Raiders From The Sea, Chapter 27.

Richard is the problem!

Chapter 27.
The Regency Council.
Aerendyl Shanelis was early again. He liked to do that with some of the others to have a bit of a chat before the actual meeting. Since Princess Glynnii had called the meeting, the agenda probably involved Rolin’s little run in with Rosaniya and Richard. Princess Lelayme came in with Almon and Vullas. Vullas said, “This might be interesting for a change. I received an interesting document this morning, a document that I have been wanting to see for a long time.”
“What is that?” Lelayme said.
“Rosaniya finally convinced Richard to make it official.”
“Wonderful. What tripped that off? She’s been bothered by that for a very long time.”
“Camus tried to force Rosaniya to sell Richard.”
“I heard about some of that. Richard was on that list the Barrister sent, but Richard and Rosaniya have been an open secret for very long time now.”
“Camus apparently didn’t look too closely at the list and realize just who the name was on the list. He sent somebody out to buy the slaves and when a bunch of the putative slave owners turned him down, called out Toross.”
“I told Esgalwathanar about that and I suspect that he went and talked to Rosaniya.”
“Apparently he did, and Rosaniya cut Rolin off to make the point the she wasn’t going to sell Richard under any circumstances.”
“What did Rolin do?”
“Went to Rosaniya and apologized abjectly to her and Richard. He then posted a document with me explaining the circumstances and promising never to take such actions here in the empire again. He really didn’t have a choice.”
Gorduin came into the room and said, “Discussing Richard and Rolin’s idiocy?”
“That was total idiocy. Richard told me about it and we laughed. Rosaniya didn’t even tell Richard that she was cutting Rolin off until Rolin was coming to apologize and she wanted him there.”

Princess Glynnii came in followed by her other sisters and Princes Ralnor and Narbeth. She sat down and called the meeting and Prince Ralnor said, “What is it this time, sister.”
“We have a potential food crisis.”
“As far as I know we haven’t had a food problem in a long time. Is this something new? I’ll talk to Richard about it when he sees me at my farm next week.”
“That’s the problem. Richard is the problem.”
“Are you talking about Rolin’s idiocy?”
“Yes. Richard threatened the entire family with starvation and messed up arrangements that the family had been working on for several five days.”
“Actually Rosaniya slapped Rolin when she found out that Rolin wanted to strong arm her so that she would sell Richard.”
“Rolin just wanted to send Richard home.”
“He didn’t have to pull out Toross and his clowns to do that. He sort of neglected to ask if Richard actually wanted to go home right now.
“Richard is a slave. You don’t ask slaves what they want.”
“No, he’s not a slave,” Vullas said. “Rosaniya finally managed to get Richard to say yes and sign a marriage agreement. She even had the document backdated to the day that they shared blood. In any case, I don’t see anybody telling Richard what he should do and that hasn’t been happening for a very long time.”
“Rosaniya does,” Ralnor said with a smile. “Nimue and Alinis have him wrapped around their little fingers. The boys do what he says, pretty much. I don’t see the problem here.”
“We have a slave who has a knife to the empire’s throat.”
“I think that is more than a bit of an exaggeration,” Gorduin said. “We should all be thankful that the empire has Richard. The man has always been generous with what he knows and he has been able to keep the empire without famine for a very long time.”
“So you are the slave’s mouthpiece?”
“Not at all. I am just pointing out how valuable the man has been to me and the empire. I have never seen him as a slave and I am sure that Rosaniya does not. As for sending the man home, I would say that the man would be willing to do that later in the year when his responsibilities are not so pressing.”
“A slave shouldn’t have responsibilities and power.”
“Aren’t you listening sister?” Ralnor said. “Richard has the influence he does because the empire needed him. Perhaps you never understood why the turmoils started, but I was there with grandfather and I know why he died, trying to save starving people and not being able to overcome the blight. He killed himself pouring his mana and magic into the blight, trying to save enough grain so that city would have enough for the winter. We did, but grandfather had a stroke and died after the winter. With Richard at the farm, I and Gorduin know that the blight and rest of it will be dealt with by the best possible hands.”
“He’s not an elf!”
“I will leave it to you, sister, to discover what he is or is not. But as far as that goes, the only person that should matter to is Rosaniya and she doesn’t care.”
“The Ravathyra could have been starved out of existence. We should sanction Rosaniya and give Richard to Rolin.”
Princess Saphielle laughed. “At this point Rolin would just send him home. Otherwise Rosaniya will be upset. Rolin made a mistake and he admitted it. I don’t see any need to sanction Rosaniya and certainly no reason to bother Richard with trivialities. I imagine that his family at home will want to send somebody to have a chat with him after his brother has finished his work in the Republic. I move that we go on to other business or close this down. Sister, you can tell Erlan that messing up his wife’s party is not a reason for the Regency Council to bother the man that keeps us all fed.”
Glynnii looked around the table at the annoyed faces and closed the meeting.

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