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Untitled Fantasy Novel (Chapter 6)

Chapter 6 

Emerdy came from a powerful family in Oathville, a family that had a connection with the first King. She had lived her entire life without anyone ever disagreeing with her. She was—objectively—beautiful; with bright blonde hair, a pointy nose, blue eyes and full lips. She walked with perfect posture, her head always held high and her tone was always slightly condescending no matter who she was talking to. She was intelligent, but not as intelligent as she thought she was. No one in Oathville dared to tell her when she was wrong about something, so they usually nodded along with whatever dribble she was spouting that day, creating a loop of confirmation bias that helped build her confidence. Everyone knew that she was destined for a position of power in Oathville—probably a spot on The Court. But, she had dreams of becoming Queen—a real queen; one with real power; one that had more power than The Court. 

It was her that Aslan and Beatrice had in mind for Aaron. 

The problem was, Aaron hated her and she hated Aaron. They were too similar; too manipulative; too motivated by power; to get along. A subtle competition had formed between the two since childhood that blossomed to full-on rivalry between the pair. Emerdy was the same age as Aaron and Aslan. They had been schoolmates for nearly a decade, and this is where their hatred for each other had started to form. Aslan had loved to see his brother bothered by her and often provoked a conflict between the two of them. No one could get under his skin like Emerdy Clifton did, not even Aslan. Aslan had stopped caring enough to argue with Aaron, but Emerdy seemed to enjoy the challenge. They were natural oppositions, but had the exact same motivations in life. 

“Isn’t she being courted by the Prince of Spectre?” Beatrice asked Aslan. 

“I hear that he has nothing but air and ale between his ears. She is just using him to gain more influence within the six kingdoms. It’ll fizzle out. It always does with her.”

Beatrice looked at him curiously, “Fizzle out? What’s that mean?”

“You know babe, the fizzle? Someone just slowly pulls away from their partner, eventually disappearing from their life forever, without a single word as to why—you’ve never heard of the fizzle?? I swear I read it in one of your books . . . Maybe the one about the three brothers and the uncle, and that one young lady and she ends up sleeping with all four of them and falling in love with two of them; you know which book, babe? One of them is a psychopath and the other one is really nice, and she ends up choosing the crazy one?”

Beatrice rolled her eyes at him and got up off of his lap. “There is no ‘fizzle’ in that one. How many of my books have you been reading?? And please tell me that all of your ideas for your plans aren't coming from those books?"

Aslan shrugged and looked away from his wife. “Okay, admittedly . . . I’ve read all of them.”

“I haven’t even read all of them!” she stomped her foot on the ground as if she was a child as  spoke. “Aslan!”

“Hey, it’s not my fault you’re a slow reader,” he tried a smile at her but her scowl almost intimidated him and it quickly disappeared, turning into a concerned frown. 

I am not a slow reader!” she yelled at him in protest, stomping her foot again. 

“We have to break up the prince and Emerdy. That’s step one of the plan. She hates him, so it should be easy.

Beatrice crossed her arms and glared at him. Standing in the middle of the room, saying nothing, she waited. 

“So, you might not like step one of the plan, babe. Just forewarning you.”

Her eyes narrowed, her forehead wrinkles popping, “What do you mean, Aslan

Reetrant?—but be careful here, these could be your last words.”

He leaned forward, “You and I are going to break them up at the tournament in two weeks in the kingdom of Freeland.”

She took a step back and gasped. Her hands came to her mouth. “Freeland??” she asked him through her hands, barely above a whisper.

“Yes, ma’am, and you are going to have to pique the interest of the Prince while we are there. Aaron and I are going to enter the tournament, and I will work my magic and spark up some love between Emerdy and him.” He rubbed his hands together at the word spark, and then licked his lips as if a feast lay under his nose. 

“You’ve gone crazy. My husband is a madman. Well, I can’t say I am shocked by this plan. But, Aslan, I still worry that a relationship between those two will only make them worse.”

A devious smile came across his face. “It won’t matter if they are better or worse, babe, because as soon as those two are married, you and I are going to another kingdom far away from this one. It is high-time that we left Oathville. And I have just the place for us. But, I must win this tournament first. So much of this plan depends on me winning it . . . it is the only real hole I see in our escape plan.”

Beatrice stepped closer to Aslan and asked him, “Why do you need your brother to be married in order for us to leave, though? Can’t we just go?”

Aslan glanced to the side, trying to pick his words carefully here, “Isn’t it obvious, babe?”

“Obviously not, or else I wouldn’t be asking you.”

Aslan looked back at her, staring her in the eyes. His eyes, for once, were dead serious. “He’ll kill us if we try to leave right now.”

Beatrice cocked her head to the side, “Kill us? Don’t be ridiculous . . . Why would he kill us??”

“You don’t know?”

“Stop asking questions like that, Aslan! Obviously I don’t know!”

He sank back in his seat, and stroked his beard again. “I really thought you knew by now, babe . . .” he said. “The reason why my brother would kill us if we left is because . . .” he leaned forward again, grabbing her hands this time and looking her in the eyes, “he loves you, Beatrice. He always has.” 

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