actually enjoyed getting to know both of my father-in-laws. Tell your king that I am leaving with no hard feelings. It has been an interesting visit."

One of the lancers asked, "Mersidda, is she pretty?"

"Cute, and young, and – yes – very pretty. Not as elegant as Princess Aden, but Mersidda is a pleasure to look at and hold."

"Her parents wanted a lot of money for her. I wanted to ask release to come and court her, but there was no way that I could afford her."

"The price was a political concern, and not one of the heart. If you would have gained her heart, I feel that the money would have been paid in your case as it was in mine. I believe that there are still politics in the struggle going on in this land, but I will leave you to it." I moved to pick up the sack of money as I said, "I wish you well."

Another sack of money landed on the ground beside me, then the lieutenant said, "That is to pay you for Mersidda."

Berair finds himself still having to face decisions due to his wives.