The King's Traitor (The Kingfountain Series Book 3) by Jeff Wheeler

The King's Traitor (The Kingfountain Series Book 3) by Jeff Wheeler

Author:Jeff Wheeler [Wheeler, Jeff]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
ISBN: 9781503937727
Publisher: 47North, Seattle
Published: 2016-09-06T06:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

The White King

The palace corridor resounded with the thunder of Owen’s boots as he walked firmly and purposefully to the throne room. Servants steered away from him, and his path was marked by the muted whispers that followed him. The Duke of Westmarch had returned to Kingfountain, summoned by the king because of all the treasons in the realm. There were rumors in the palace that the young man from Tatton Hall had had another dream. When Owen reached the main doors leading into the throne room, he saw it was packed to nearly overflowing.

Perfect.

The familiar bubbling of worry and doubt rose up inside Owen’s chest, threatening to suffocate him. As he passed the guards, he felt the subtle presence of Fountain magic and then spied Etayne in disguise near the doors. Per their arrangement, she had positioned herself there in advance, and though she looked like any of the elegant noble beauties in the room, he saw through her disguise. The subtle nod she gave him indicated he should proceed with the plan.

The crowd parted before him, clearing a path directly to the throne itself. Owen saw the numerous tables lined with food, and for a moment, he could almost see a younger version of himself there, nervous eyes gazing at the crouch-backed king, nervous legs trying to escape him. This time, Owen would be confronting him directly.

The king was already sitting on his throne, hand on his dagger hilt, his posture calculated to diminish his deformity. Lady Kathryn stood near the dais, and even at this distance, he could see the new ring glittering on her finger. As he approached, he caught sight of the three other dukes of the realm—Catsby, Paulen, and Lovel—clustered together in a corner, whispering urgently to one another. Catsby’s eyes were full of loathing as he watched Owen’s approach. Paulen whispered something behind his hand to Catsby. Lovel sipped from a wine goblet, not paying attention to the conversation but watching the king and his conquest. To one side of them stood Kevan, his keen eyes taking in the scene with interest.

It was tradition to kneel before the throne of kings before speaking. Severn had dismissed Owen from that obligation years ago because of his service to the crown. But Owen deliberately dropped to one knee and bowed his head before the king.

“I told you he’d come,” the king said snidely to the other dukes. “Did I not? But lad, you could have changed into some new clothes. You haven’t shaved in weeks by the look of you. Have a bath first next time.”

A few tittering chuckles came from the huge assembly. Owen ignored the jab and began to summon the Fountain’s power into himself. He knew Severn had used up most of his reserves in his confrontation with Kathryn, but Owen wanted to impress this memory on the king and all others who were present.

Before he spoke, he caught sight of Evie’s daughter standing alongside one of the trestle tables with Drew.



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