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The kingdom through the.., p.25
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       The Kingdom through the Swamp: The Courts Divided - Book 1, p.25

           Kell Inkston
 
CHAPTER TWENTY THREE: THE PLAN

  Dresmond leans in, joined by Love and Law.

  “My plan would be a three-part operation that would ensure, should even one operator succeed, the survival of the entire group. Not one of us would need to rely on the other, so the success of the operation would rely on our singular abilities. I think that no matter who fails, the other two have a great chance, as their forces will be diverted between us.”

  “Very good, now get on with it,” Law butts in.

  “Yes, sir. Sorry, sir. We will split into three: I will go to the official’s communicarium and find the chat stone that connects to our Knight offices. I will then alert Redemption personally that Order is planned for execution and that Oa will soon arrive at the High Tea.”

  “He’ll be here in seconds if he could; no way he’d let Order die,” Law says with a wry smirk. Love nods.

  “Oh yes, he’s quite mad for her,” Love says.

  “Indeed. Love’s job would be to break Lord Knight General Order out of her holding place. As we’ve overheard, she has been moved to a pocket dimension cell inside the keep’s magerium. They’re holding her there to ensure her security after your ... well, mam, your really cool escape, if I can speak out of turn.”

  “Of course, please carry on,” Love says with a rather proud smile.

  “You will have to go in, get the key, keys, or whatever they’re using to keep her inside, and then transfer the mana necessary for her to pull up a summon gate.”

  “Not a bad idea, Order’s the best we have when it comes to mana pools, and with Love’s expertise setting up a temporary space gate should be easy for them,” Law says, unmoving.

  “Thank you, Rayull. Now, should I have been successful, Redemption would run right into the space-transfer area and teleport right here, probably along with any other high-level Knight he could grab in time. Were I to fail, we would still have several Knights accept the call to summoning, as of course, that’s what the jump corps is there for.”

  “Sounds good, but I see a flaw: what about the elite guards? They’ll smash you to a pulp and throw your ass right into the dungeon,” notes Rayull, almost humorously.

  “That’s where you come in; if you catch my drift.”

  “Change of mind; I don’t like your idea- I love it.”

  “Thank you, sir. So then Love will get Order, summon inside the pocket dimension, pull out as many Knights as they can, and exit, we will then have Love and Order lay down a concealing-magic field that will mask our presence until Oa arrives.”

  “Great, but that won’t stop Aoline and Lain from leveling the entire palace from the explosions once Oa activates their spells,” Law reminds.

  “Well, we would have to worry about that, but the little help I got while I was away should prove to solve that problem,” Love says with a calm nod and a very quick wink. Law’s smirk quickly turns down.

  “Yeah? What sort of help?”

  “It’ll be a surprise,” Love says with a smile.

  “O.E.L.?” Law guesses.

  “Not saying.”

  “Subspace Mercenaries?”

  “Not saying!” Love says as she crosses her arms in jest. Law scoffs hearing this.

  “An Overlord, then? Pfft, wait no, Overlord Chaos agreed to help us!”

  “I’m not saying!” Love says again, glad Law finds the possibility of such things ridiculous.

  “Well fine, I guess that’s really as far as we can plan, yes?” Law questions.

  “I’d suppose so. I’m not sure how we would plan for contingencies in this case.”

  “W-what about me?” Lain asks, entering the conversation finally. Love, Dresmond, and Law exchange some glances, and then Dresmond nods.

  “I suppose you should look after Aoline,” he says, quickly causing Lain to cry “I’M SO USELESS!” and return to his weeping.

  “Stay quiet for the All’s sake,” Law chastises, reducing Lain’s sobs to sniveling whimpers.

  There is a silence for a moment as the three more-capable Knights muse on the plan a bit more.

  “... How about if we fail?” Law asks.

  “Well, I’d presume we would get executed, Oa would appear, hear the screams of our slow death, activate the spell on Lain and Aoline, level Liefholn keep, kill the Liefland royal family, and then take the High Tea’s seat for itself as its minions kill everyone,” Dresmond says, gaze direct at Law.

  “Pretty bad, I guess,” the dragon man says.

  “If you dislike the idea of an entire nation falling in one night, I’d say so,” Dresmond says.

  “Hmm alright, and how long do you think we should have all of this done?” Love asks.

  “From what I’ve heard the Tea will be in about an hour and thirty, when the Sun will be on the later twilight ridge; I’m pretty sure this will be the same time as the execution from what they were saying below. So, yeah, I’d suggest we get started ASAP because I have no idea how long your part will take,” Dresmond says, his shoulders now slumped comfortably to his sides; a sharp contrast to the rigidness he showed yesterday. Love nods.

  “It’s a wonderful idea, Dresmond. I agree with Hosy here that you’ll accomplish great things someday,” Love says with a gaze that Law remembers from his childhood, one she would have every time he successfully cast a spell she had taught him.

  For a moment, Law feels the sharp prick of jealousy in his side. He decides he’s not about to let a first year-recruit outdo him for his surrogate-mother’s approval.

  “Thank you, mam. I look forward to many years of service.”

  “Of course, now let’s begin,” Love says as she puts her hand in front of the others. Dresmond pauses a moment, unsure of what she intends, and then gets that he should put his hand on top of hers. He does so, and then they both turn to Law.

  “That’s dumb, I’m not going to--”

  “Come on, Hosy, go teeeeam!” Love says in a way both of the male Knights find completely inappropriate considering the situation. Law looks about a bit, takes a breath, and then puts in his hand.

  “I’ll do my best,” he says, the spark in his eyes steadily returning.

  “Alright! Now we’ll say: ‘It’s not okay if we screw up’ on three- ready? One ... two ...--’

  “It’s not okay if we screw up!”

  “It’s ‘sigh’ okay if we screw up.”

  “It’s not okay if we screw up!” the three say in unison with vastly-differing levels of enthusiasm.

  “Cool, so let’s not waste any more time. I actually think I’m looking forward to this,” Law says as he rotates his armored shoulders. The other two agree, and the three go to save Order, the fairies, and themselves. Lain watches them leave, takes a deep breath, and begins chanting “Glory to the Crown in our Hearts” again and again. Slowly, slowly, he takes a stand; Lain is now a true knight— and he will do all he can, however small, to make a difference.

 
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