Chapter 47:

A Team is Assembled

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

 The other leaders looked around the room. Each waited for another to speak, which made an awkward silence.

"Let me clarify, I'm not opposed to sending a team, but we should be a little more practical with it," King Fio said after a moment. "We all have more experienced warriors to send."

"I agree with King Fio's assessment. We will gladly offer up a member of our own, but you should send an Aqueenian with more experience," Zenith added.

The other leaders nodded in agreement.

"I am sorry, but I have faith in those two in carrying out the task I wish them to," Queen Whitlock said sharply.

King Fio rubbed his forehead, then let out a sigh.

"Fine, I will send someone to join them, but they will not be responsible for what happens to the other two." He turned to look back at the large crowd he had brought with him. The practical solution would be to send Platon, who held the title of the strongest in the world. However, Dia had already overwhelmed Platon once, and personably King Fio wished to have the strongest by his side, just in case. "Any of my people may volunteer; I will not send you on this mission against your wishes." King Fio declared to his group.

It may have sounded benevolent, but King Fio had upcoming Hobusian elections in mind. Every member of his crowd was the head of a Hobusian electable family back home. Going on such a dangerous mission would be more favorable in the public's eyes, and he did not want to send anyone who might hurt Avon's chances to win. He was unwilling to force his sons, as they might get hurt if they were not up for the task.

To King Fio's surprise, Odell was the first to stand up in the crowd.

"Wait, Odell! What are you doing?" Cecilia, who had been hugging Odell's arm moments before, cried out.

"Father, I would like to accompany Fiona and Gwyn!" Odell declared to the whole room.

King Fio couldn't hide his smile. His younger son often shirked his royal responsibilities to build things in the castle's garage. He never thought his son would volunteer for such a mission, but King Fio was willing to be confident in Odell's abilities if his son was up for it.

"Very well. If it is your decision, I will not stop you. Fight well, my son." The king tried to hide tears rolling down his face as pride swelled up within him.

Odell walked away from the Hobusian crowd to where Fiona and Gwyn sat. Cecelia only could let go without protest as she could not stop her fiancé from doing something so important. He planted himself in the seats behind them and put a hand on each of their shoulders.

"She got the better of me, but I will do my best to support you in the future," Odell said with determination.

"I never thought something without an engine would get you so excited!" Fiona couldn't help exclaiming. Odell cleared his throat and turned away.

Zenith turned to her crowd as well.

"Ladies, you are all skilled warriors; if any of you are willing, I'd like to send you to support our allies on this mission."

The crowd of Bentulousian looked back and forth at each other and mumbled to themselves. It didn't take long for the flagbearer, Rheba, to stand up.

"Goliath Zenith, I would like to request being sent on this mission," Rheba requested with a polite bow.

"As you wish," Zenith replied. Rheba left the crowd of Bentulousians and joined the trio in the seats.

"Don't think you can outdo us Bentulousians!" Mixolydian almost spat as he shouted. If he were human, his face would have been as bright red as his scales naturally were. He turned to his own group and quickly looked at them all. "Harlan, support them!"

"As you wish," Harlan calmly replied. She gently stood up and walked over to the rest of the group.

"And I'll go with them as well!" Feya shouted out while almost leaping out of her chair.

"No, you won't! You're supposed to be the Dare!" Draco shouted from the Netzian side.

Feya crossed her arms and stuck her tongue out at Draco as she slid back down in her seat.

"Fine," she said in a tone that resembled an ornery teenager. "Hal, would you be a dear and go with them as well?" Hal simply nodded and walked over to join the team.

Queen Whitlock smiled.

"There we have it; this team will journey to Nun and investigate what has just happened. I will provide a room for them tonight, and we will send them out first thing in the morning. Please take the rest of the day to get to know each other; you will have a long adventure ahead of you!"

A guard came by to escort the team to their accommodations for the night. They silently followed the guard out while the leaders continued their discussions and plans for the future.