CHAPTER TWO

I sat on a high-backed leather chair, one of four that stood about the wooden circular table, while my tutor, Morton Helveg wrote a few notes about today’s lesson on the blackboard. He was a pleasant fellow of medium height, with black hair and brown eyes, and a round face that was edged with a beard and mustache that connected to his mouth. He wore high quality gray and blue garments, and spectacles, which added to his scholarly appearance.

“Please turn to page fifteen of your history book, Your Highness,” he said as he crossed the room, his steps noiseless on the dark blue carpet, and eased himself onto a chair.

I stared at him, and shook my head out of habit. “But Helveg, we have been through this a thousand times. Can’t I read something else?”

He stared at me for a few moments. When he finally replied, his tone was measured. “When His Majesty, Prince Avok was about your age, he knew the history of our planet by heart. And he *never* got tired reading about it.”

“All right you win- this time,” I sighed.

“On the year 2050, a Terran colony headed by Prince Aalfor Love (Black Lion), second cousin to King Frederick X of Denmark settled on Planet Arus. These new arrivals made their homes on the shores of the large lakes and along the mountains that formed natural boundaries around most of the settled areas. In time social life in the separate settlements came to be dominated by the aristocracy and eventually, by petty kings. A few years later, the first successful attempt to form a united Arussian kingdom was made by Prince Aalfor, and he was crowned King of Arus. He managed to establish his supremacy and stayed in the throne close to twenty years.”

“He got married to Lady Therese of Odense and had two sons: Marius, called Fairheart of Althea and Hakon, The Red of Rommedalh.”

“Prince Marius continued his father’s research in rocketry and space travel, while Prince Hakon took over the Arussian army. He was a great strategist and turned his attention to the recently discovered galaxy; ships were built and sent on raiding expeditions. He established settlements in Pollux and planetoid Zealand. In this era of expansion, the three worlds created the Lion’s League, a commercial federation of trade, making the kingdom wealthier and powerful. But the young Prince’s unorthodox methods aroused the enmity of the nobles, who thought he wouldn’t be easy to control like his peace-loving brother.”

“When King Aalfor became gravely ill, he called up his sons. He knew that Hakon was better suited to be his predecessor, but fearing that his accession would disrupt the unity of the small kingdoms and cause a civil war, he drove the Prince into exile in planet Pollux with a few of his supporters.”

“After his death, Marius became ruler of Arus. He and his partisans didn’t allow Hakon to attend the funeral nor make a claim to the throne, stating that dissension among the heirs would cause confusion and fear among the Arussians.”

“Saddened that his efforts had meant nothing to the Arussians, Prince Hakon returned to Pollux, and declared it an independent kingdom. His people offered him the Crown and he became King Hakon I. He gave Pollux its own army, navy, customs and legislature and permitted full liberty and autonomy within its own boundaries. The move was disapproved by the two realms, but they couldn’t persuade the Polluxian King to change his mind-”

I broke off and shut the book. “After forcing him to leave Arus and renounce to the throne, they still wanted him to heed to their demands.”

“That’s right, Your Majesty,” Helveg said. “That was another insult to the young King. He never forgave them and neither his descendants- till this day.”

“Yes, and when my brother becomes a robeast, he will destroy their precious robot, and then they’ll see who’s better.”

He nodded thoughtfully. “I hope so, Your Highness. I really hope so.”



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