The Four Brothers: Chapter V

Aelius’s Decision

All generals assembled in Chief General Alian’s chamber beside the royal quarters for the third time, King Aelius along with them. In the first meeting, Aelius ordered his generals to suggest their notions to him after he revealed his desire to become the World Emperor. Most generals were awestruck as they always believed their King to be a strong supporter of peace.

Their kingdom Verni, located in the centre of the Vernakulan world, was self-sustainable with a lot of wealth. Until now, they even had a king who looked after his subjects as his children. They believed in him, and no matter how difficult situations turned, they knew that King Aelius would take good care of them, but with this ambition, most generals believed, King Aelius might not only lose the faith of the people but might also kill young men for his greed of power.

However, as commanded, Generals started proposing their ideas after they failed to persuade their King to let go of his foolish ambition. Two of the six generals proposed that they begin to conquer from the west in the second meeting as they regarded uniting the weakest and small kingdoms would give them more power than conquering a vast empire because even victory would cost them many lives.

In their third meeting, the generals settled down to pick their cups to sip. As soon as they sat on either side of the long rectangular table, most looked at their King, waiting for him to speak. However, to their surprise, Chief General Alian, a lean old man with pale white skin and poisonous green eyes, stated, “Generals, as suggested in the last meeting that we annex the small kingdoms, King Aelius did not agree to it. Instead, we would like to strike the first blow on Raiders.”

All generals looked at Alian, shocked. Raider kingdom is the most powerful kingdom in the central world and was arguably even the most powerful in the entire Vernakulan world. Most wondered how Alian, the master who trained many in that chamber, including the King himself, had accepted this.

Meanwhile, Alian continued, “Nothing is more powerful than instilling fear, and our king believes that by destroying one huge kingdom, he can instil fear into the hearts of all the other kings.”

Before any general objected to the madness, Aelius firmly said, “War against the Raiders is definitive, and every word spoken should only help us fight them.”

The chamber was silent as a crypt for a moment while Aelius concluded, saying, “Prepare for battle!”

While they walked out, generals rushed to Alian and Jerin, the second most powerful general in ranks. One of them asked, “Master Alian, it is madness to march against Raiders. We would get killed, and no matter how we plan, we would be digging our graves if this war happens.”

Alian looked at all the other generals for a moment. He could see their tensed faces, and to comfort them, he said, “There is more at play here than that which meets our eye. We have to stand behind our King.”

Though generals hoped for more assurance, Alian walked to his room without another word.





This contribution is reviewed by Harsha Modukuri & Rajiv R Nair, edited by Ahna Sahi, R. K. Chamarla, Sree Raj & Tarun Chintam & illustrated by Nisha Yadav.



This novel is available in paperback & ebook.

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