Black Rising By: Kevin Adams & Steve Bolin


Black Rising
Chapter 2 – Part 2
By: Kevin Adams & Steve Bolin

“King Yadin, I think you’re overreacting. When I read this man’s hair, I saw that a Black Wizard is controlling him – they’re diametrically opposed to White Wizards. But there’s something else you must know. I believe you and your family are in danger. In fact, one of you may be the target of this Black Wizard’s next assassination.”

The King’s face exploded in horror at the thought of his wife’s death. Why would anyone want to hurt his family? Did this unknown Black Wizard hope to take over the throne? He couldn’t let that happen, even if it meant keeping Dakmar alive. But what of Avendis, how would the citizens react? Almost everyone loved his father. The assassination demanded justice.

When Merik again spoke, it was as if he’d read the King’s mind. “If you’re worried about anarchy in the kingdom, we can just tell everyone that he hung himself in his cell. Arrangements can be made for a body to be shown to the citizens. I know you’re not comfortable with lying to your people, but what choice do you have?”

Yadin exhaled a long sigh. “I suppose you’re right. Just find this Black Wizard as soon as possible. I’ll see his head setting on a platter, right beside Dakmar’s. The safety of the entire royal family is at stake!”

Yadin turned to leave the dungeon. Seeing Dakmar made his blood boil and talking to Merik made his scar itch. Behind him, Merik called out.

“I promise to do everything possible to find the perpetrator. I’ll bring this Black Wizard before you as surely as my name is Merik Ladien.”

* * *

And now, half a month later, no progress had been made in finding this so-called Black Wizard. If anything, Merik seemed to be sidetracked with his apprentices and getting his laboratory set up. Yadin wanted to hear the wizard’s report. The man had much to account for.

The messenger boy came running into the throne room. “King Forsythia, Master Wizard Ladien is waiting to see you.”

“Very well, Son. You may permit him to…”

“Yadin, I’ve come as requested.” Both the King and the messenger boy turned to see Merik walking in. Was the wizard’s failure to call him “King, Your Majesty or Your Highness” a show of disrespect? Or was Merik simply becoming too comfortable with his new position?

Merik waved at the boy. “You may leave us now, Lad. Yadin and I have much to discuss.”

The boy nodded and left without as much as a glance toward Yadin. Was everyone disregarding proper court etiquette today? He was King, not Merik; as such, only he had the authority to admit and dismiss servants from the throne room. The mage was correct; there was much that needed to be discussed.

Merik held up a rolled parchment in his hand. “If you don’t mind, we’ll talk at the Advisory table. There are some construction plans I need you to approve and a decree to sign as well.”

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