Book4 60:2/Text

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They met in the cellar stairwell. This was between him and his Chief Warlord, and both men were letting courtly behavior slide. Best not to be overheard.

"There is no excuse for letting her out-a there, or letting her cast!" Caesar barked, pointing his finger straight at the floor. "It is a stupid security risk."

"She is a Transylvitian now, Caesar," said the King.

"No! We do not know that, Don!" the Chief shouted. "Charlie can cheat at anything. Everything! And this is a flippin' Turnamancer. If any combination here of Arkentool plus Turnamancy could let her turn to us, but still disobey orders—"

"Shuddup, Caesar," ordered the King. He had no patience for that argument. Things were looking pretty well in hand right now, based on Charlie's willingness to treat with Transylvito and Vanna's willingness to turn. Caesar just didn't know what he didn't know. He was overstepping his authority.

In fact, he was not privileged to know what his King talked about with other Rulers. Even in better days, that line had always been clear. And there were even parts of this agreement Don and Bunny had to keep secret from their own people, unless those clauses were triggered.

"Let me out of my orders," he ordered Caesar. The Chief only floated there and shook his head vehemently. Don glared back at him.

So it came down to this.

Several times in the last hundredturn, Don had told himself that if Caesar gave his Ruler any direct orders that were wrong or unjustified, that he was going to have to disband the guy. Caesar was a domestic threat, in a lot of ways. He represented the old, wrong way that Don used to run the kingdom, and he was popular with a lot of other warlords who didn't like the changes. If he was going to stick around after the heir popped, then he had to be watched very carefully for signs of undermining what Don was doing to correct his own mistakes as King.

The words, "I hereby disband you," sat right there on his tongue, tasting terrible.

"Caesar Borgata, I hereby..." he said, with grave intonation, "order you to lock yourself in the dungeon with Vanna, and listen to her side of the story. We will discuss this in the morning, before start of turn".