Not much to add lately, but I was thinking of another excerpt. It’s the beginning of one of the major plots in Together with Silver. It plays a good sized part in book one, almost none in book two, and will occurs again in book three, once written. And it all starts with:
The attendants sat the king in his chair at the head of the meeting table. The advisors had already taken their seats. The chief attendant and the other attendants left the room. The blue-haired woman stood a little behind the king’s chair. Once everyone was situated, the advisors began speaking.
“How should we proceed?”
“Do we have a plan in place?”
“What of an heir?”
“Quiet! One at a time! We’ve gone over this before, months ago before King Fidel left. What we should do right now is ask of the king’s health. Miss Aoi, please do tell us what your people said.” The one speaking was an old human with long gray hair. It was one of the three advisors directly under Fidel, Rillin.
“Sir, thank you. As you all may know, I am Aoi from the kingdom of water. I have been sent to watch after the king’s health. I am here until he dies.”
“Dies? Death, he is going to die?” A few of the advisors had begun shouting in disbelief, but it was again Rillin who silenced them.
“Men, please. She didn’t say he was going to have a shortened life yet. Just ‘until.’ I assume that’s the goodwill of the water kingdom. Please go on, Aoi,” Rillin said.
“I didn’t mean to cause a commotion. Forgive my choice of words. It appears I stumbled headfirst into the problem. It was a slip, but it was correct. Until he dies, and he will. In three years, at most,” Aoi said with a heavy note. This time, there was no commotion from the group. Rillin, who had been smiling in expectation of a more positive answer, was dumbstruck. “My people have cures for many things, but unfortunately we have nothing that can help your king. The best we could do was prolong his life. Even that only adds a few years. My assignment here is to do my best to see that he lasts the full three years, comfortably.” The group still had no response to the heavy words.
King Fidel spoke up, saying, “Friends. I am not dead yet. You’re too silent. We knew this may have been our answer before we sought the guidance of the water people. Friends, we have three years. Do not grieve for me yet. For now, I live. For now, I can make an appearance to my people. Now, I can set in motion the events that will guide our future. Do not ask about what the future holds. I have nothing more I want to say or hear. You are all dismissed.”