Castle Roland


by Arthur


Chapter 4

Posted: 8 Jan 15



It was the middle of the morning before the Councillor visited. After a morning hot drink and a little light food they got down to business.

"Well Andre, are you looking forward to the party tonight?"

"Yes Leon, after the camp I really need something different."

"Well my boy, this will certainly be different, the last I saw of the guest list it was up to over two hundred guests. Do you think you can dance in front of that many?"

"I guess I will have to wait and see but I have never had that many to watch me before."

"I'm sure you will do well, just dance like you did last time and you will have men running after you for the rest of your life to watch you."

The thought of tonight's performance in front of so many almost made Andre shudder, Leon continued on as though he had not noticed Andre's temporary shudder.

Over the next hour, Leon told Andre all about the upcoming party and who would be there. He told Andre that the Ambassador for Karapak would be sitting on Leon's left so Andre would know who he was. At the end of the hour all the plans and instructions had been made and Leon left for his office, Andre thought it would be a good idea to get a little more practice.

Conrad found Andre later in the afternoon fast asleep in the wide bed, he nudged the boy awake and they began to prepare to leave for the rich man's mansion.

When they arrived at the towering mansion, Conrad handed Andre a small square box tied with a very fancy ribbon.

"It's a gift from the Councillor; he thought you might like to wear it for tonight's performance."

Andre tore the parcel open and looked inside, with a gasp he saw the silvery gossamer cloak, it was very expensive and was not the sort of clothing usually worn for the Terrasan. The cloak had the feel of fine spider web it was so light, why would Leon buy this for him?

Once out of the limousine, Andre donned the silvery cloak, it fit him like a second skin, with the hood up his face was totally hidden and the length covered him from head to toe.

Andre fixed the clasp at the front to cover him completely; all that could be seen of him were his delicate bare feet and his shining eyes deep in the hood.

Underneath Andre wore his latest Terrasan outfit, it was all gold coloured ribbons that shimmered and sparkled once he was out in the light, it would make him look like a shining, gold statue that could dance.

Andre along with Conrad was shown to a private room close to where they could both hear the revelry of the party in an adjoining room, by the rumble of voices there were many more than just the two hundred that Leon had told him about.

Andre used the next thirty minutes to limber up and go through his pre dance exercises; he was determined to show Leon he was worth all the effort that had been put into him.

Some little time later, Andre heard a soft knock at the door. Conrad opened the door to one of the servants of the house. The servant bowed towards Andre and then said.

"Sir, the host waits you, the floor is clear and he asks that you enter on the first notes of the music, is this to your liking?"

Andre's nerves almost got the better of him but he managed to nod his acceptance of the instructions. After the servant left, Andre looked at Conrad and got a wide smile of approval. Just before Andre left the room, Conrad held him in a warm hug.

"Knock their shoes off, we all know you can do this so show them who the boss of the Terrasan is."

Andre felt a little better knowing that Conrad was in his corner, this was his first true live performance in front of a large gathering. After taking a few deep breathes he stepped towards the door that the servant had indicated for him, it was time to do what he did best.

In front of Andre were two large expensive doors, as he stood waiting they began to open, from behind them came a loud voice filled with authority.

"Gentlemen of Pathos, for your entertainment tonight I have secured the services of what most are calling the greatest dancer of the Terrasan seen since the days of Gratham Loid. Now friends I have also done something a little naughty for which I will in time apologise to our dancer for. The reputation of this young dancer is in no doubt but tonight I have arranged something of a small test to see what his true colours are and for this I apologise beforehand. Gentlemen, friends, colleagues, Andre."

The doors in front of Andre swung fully open and he saw the huge dance floor in front of him, it was not the size of the floor space, nor the size of the crowd there to see him; what gave Andre pause was the single middle aged man sitting on a soft cushion in the middle of the floor.

In the man's hands was a simple polished wooden flute that was called a Sheppard's Flute, it was only a little more than two hands long and had only three note holes in it. While it looked simple and easy to play it was in fact the most difficult instrument to master.

To obtain the true full range of the Sheppard's Flute took years of practice and, unlike the Terrasan that everyone knew, it was only used for one dance and one dance only. Andre shivered at the thought of what they were expecting him to do, oh yes, he knew the dance and knew it well, it was really his real favourite but he had never danced it in front of anyone except his Mother.

The first haunting notes of the Royal Terrasan began to fill the large room; there was total silence as the soft notes echoed around the vast distance of the pleasure room.

Andre stayed as still as marble as the notes filled his soul, the Royal Terrasan had not been seen in public for over three hundred years, it was thought to be too complicated for anyone to try but the original creator, Massam Lyre. Massam had danced it once for the King of Pathos and it had never been seen since.

The dance lasted for three hours and was thought to be too much for anyone to attempt, while many knew the steps and movements, very few could last the full distance; not only that but very few flute players had the ability to play the complicated notes and timing of the Dance.

As the introduction notes echoed around the large room, Andre lowered his eyes and looked at the large expanse of the white marble floor, in itself it was a unique floor, the white marble was shot through with fine traces of dark red like fine blood veins.

The notes became stronger as Andre watched the thin red veins; suddenly he felt it, the red veins were almost moving with the music, was he dreaming or was he now held in the magic of the flute player, his small slender body began the first flowing movements of the dance, he felt as though he was now in a trance as his lithe body flowed with each note.

For the first thirty minutes of the Royal Terrasan no one would see his body, all they would see was the fine gossamer cloak swaying and floating around the vast expanse of the floor.

Even after the first part of the introduction they would still only see no more than his feet until he began to drop the gold ribbons, it would be a full hour before he dropped the cloak and they saw him in all his youthful glory.

Somehow Andre went to another place, there was no other sound but the lilting notes of the flute, his feet, hands and body moved as though guided by an unseen hand, there was only himself, the flute and the dancing red veins.

For Andre, time stopped, he was carried to another world, one where only the dance and the music reigned; time passed in the blink of an eye, everything he did was effortless as he followed the red pattern at his feet.

It seemed no time at all when he felt it was all coming to an end, the notes faded out and the red veins in the white marble slowed to a halt, as he threw his right hand out in the last gesture, Andre returned to the here and now.

All around the room there was total silence broken only by the heavy breathing of over two hundred enthralled men as they sat and lay on their couches, no one wanted to break the spell as Andre slid his fine naked body down to the floor in the final closing act of the Royal Terrasan.

Andre stayed in his place, his legs spread out in front of him in the shape of a wide angle V, his lithe body leant forward with his arms outstretched and flat on the cool marble, around him was total silence as the watchers tried to take in what they had just witnessed.

The silence was suddenly broken by the clatter of metal hitting the floor just in front of where Andre still lay; it was soon followed by a torrent of other metal plaques as the watchers showered him with 1,000 credit gold plaques.

The clatter of the gold never seemed to stop as Andre lifted his eyes up to look at the top table, even Leon was thunderstruck at what he had just seen; for the first time in over three hundred years, Pathos had a dancer worthy of the Royal Terrasan.

Slowly Andre got to his feet, he then noticed that not all of the plaques were gold but some were Platinum, they were worth 10,000 credits each and there many of them.

Andre was stunned by the applause and the shower of credits until a strong voice called for a bit of silence; Bantor Merle, the host stood up and looked around.

"Dear friends and colleagues, do you doubt we have seen a miracle here tonight?"

The loud yells from every corner of the room satisfied Bantor's question.

"All of us here tonight are the elite of the political and financial hub of Pathos, it was only fitting that we were able to have our esteemed guest the Ambassador of Karapak with us to enjoy this momentous occasion........."

Andre cut out the voice of Bantor as he rose slowly to his feet, it was only now that he realised his knees were shaking as the first signs of fatigue began to set in, he had been dancing on pure adrenaline for the last hour of the dance.

As he came upright, a servant rushed forward and went to one knee with his head bowed in respect, in his two upraised arms he held Andre's gossamer silver cloak.

Andre took the cloak and wrapped it around his shoulders, his slender body shining with the sweat of his exertions; it was at this time that something clicked inside his head; as he realised what it was, his jaw dropped open and his knees began to shake even more just as a thunderous applause began to fill the room.

Andre ignored the servants as they scurried around him to collect the gold and platinum plaques round his feet as a long forgotten memory came into his mind.

It was a little hazy as it was from when he was still a small boy of only five years old; the image he got was of his Mother sitting on the old kitchen plastic chair; in her hands was the old book she taught him from.

He knew this book was special; it was a real book of long ago. On the outside it was covered with a dark brown thick skin, the pages were of real old and genuine paper and on its many pages were the real handwriting of a person not the machine writing of today.

As well as the hand written words there were small delicate pictures describing the dance positions, his Mother told him each picture had been hand painted with a brush that had only one single hair so the images were as fine as could be in all their detail.

When Andre asked her about the book, she had told him it was passed down from generation to generation and now it was in her hands, it was to be his when she passed over.

On the last page at the rear of the book was a long list of names; at the top were just two initials ML. At the time they had meant little to a young five year old boy but now they held his focus as he understood what they truly meant.

Down the length of the page were more and more names of those who came after the first initials, it was a line of descent that culminated with Andre's name as the last entry; now he understood why his Mother had been so insistent that he learn everything about the Royal Terrasan. Andre was the last descendent of Massam Lyre, the creator and only dancer of the Royal Terrasan.

When Andre came out of his day dream, he could still hear the applause in the room as the host beaconed him forward to the top table, the servants around him were gathering the last of the credits and packing them into a box so he could carry them away.

Still feeling the after effects of the long and strenuous dance, Andre made his way to the top table where all of the most important men in Pathos sat watching him.

Bantor Merle called for silence and the room slowly came to order as the gathering waited to hear what was said.

"Andre, for myself I can only say that I have never seen anything like that, I am almost speechless, and believe me, that is a very unusual and difficult thing for me to be; I would like to invite you to join us up here, your performance was nothing less than magical and you deserve every accolade we can heap upon you."

Bantor gestured for Andre to walk around the table and a servant hurriedly found a seat for him; of course Leon was there to make sure the new chair was placed between the Ambassador and Leon.

Andre took his chair nervously, he was now sitting amongst some of the most influential men in the galaxy, only the King in the palace city of Geramak had more power than these men gathered here to watch him.

The party continued on around them as more young dancers took the floor to entertain and amuse the guests, it was soon noticeable that each and every new dancer took the time to come to the front of the top table and bow low to Andre in recognition of his feat earlier.

Andre could only blush at the compliments from the other guests, if it had not been for Leon's reassuring hand on his thigh under the table, Andre was sure he would have run out of the great hall with embarrassment.

Andre picked up the gentle sound of the Ambassador's voice as he came back to reality.

"So tell me Andre, where did you learn the Royal Terrasan, it was thought to be lost?"

"My Mother taught me Sir."

"Your Mother! But where did she learn it?"

"She had a book that had all the instructions in it, it's a very old book and was called a 'Diary' She told me it belonged to one of our ancestors."

"Your ancestors? But that's impossible, there were never any copies of Massam's diary made, it was lost three hundred years ago; that's why the dance was never performed again."

"I can only tell you what my Mother told me Sir and I do vaguely remember seeing the book when she taught me, I think it is packed away at my home now with all her other mementoes."

"You still have it?"

"Well, yes Sir, it belongs to my family, well all that is left of my family."

"Then you have the book?"

"Yes Sir."

Andre felt Leon's grip tighten a little on his thigh as a warning to be careful.

"I will offer you ten million credits for the diary, sight unseen, what do you say?"

Suddenly Bantor's voice broke the discussion.

"Ten million credits? What for may I ask?"

"It would appear our delightful little dancer is the holder of Massam Lyre's diary, I have offered to buy it from him for ten million credits."

", it belongs here on Pathos, I will offer twelve million."

A sudden hush came over the large hall at the sound of such high money, within seconds a soft murmur ran through the room as those who had overheard the discussion sent word out that Massam Lyre's diary had been found.

From the far end of the hall came an older voice.

"I bid fifteen million for Massam's diary."

Another voice shouted out.

"I bid seventeen million."

It was only the start of a bidding war, soon the hall was in an uproar as the bids got higher and higher; when the bids got to fifty one million credits, Leon stood up and raised his hands to call a halt to the bids.

While the bidding had been going on around the pair, Leon had asked Andre all about what he knew of the old diary; Leon now had a full picture and was not about to let his star agent be sold short or bullied by these rich men into doing something he should not.

The men that filled the great hall all had money, power and influence to burn but, when Leon stood up there was immediate silence, it said a lot about his own power on Pathos.

"Gentlemen, there will be no more bidding on the diary, it belongs only in the hands of a direct descendant of Massam Lyre and those hands belong to Andre of that fact I am sure."

That little piece of information had another bout of chatter start. Were they really looking at a direct descendant of the greatest dancer of all history? Many found it hard to believe, a small boy was the sole heir to the greatest book ever written, not only that but he was raised in the seventh quadrant? To many that was impossible, they would have to have proof.

Again Leon waited until the chatter abated a little before continuing.

"I see that a few of you gentlemen doubt Andre's claim, if it please you all I will arrange a viewing for you the day after tomorrow at my precinct but there is to be no more thoughts of bids or other attempts to persuade Andre to part with his heritage."

Andre had sat silently through it all, most of it had gone over his head and all he could think about was the sacrifices his Mother had made while they lived in almost poverty in the seventh quadrant; yet she had a diary worth untold value right at her finger tips all the time.

What was left of the celebrations became an anti climax. The knowledge of the diary had created so much uproar that the men could talk of nothing else.

Leon took Andre by the arm and directed him out of the great hall; the advances to the Ambassador would have to be put aside in preference to Andre's safety.

After leaving the hall, Leon called for Conrad to take Andre home immediately; he also left instructions for the next day when he would have a squad of security guards at their door early to escort them to the Ministry along with the diary.

In the car, Andre felt the stress of the dance and uproar over the diary come to him all at once, instead of getting into the back of the car, he got in the front alongside Conrad.

Conrad looked at the distress on the boys face and reached out to calm him; all the high powered men at the hall had forgotten the boy was just that; a boy barely in his teens.

By the time they made it back to Andre's apartment, Andre was fast asleep; Conrad picked him up carefully and carried him to his bedroom to sleep, the coming days would be no easier on Andre and he would need all the rest he could get.

For Andre it seemed he had just closed his eyes when the house communicator in his bedroom flared on and woke him from his sleep.

Andre saw that the curtains had been drawn but he could still tell it was now early morning; as he sat up in bed and directed the link to open, he realised he could not remember coming home or how he got into bed naked.

Keeping the bedding around his naked body, Andre looked at the face of a strange man on his screen.

"Yes Sir?"

"Good morning Master Severn, my name is Chancellor Skregg, I am an advisor for the King, it has come to our attention that you claim to hold the diary of Massam Lyre, is this correct?"

"Uhm... well I suppose so."

"If it is the real dairy the King would like you to donate the dairy to the Museum of Antiquities here in Geramak, we will be in contact for the conveyance of said diary to this city."

"I am sorry Sir but that's not possible at this time, I will have to speak to my guardian before I make any decisions."

"And who is your guardian? I am sure he can be persuaded to do what is right, the King can order it seized as an antiquity of national value if it must come to that."

"You must give me time to talk to my Guardian Sir."

"Very good, you have until tonight and then we may have to take direct action."

Andre switched off the contact, the severe face and heavy handed attitude of the strange man had unsettled him, if they were going to try to steal the family diary he would rather burn it; he had to talk to Leon right away.

Before he could do much more, Conrad came into his room with some breakfast on a bed tray; in the background he could hear other strange voices.

"Who are the people out there, Conrad?"

"It's the security detail, who was the call from, I heard you talking just before I came in?"

"Some man called Skregg; he said he wanted to take the diary away from me."

"Chancellor Skregg?"

"Yes, that's him."

"I don't know how he found out so soon but let's tell Leon, he will sort it all out, now eat your breakfast, have a shower and get dressed, we have plenty of time; do you know where the diary is packed?"

"I think so, it will be in Mom's room, I'll get it after dressing."

"Good, wear something really smart."

After his long hot shower, Andre dressed in a body hugging pale blue one piece suit, next he got under the hair module and had his highlights tinted the same blue to match his suit. Once dressed and ready, Andre went to his Mothers room, he had left everything as it was the last time she was there.

It took little time to find the diary; it was still wrapped in the same old brown cloth as it always had been for as long as he could remember; to make sure of his memory, Andre opened it at the last page.

After looking down the long list of family names, he was surprised to see his name added at the bottom of the page in the sharp writing of his Mother's hand and at the top were the two hand-written letters he remembered from his childhood, ML.

Andre rewrapped the dairy and went into the main room, there he saw ten heavily armed men sitting and standing while they waited for him, they appeared relaxed but alert; Leon had given his instructions for the protection of Andre and the diary.

Conrad appeared from one of the rooms as Andre entered, he was now dressed in the uniform of the security services and showed the rank of captain on his shoulders; Andre was surprised at Conrad's rank, for such a young man he had climbed fast in the services.

As Conrad came into the room, the other security guards snapped to attention.

"Have you got the armoured car ready?" Conrad asked one of the men.

"Yes Sir, as instructed we will have four outriders in front and two behind the last car, there will be myself and one other in the second car and a driver and guard in your car."

"Good then let's go, the Councillor is waiting for us."

It took the small convoy over an hour to get to the main offices of the Ministry. Standing outside was a massive crowd as well as News Casters and Cameras from the main networks, it appeared someone had let slip the discovery of the diary.

One look and Andre already felt overwhelmed by the huge and vociferous crowd waiting to get a glimpse of the boy who held the diary.

The Guards took one look at the crowd and changed direction to turn down into an underground car park, the soft hum of the motors lost in the noise outside.

Andre clasped tighter to the large book, even for his size it was still heavy, measuring about 15" by 18" and holding over three hundred thick paper pages, Andre had to use both hands to carry it.

Conrad held him back in the car until the ten guards had them completely surrounded; with Andre in the middle of the squad he was almost invisible. Andre could still not see the need for all the security, especially in the halls of the Ministry.

They were led up to the top floor of the Ministry offices to be met by Leon; with him were four older men dressed as Lawyers, they did not look happy at the appearance of Andre and the book he was carrying.

Leon smiled at Andre and then dismissed the guards, after looking at the large wrapped bundle in Andre's hands, Leon turned to the four men.

"Gentlemen, as you can see the boy has what we believe is the Diary of Massam Lyre, I believe it also tells of Andre's relationship to that man. Now if what we think is incontrovertible proof of his position then you will relate to him your part in this revelation."

Leon stood looking at the four men. Andre could see they were not happy about what was being said.

"Now gentlemen, I need a few minutes with Andre before we go any further, if you would follow Captain Conrad he will see you to a room where you can wait."

Conrad looked at the men with a look of obvious distaste on his face as Andre laid the wrapped book on the large desk in front of him.

"Well my young friend, we have certainly stirred up a bees nest with the revelations of the diary. I have had my people doing a full research on Massam Lyre and any family he may have had. Now as it turns out, if the diary verifies your claim as a descendant of Massam Lyre you will be in for some big, and I do mean BIG, surprises."

Andre looked over the desk at the smiling Councillor, this had all seemed to be too fast for him to take in, everything was becoming a blur from when he admitted to having the book until now, he wondered when it would all stop.

"Don't look so worried Andre, if it's all true and we can prove your claim then you are going to be in for one hell of a big ride."

"Who are those men, Leon?"

"They are what we in the Security Service call, Bottom Feeders, or in your terms, Lawyers except those ones are tied to the Crown or the King as you know him."

"So why are they here?"

"They are trying to say you have no claim on the diary and that you are not a descendant, if they can prove that then all his property and wealth stays in their hands."

"What property and wealth, I've never heard of anything like that from my Mother?"

"Well my young friend you have a story to listen to; can you show me the family entries in the back of the dairy?"

Andre nodded and then began to carefully unwrap the book from its covering cloth. Leon could easily see that the cloth itself was old and had been around the book for many, many years.

From his side pocket of his suit, Andre took out an old pair of white cloth gloves; they had been used by his Mother every time she read the book so he did the same. His Mother had told him to always wear the gloves to protect the old book from dirt or damage.

Finally the cover was open and Leon could plainly see the aged binding of the dairy, the outer edges of the paper pages were yellowed with age and there was little doubt this book was real.

Andre carefully opened the book to the last page where he had seen all the hand written entries, Leon stepped closer to look over his shoulder, what he saw made him smile wider than before.

The page was laid out in such a way that anyone that could read, could follow the history of the family over the last three hundred years and who had held the dairy for posterity.

The writing was made with many different hands but, one thing that stood out was the ink colour; most of the many names were in a green ink but a few were written in red; it did not take a genius to work out why.

The two first initials were those of Massam Lyre and were in red, below that were a number in green which covered what looked like four or five generations. There was then another name, Konra Karl it was again in red; there were then a number of names again in green then the biggest surprise of all.

There, written in what looked like a firm hand of a male adult in red ink was the name, Gratham Loid. Leon was about to point it out to Andre but before his finger could touch the page, Andre pushed his hand aside to stop him from doing so.

"You can't touch the paper without gloves, my Mother said it was important to keep them clean or they might rot away."

Properly chastised, Leon pulled his finger back.

"I'm sorry Andre, but to see Gratham's name there now explains why he was such a great dancer, it appears to run in your family. I don't know of this other name, Konra Karl, I will have to research it for you but he must also be one of your ancestors."

Andre closed the book and rewrapped it then removed his gloves.

"Can you tell me now why those men are here?"

"Yes it's time for you to know what I have found out so far, there will be more later but for now you have to know what you are going to be getting into."

Andre waited as Leon tried to get his thoughts in order.

"Let's start at the beginning; Massam Lyre was quite a young man when he died, only twenty seven years old. It was not long after he had performed the Royal Terrasan for the first and last time. The King then was Gustav the Second; he was so impressed with the performance he decreed that Massam Lyre was to be noted as a Royal Treasure in perpetuity; this meant that all his family or heirs would inherit his title, lands and wealth without taxation or levies of any kind. On his death not long afterwards, the King appointed the legal aid of the highest law firm in the land; Baxton, Grav and Kerr, that's who the four men work for."

Leon paused for breath and to order his thoughts once again.

"Now remember this all happened three hundred years ago, holding that thought can you imagine what Massam Lyre's estate is now worth to any heir of his and what it would mean if that bunch of bottom feeders lost its value to a descendant?"

"No, it's all beyond me Leon."

Before he could continue the tale, Leon's communicator buzzed; he quickly answered the call then said to the person on the other end.

"Send me a copy now."

Andre watched as Leon looked at the screen of his communicator, it was evident the man was reading everything as the screen downloaded the information; it was soon finished and Leon looked up with a broad smile on his face.

"Well now we know why those men are in such a hurry and why the Chancellor wanted the diary and to disprove your claim."

Andre waited; there was little he could say as he knew next to nothing of what Leon was talking about. Before he continued with the story, Leon pressed another button on the desk; within a minute Conrad walked through the door.

"Colonel, you are now solely responsible for our little friend's security, how are our bottom feeders?"

"Ahm... Councillor I'm not a colonel."

"You are now; give me your security pass."

Conrad handed over his security pass and Leon placed it in a slot on his desk then typed a few letters and numbers on his touch screen.

Handing the card back to Conrad, Leon continued.

"You are now officially promoted to Colonel, your clearance is now triple A plus 4 so that your authority is second only to myself and the King; you will form the guard detail and all security system for the safety of Massam Lyre's descendant; if you meet any resistance don't hesitate to use the full authority you now have; is that clear Colonel?"

"Yes Sir, are there any orders?"

"Yes, keep those bottom feeders under wraps for another hour; I'm not ready for them yet."

"Yes Sir."

"Now Andre, I have one more thing for you to do for me."

Leon reached into his desk and took out a thin plastic tube; inside it was a thin plastic spatula with a soft cloth tip.

"I want you to give me a sample of your DNA, place the strip in your mouth and get it good and wet then put the strip back in the flask and seal it."

Andre followed the instructions and when he was finished handed the vial to Leon; Leon pressed a button on the desk and a few seconds later a sergeant walked through the door.

"Sergeant, take this to the lab, I want a full report within the next half hour; tell the doctors to drop everything else and they are to match it against the records of Massam Lyre."

The sergeant took the vial without a word and was almost running as he left.

"Now all we have to do is wait and then I can tell you the rest, do you want something to eat or drink?"

Andre could hear his stomach rumbling, he didn't realise how long it had been since breakfast; Leon pressed another button and gave orders for a light lunch to be brought in.

They had just finished eating when there was a light knock on the door, without waiting four doctors rushed in. Leon looked at the four white coated men with displeasure.

"What's going on?"

"Sir, where did you get that sample?"

"Why do you ask?"

"Well...well... it can't be real."

"What do you mean doctor, what are you talking about?"

"It's...well it's not possible."

"For god's sake man spit it out; I don't have time to waste."

"The sample you sent us, apart from two gene sequences is almost a perfect match for the sample we have of Massam Lyre on record, it can't be, not after all this time."

"What the devil are you talking about, this was a fresh sample taken while I watched, it's from our young friend here."

"But that's impossible, it's nearly a perfect match, after three hundred years there should be only one or two gene strains left in his blood; it should certainly not be as pure as this sample indicated."

"Then you agree that this young man is a direct descendant of Massam Lyre?"

"There is no doubt in our minds what so ever, in fact if we didn't know better we would have thought it was Massam Lyre himself."

"Thank you doctors, that'll be all for now, there is to be no record of this sample given out to the public; if I hear of it being released all of you will never see the light of day again, is that clear gentlemen?"

The four doctors nodded and left still chattering about the discovery; Leon turned back to a stunned Andre; after a quick check of the file in front of him, Leon smiled at Andre.

"How does it feel to be a Baron of the Realm and without doubt the wealthiest man on Pathos?"

Andre could not find his voice, his mouth hung open and his breathing had stopped as Leon prepared to reveal what was in the file.

Before he could say a word, the door flew open and Chancellor Skregg stormed in, in his hand was what looked like a Royal Warrant.

"Councillor, this Royal Warrant claims the diary of Massam Lyre; you are to hand it over immediately."


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