LEANDER:(indicates a bow, but doesn't wait for permission to speak)
My king! I'm afraid I have terrible messages to deliver to you.
KING: (waving his hand, he dismisses his company, who move to a discrete distance)
What is it, Lord Leander?
LEANDER: (he and the king continue to walk down the path)
I know for sure that there is a group of people planning to put an end to your reign.
Who are they? Some unhappy peasants wishing for a better life? Don't worry about them, they can easily be satisfied.
LEANDER: (shakes his head)
I am not talking about peasants, my lord. I am speaking of powerful people and warriors.
KING: (stops and scratches his chin)
Is that so? I would not worry about simple foot soldiers, but from your words, I have to assume we are talking about people with certain ranks. Tell me, who is involved of this. Who is so unhappy with my reign that they wish to destroy me?
LEANDER: My king, please do understand that I cannot give you the name, for I gave my word they will not be exposed until it is inevitable.
Your honesty is to your credit, but this is not the time for honour. We are facing war and I have to know who's behind this.
LEANDER: As long as there is still a way to avoid bloodshed, I will seek it out. Forgive me, my king, but I cannot give you the names.
KING: (looking straight into Leander's eyes)
You are well aware that this can already be considered treason?
LEANDER: Other kings surely would say so, your highness.
KING: I trust you, Leander. But there is still the chance that you fail your noble goal. I have to be prepared for the worst outcome.
I understand, my king. I may not give you the names of those who forged an allegiance against you, but I can tell you who chose your side.
KING: Very well then. You are dismissed, Leander.King and his company exit. Damion enters)
DAMION: How did it go, my lord?
LEANDER: Worse than I had hoped. Now both sides prepare for war.
DAMION: Maybe you should not have told the king what you learned?
LEANDER: I had no other choice but to warn him. (sighs)
Anyway, what brings you to me? I ordered you to stay at Martin's hideout.
DAMOIN: My lord, he sent me to inform you that he wishes to talk with you. I'm lucky to find you in the garden, for he is waiting here for you.
Why is he risking his life? Take me to him!(They go the the border of the garden, where the plants are forming a wall.)
MARTIN: (hissing from his hiding place)
LEANDER: Martin! What are you doing here? Are you out of your mind?
MARTIN: I needed to talk to you where we'll be undisturbed.(Damion removes himself and stands guard)
LEANDER: What is it?
MARTIN: I thought about your words... I - I want to quit... I don't want to fight you. We used to be friends, not enemies...
LEANDER: We still are. Why can't you just leave?
MARTIN: I don't know how... I don't want to go back to be a beggar and Lord Finnegan is convinced the kingdom needs to be saved from the king.
LEANDER: I'll find a safe quarter for you and talk to Lord Finnegan. There must be a way to avert a war.
MARTIN: I'm so sorry, Leander.
LEANDER: (gently squeezes his shoulder and smiles)
The only thing you need to be sorry for is when you get caught and I have to get you out of prison. (waves at Damion, who approaches them)
Find a safe place for Martin to stay, while I will talk with Lord Finnegan.(all exit)
Scene 5 (Lord Finnegan's private chamber in the evening. It looks very similar to Lord Leander's room.) (Leander and Finnigan enter)
FINNEGAN: Though I have expected your visit, I'm not sure what you want. Clearly, you must be satisfied that you could change Martin's mind with ease. But I am not defeated.
LEANDER: I don't wish to defeat you. As far as I'm concerned, the king never needs to know who was involved.
Was? This isn't over yet!
LEANDER: Why are you so full of hate? You and me, we used to be the king's two hands, but now the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.
It's because I opened my eyes while you keep them closed tightly.
LEANDER: Then help me see.
FINNEGAN: Fine. (walks over to his desk)
I received documents you might like to read. Did you know that your beloved king has a a full room of skeletons?
LEANDER: This is it? You dug up old stories for which he atoned already? He never hid those things! Before he was crowned, he spent years at a monastery to make up for his mistakes. Yes, he was vain and convinced to be god-like, but he was just a boy when this happened. He has been a good king so far, aside from Martin's trial. You cannot reproach him for his past!
FINNEGAN: (with low voice)
You don't understand it then. Yes, people can change, but he is turning back into the brat he had been. Don't you see it? But this time, his father isn't around to knock him back into shape.
LEANDER: We are here and so far, he trusts us.
FINNEGAN: Pshaw! He trusts you, not me.
LEANDER: He has no idea you are involved. I didn't tell him and I won't if you stop your plans. A war will not give you a better king or restore anything. It only brings destruction.
FINNEGAN: It's funny to hear a general talking like that.
LEANDER: I am, because I'm a general. Tell me, do you really miss the battle fields? The cries of dying men, the dirt and blood? The burnt down villages and fights with stray dogs for food?
FINNEGAN: It won't be like this.
LEANDER: How can you be sure? Whoever you make king, someone else will defy them. You can't just put the crown on another head and expect everybody to agree with your
decision. Our king is not the monster you see in him. Others think of him as the best king we ever had.(Silence)
FINNEGAN: What do you think of him?
LEANDER: It doesn't matter, because I'm not willing to endanger lives for this opinion.(Silence)
I will abandon my plans. But I do this only out of respect for you and because do not wish to kill you in battle.
I completely understand. Nobody will force you to stay around a king you cannot follow. What are your plans?
FINNEGAN: I'll return to my father's lands and take Martin with me, if he wants to.
LEANDER: You are aware that you are technically hiding a criminal sentenced to death?
We have that in common then. If the king wants him that badly, he has to come and get him. (pats his sword)(both walk towards the door)
LEANDER: I will tell the king of your decision then. (offers his hand)
Farewell. Maybe we'll see each other once again.
FINNEGAN: (shakes it)
Hopefully the circumstances will be more pleasant then these.