This is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. A story told in 26 parts.
Quirinus knew the priest was prone to gluttony in all pleasures of the flesh but the man could be relied on to deliver the answer when they were needed. And they were needed; now more than ever.
Unlike the priest, Quirinus was rail-thin and getting thinner each passing day. He didn’t need a physician to tell him he was dying. He’d had a good life, rising from fifth son of a minor family to rule all Vesnovius. He’d outlived three wives and even a few of his daughters. He was almost ready to meet the challenges of next world.
He had only one item left to attend to. He needed a successor. His wives had given him daughters; twelve of them, with ten still living. And while he would have no concerns having his sixth daughter, Cardelia, succeed him, he knew that without a strong husband by her side, she’d soon fall victim to political maneuverings and the jealousies of her siblings.
No, better to marry her off, but to who? Whoever he was, he’d have to be as smart as Cardelia, good with weapons and brave. He’d need a strong hand, but also be able to get along with his strong-willed daughter and navigate the shark-infested political waters.
His plan was genius. He’d gather the eligible noblemen from neighboring kingdoms and issue a challenge. The victor would get Cardelia’s hand in marriage and the kingdom when Quirinus passed on.
And according to the waddling priest, the time to implement his plan was upon him.