Part XVIII - Circumstances have Changed
I watched the young king and our lieutenant Clack go through training. Olcarlamon insisted that I should observe them in secrecy. I’m not surprised. My mate was a big fan of watching events occur without interference. In this situation I had to agree with him. I was learning much by watching Lieutenant Clack and King Milo, as he was now calling him.
Watching Clack train the young king was impressive. Most elves would be afraid of working so closely with a royal. Rightfully so, there were too many incidents where royals came to power and had the heads of their subordinates cut off. Somehow, I chuckled to myself, I had to believe Clack would make removing his head difficult.
I’d always held a soft spot in my heart for the young, cheeky elf. Olcarlamon was as impressed with him as I was, but more than once I thought maybe taking his head off felt like a good idea for the General.
I watched as Clack flipped the king onto his back, then told him what he’d done to make that so easy. “You have to provide resistance, often you only have one moment to get your bearings and strike back. If you’re on your back, then you’ll just be dead.
The king rolled his eyes, causing me to snicker. I’d seen more than a few young elves with the same expression as they learned to control their fighting posture and stance. I spent several days watching, and observed that the king wasn’t a complainer. That would help with Olcarlamon’s plan.
An entitled royal would just create problems. This one, he seemed to want to do well. His attraction to Clack was clear as well. That was something that caused me to pause.
Sure, Elves lived too long to have silly sexual restrictions around working together. That being said, an authority figure should never be involved with a subordinate. Of course, who was the subordinate in this situation? The boy was our king until he was dead that is. Even without his powers, he was the official Elvin king, and the council had confirmed that. Clack was a lowly guard.
I shifted back to Olcarlamon’s tent and waited for him there. My mate was the General, and as such, always had better food in his tent than I did. I took it upon myself to eat as much of it while visiting as I could. Of course, that always led to a fun bout of sex, but, today we were onto more important things. That didn’t mean I couldn’t mess with his head a little.
I was leaned back on his cot eating the last of the alpine strawberries when he came into his tent. He looked at me, then down at the empty bowl of strawberries and shook his head. “You know I could have you court martialed for that.”
“You know you’d be enduring a lot of lonely nights if you did.”
Faster than I could see, Olcarlamon was on top of me holding me onto the bed. I flipped him and knelt on top. “You still move fast for an old elf, but,” I whispered into his hear. “I’m still faster.”
I laughed as I leaned down to kiss him. “So, the king.”
Olcarlamon’s face grew serious then he cast a spell so we couldn’t be heard. “You shouldn’t mention the king without a protective shield around us.”
I crawled off of him and sat next to him on the cot. “Listen Olcarlamon, the boy is green, like you said. Clack is good with him, but there’s sexual energy there. That could derail your plans.”
“So what? You think I should leave them in the Erime?”
I shook my head, “No, that would be more dangerous than this plan. Eventually, Atticon’s soldiers will check there. If they weren’t all a bunch of meat-headed buffoons, they already would’ve.”
Olcarlamon nodded, "I’ve thought the same, my mate, but it was the safest place.”
“Here’s my take on this, General,” I said switching to his official title. Something I only did when what we were talking about was important and separate from our relationship. “I believe you should encourage Clack and Milo to be more. Pull their sexual desires for one another to the forefront. Make them contemporaries.”
Olcarlamon chuckled. “And how am I to make a king the contemporary to a lieutenant.”
“By removing their memories, of course.”
“Treason…” he whispered.
I shrugged. “Maybe, maybe not. Ultimately, the king is going to die if he isn’t properly trained. Is it treason to do the only logical thing we can to keep him alive? And before you answer, I wouldn’t even suggest this if Atticon’s powers were still intact. The council has given us an opportunity. I recommend we take advantage of it.”
Olcarlamon nodded, “let’s come up with a plan, he’ll need soldiers beside him. Warriors who can fight without their powers and without the memories of who they are…”
He stood and paced the room, then looked up at me. “Wait, I have the perfect place, River Nith, in Scotland. The Riparian castle still stands, I was there myself, just a few years ago.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “My mate, no one has occupied Riparian castle for over a century. However, it’s one of the Elvin strongholds, and as such we have maintained it… somewhat.” I said tongue in cheek. By maintain, I really just meant we didn’t let it fall in.
“Can it be made livable? By human standards?” he asked me.
I nodded, “Aye, it can, and young Clack is the only living heir of the estate. There are no elves along the River Nith, General. They will be completely isolated, and without protection.”
Olcarlamon put his finger to his nose, “That’s the beauty here. The elves have abandoned this part of Scotland. There are stories of ghosts that haunt those halls, which of course, I’m inclined to believe. If we remove the elves powers however, they won’t be aware of the spirits that linger there.”
“You assume much, but your plan does have merit. It will be winter soon in Scotland. The area around Riparian Castle is intensely cold in the winter, that will help us set things in motion and give the soldiers time to adjust to their new lives before humans come back in the area over the summer.”
“We should make the castle open to the public as well, give tours. Make it very human. No elf would open their lives to the human public, this would help to keep the wolves at bay. I believe my dearest, this is our best possible plan.” Olcarlaman said.
“Then I’ll begin making arrangements.” I said and bowed before my mate. “I can let you know when we’re ready for the transfer.”
He smiled, and drew me into his arms. “You are the best my love. The absolute best.”
I laughed and kissed him, then pulled back. I will leave tonight for Scotland and begin the process of setting up the old castle for modern human habitation. We had kept humans away from the castle through trickery and illusions so I was sure we could fool them into thinking the old castle had been maintained all these years.
We used elf magic to keep things under control there as well, so my casting spells weren’t likely to draw undo Elvin attention either. Of course, all I could do is make the changes, then wait to see what attention, if any, the old place attracted.
The fact there were no elves in the region helped, Olcarlamon was right on that account. There were only a few old elf settlements we maintained that were no longer part of the realm. We only kept the ones that held deep and powerful energy. The Riparian clan had been powerful, and their days on the land there had been there as long as the mountains that surrounded it. Elves could never surrender control of that stronghold to humanity. It was just too powerful.
That didn’t mean we couldn’t install friendly humans, ones we controlled, to manage our territories. The council had actually put pressure on me half a century ago after the last great human war to do just that. If we were lucky, this would just look like I was complying with their order. Elves lived a long time, and we didn’t tend to move quickly on things.
I would finish the upgrades, then I could even alert the council that the castle was occupied by friendly humans. Yes, this was the way to do this. Good job my mate, I thought to myself. This just might work.
Join us next time as the adventures of Milo and Clack continue!