Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis (2024)

Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis (1)

Prince Yubi from “Benji, Zax, and the Alien Prince.”

Long before I devoted my life to history education I was a novelist. Yeah, that seems far fetched to me too! But from 2010 to 2012 I actually wrote a science fiction romance. It was intended to be fan fiction for “Benji, Zax, and the Alien Prince,” that beloved part of my youth. Instead The Great Succession Crisis grew into a five (six if you count The First King flash fiction) book series: The Peers of Beinan.

In this scene Lord Knight Corann, now Anlei’s knight-protector, faces his father for the first time since he abandoned Corann and his mother, many yen-ars ago.

Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from Chapter Five: The Great Masquerade.

Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis (2)

“Make way. Make way for her Royal Highness, Anlei, Crown Princess of Beinan,” cried the herald as Anlei entered the state dining room where the reception for the most important suitors was already in full swing. Lord Corann kept a single pace behind her, visibly protecting her and yet not overly obtrusively. Anlei could feel the warmth of his body near her as she moved and felt glad for it in this intimidating setting filled with so many richly dressed Beinarians representing so much power and prestige.

Gazing around the room, she saw her parents, and then noticed several groupings of young men, many with their fathers. As her presence became noticed, Anlei attended to the posture and disposition of these men. Many of them were richly dressed with crimson belts, embroidery, and trims to their tunics. As a group they seemed to be somewhere between thirty and seventy yen-ars with an air of self-confidence and ego, mostly in their physical appearance, she could tell, by the way they preened and showed off as she passed. These men were obviously interested in a trophy wife, not her.

Overwhelmed by what felt like a wall of men wanting to devour her, Anlei clutched Corann’s arm, trying to conceal her fear. Corann put his hand over hers, trying to both comfort her and cover the fear in her hand, transforming the grasp into a secure escorting hold. “Courage,” he whispered into her ear.

Navigating away from the first group of young men as far as she could in the crowd, Anlei bowed courteously but did not approach them too closely. Suddenly an older gentleman wearing a Ten-Arian broad sword turned into her path, stopping her in her tracks. His eyes were a bright grey and his hair was a medium brown that curled into wavy locks. He was 56.8 cun 寸 tall and very athletic in build, his muscles well defined under his fine pale-yellow wool tunic embroidered in silver symbols. Just as stunning to Princess Anlei was the way his face and the way he carried himself reminded her of Corann. Suddenly she realized who he was, “Good afternoon, my lord. Would I have the honor of speaking to none other than Lord Cariadoc of House Ten-Ar?”

Lord Cariadoc bowed graciously, “Indeed, Your Highness…but it is House Shem that I represent in your fair hall. Many yen-ars ago I gave my soul to the Shemai; though I am a brother of Ten-Ar, it is my devotion to my faith that calls my heart first and foremost thanks to my lady wife. I am blessed, Your Highness, to be the father of and extend my name to many sons and daughters.”

“Not all, my lord,” corrected Lord Corann from behind Anlei. He knew it was against protocol to speak now, but he was eye to eye with his father for the first time in his adult life. Surely Cariadoc knew from his face who he was. “You have a son, your first born – and he is a Knight of Ten-Ar.”

Cariadoc eyed Corann with veiled contempt, “You are Corann, I presume?”

“I am.”

“What are you doing here? Are you courting the princess?” demanded Cariadoc.

“I am vowed to her side as knight protector. No man shall harm her as long as I am alive. I have a sacred trust to fulfill, to stand always at her side in friendship and in service to her. Her highness is my dearest friend for whom I would gladly lay down my life if called upon to do so as a true knight of Ten-Ar,” declared Lord Corann with pride.

“A beautiful woman of House Miyoo is a dangerous creature, Lord Knight Corann, I would be careful of falling to the magic of your charge. You may find yourself in regret one beinor.”

“Is that why you avoid me, Father? You feel some sort of regret that I exist?”

“You have no father, young one. All you have is a witch’s spell that entrapped an honorable man into dishonorable lust until you were made of that abomination. “

“I was more than a yen-ar old when you left, Father. You knew me as an infant and yet you chose to leave. Do not blame the prayers of House Miyoo for your actions. No one made you leave. Nor did anyone make you ignore me all these yen-ars. How many yen-ars did I train in the monastery – ever once did you speak to me, did you say my name, or admit that I am your son? I never asked much of you, only that you admit that you sired me.”

“The Shemai help us all that such a spell was cast over my body, that I ever laid with your mother, boy. Did I lay with your mother, the Lady Cordelia, until you were born of that lust? You want me to say it? YES. I did – for it there has never been a beinor of my life I have not felt the judgment of The Shemai on my head. He will judge all of Beinan for it; destroy us all because of my lust, because I was too weak to prevent your making. I have sinned and I can never undo my sin. This is why I never acknowledged you. You are a mark of shame upon my flesh, Lord Corann. You are an abomination before the god I worship. I beg my wife every beinor to forgive your making and in penance, I have given her many children, only some of whom have survived. My eldest sons, Kaleb and Janus are here. THEY are the sons of my hopes and dreams,” asserted Lord Cariadoc.

Anlei felt Corann’s slow temper rising. It was very difficult to stir Corann to anger, she knew, but this time she could tell, Lord Knight Cariadoc was actually insulting him enough to do it. Fearing for her friend for whom she cared deeply, her many yen-ars of training and practice asserted themselves, “Perhaps, Lord Knight Cariadoc, in a less formal setting the three of us may re-convene in a quieter place to discuss the past in more serene and genial environments. Perhaps this is not the best setting for healing old wounds which clearly need to be healed. Not speaking after all these yen-ars have obviously wounded both of you. If you are amenable, I would be happy to serve as arbiter in your dispute and help end this misunderstanding between you. I understand, my lords, that the past is unpleasant for both of you. But we ARE civilized Beinarian nobles, are we not? Have we learned nothing from the beinors of clan warfare when such misunderstandings were resolved at the points of blades and arrows, with generations of clan feuds, endless and needless bloodshed?”

Cariadoc tried to suppress a laugh and failed, his guffaw escaping his lips against his will, “Well, young one, you have trained your princess well. Perhaps this can be settled in more genial environments. That is, if you really do want a few xiao-shirs of clearing the air between us?”

“Lord Knight Cariadoc – father – I have wanted little else from you in all my life. Just to sit and TALK to you for a bit. I am sixty yen-ars old; I do not need a father per se. But I would like to know who you are and how you have lived your life since you left Lady

Cordelia and me. And I would like it very much if you would take some miniscule interest in some part of my life. Right or wrong in what she did; I am innocent in this. I had no choice in how I was made or why,” answered Lord Corann.

Cariadoc softened, “No you had no choice, you are right. Your Highness, if you are willing to arbitrate, I am willing conference with your protector in, say, ten beinors?”

“Agreed,” answered Anlei.

“Agreed,” answered Corann.

“Until then,” bowed Cariadoc, leaving them both.

Corann and Anlei tried to recover mentally from the confrontation with Cariadoc which, by this xiao-shir, had left them both with headaches. Before either could move from their spot, even to look for refreshments, Prince Anwell, her younger brother, rushed up behind her, “There you are. Where have you been?”

“I might ask the same thing of you, Anwell. You were not at grandmother’s dinner when father, Corann, and I came back from the Ten-Arian monastery. I’m surprised grandmother did not have your hide. You know how grandmother feels about those formal dinners. You – you – you….” Anlei could not finish her sentence.

Corann laughed behind her, “My dear friend, can I reasonably presume this is your brother Anwell? You’ve grown since last I saw you.”

“Friend? Or lover boy?” teased Anwell. “Father told me you two were kissing back there in house Ten-Ar. Any truth, Lord Knight?”

Anlei eyed her brother with contempt, “Lord Corann, this is indeed my younger brother by seven yen-ars, Prince Anwell the Unready, 37 yen-ars old and still acting 17.”

Anwell returned her dirty look as Corann addressed him, “What is true, Your Highness is that I am the sworn protector of your sister and that it is my job to lay down my life in her personal defense should either honor or physical danger be threatened. I would hate to use my sword on someone as royal as your person, Your Highness, but as I said, my vow to her includes Her Highnesses honor.” Corann met his eyes steely, scaring the irresponsible prince.

“You wouldn’t….” implied Prince Anwell.

Corann put his dominant left hand on the hint and drew the sword two cun 寸 to demonstrate his intent, “I would if you pressed the matter. Do you intend to keep pressing it, Your Highness?”

Convinced at last, Anwell backed off, “NO SIR!”

Corann smiled and returned the blade to its natural position in its sheath, “I did not think so.”

Lord Prince Bevin, from a few zhang across the room, naturally saw the slight drawing of the Ten-Arian sword and joined the conversation, “Is there a problem here?”

Corann answered him, “Your son does not respect house Ten-Ar, Your Highness. I had to teach him a small lesson in…respect.”

Bevin laughed, “Well done, my lord. Carry on.” He strode off to resume his conversations with the fathers of candidates for Anlei’s hand.

Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis (3)

Love this scene? Read more in The Great Succession Crisis. Available at a retailer near you including Apple, Amazon, Smashwords, Everand, and Barnes/Noble.

The Peers of Beinan series is (in chronological order):

Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis (4)

Good-bye A672E92 Quintus

Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis (5)

The First King (written first and integrated into “Good-bye,” it has its own audio edition)

Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis (6)

The Poisoned Ground

Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis (7)

The Great Succession Crisis

Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis (8)

The Ghosts of the Past

Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis (9)

Princess Anyu Returns

Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis (10)

The Complete Series

Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis (11)

The Legacy of Princess Anlei (The Great Succession Crisis, Ghosts of the Past, Princess Anyu Returns)

Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis (12)

The Complete Data Files

Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis (13)

The Lost Tales

Related Peers of Beinan posts

The Peers of Beinan: a Literary Journey

Peers of Beinan Book Descriptions and Links

The Knighting of a Squire

Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis: Meeting LordCariadoc

Beinarian Slatkos

Corann Meets His Father. Excerpt from The Great Succession Crisis (2024)


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