Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)
(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)
Book Two, Chapter Seven, Part Ten
The next morning brought sunshine and blue skies, masking the seriousness of the decisions that still needed to be made that day. Everyone understood a journey must be made to the City of Talgarth, but Thomar and Jyulia needed to take things slowly, so as to not rush Jonathan’s preparedness. After all, he was the future now, and all their decisions were to be based on his readiness to accept his fate. If Jonathan was rushed too quickly into assuming his future role as the King of Talgar, he might crumble under the pressure of the task and his duties. Only he could direct the pace of their decision making, so as to preserve both the future of the Kingdom of Talgar, but also, their lives.
For this was a very serious situation, and they all realized how important it was to avoid any mistakes going forward. The first requirement was to travel incognito to Talgarth, which was easier said than done in the lawlessness and turmoil left behind in the kingdom after Vyanthal’s defeat. The Kingdom of Talgar had reverted to an unsettling tribalism and individual rivalries, not seen since the beginning of the Second Age. There was a desperation now in the people to simply survive in the absence of any established rule or ruler, and traveling these lanes through the Talgarth Wood would be perilous indeed.
Although Jonathan was identified by prophecy as the one to fool and slay a dragon, and then go on to rule as the King of Talgar, there was no physical proof of that fact to show the people – especially those with dubious claims of their own to the throne. That he wasn’t ‘from’ the Land of Myllanthar was substantiation of the one ‘over the horizon’ as pointed out in the prophecy, but his lack of true understanding of the workings of the kingdom could be used against him – after all, he was not even nine years old yet, and from Southern Ohio. To risk Jonathan by having him claim the throne before he was ready and prepared, would risk everything the kingdom needed.
At the same time, time was truly of the essence. The vacuum of power within Talgar attracted many who would choose to fill it themselves, and if another power grab like Vyanthal’s were to be made, it would be very difficult to defeat it. Perhaps only Arrydor could ensure a successful outcome, which might account for his absence now, but there was no way of knowing for sure. Thomar and Jyulia would have to trust their own instincts and act as quickly and responsibly as possible, hoping that Arrydor’s work behind the scenes was paving their way. If not, there could be a dreadful outcome for the three of them, and for the kingdom.
Jonathan’s Light Sword was proof of his being anointed to rescue the kingdom, but even Thomar wondered if it was enough to ward off an army of thugs, agitators, mercenaries, and criminals – all focused on their own personal interests of wealth and power – not on the positive future and outcome of the Light and Jewel that was once the Kingdom of Talgar…
(End of Chapter Seven)