Diary of the Dunedan #18 - Continuing diary from Aragorn's point of view

"You are as stupid as your brother if you think WE are going to withdraw our border to accommodate some lowly peasants."

"And you are stupid if you think we're not going to give our people the land they deserve!"

"We are NOT the stu--"

"ENOUGH!" I roared as I slammed my hand on the marble table. Startled, everyone in the room quieted and looked at me.

I sighed. "I'm tired of the bickering. Since neither of you can come to a decision like sensible people, I'll make one for you. You." I said turning to King Albran, "shall withdraw your northern border." To this Queen Rishon smiled. "And You." I said turning to the woman, "shall give up the equal amount of land on your eastern border to accommodate their loss."

The Queen's eyes raged. "The eastern lands are our most fertile. We have food planted there all year long."

"I know this. And the northern border area of Albran's is used for keeping cattle. This will be a fair exchange."

Albran cleared his throat. "Where shall we keep our cattle then King?" His voice dripped sarcasm.

I turned to him, my gray eyes flashing. "That is YOUR business. Rishon wants land for her people? You got land. If you want land for your cows? Then we'll keep things as they are. Make up your mind as to what you want!"

He put up a hand in reconciliation. "No offense meant your highness. I was just wondering how we were going to adjust everything."

I sighed as I felt my last nerve being rubbed raw by the two monarchs in my chamber. Fortunately, my Steward (who is often blessed with the clairvoyance of the Elves!) stood then. "The King has made his decree. If there's nothing else you are dismissed."

Without a word both the man and the woman stood, bowed ceremoniously and stalked out of the room.

For a moment I basked in the delightful quiet.

"My Lord?" Faramir's tender voice floated over to me. I looked up into his concerned eyes and smiled.

"I'm all right my friend. Just tired."

The young man smiled. "I could tell. The delegations are really distressing you."

"At times this is more difficult than any physical war I had with Sauron or his servants! The constant arguing, bickering, complaining. It seems that none of these people has a brain for themselves!"

"Indeed I don't think they do. They've been living this way for so long, they don't know what peace is."

I nodded vigorously at his last statement. "No greater truth could you have spoken Lord Faramir. It's been too long since peace has reigned in this world. But by all that is in me… it WILL reign again!"

He'd walked over to me and put a hand on my shoulder. "It's a heavy burden your Majesty."

I cocked an eye at him sideways. "You don't think I'm up to the challenge?" I said with mock sarcasm.

"I'm just concerned for the elderly that is all." His voice playfully shot back.

I threw back my head and roared with laughter. "Ah Faramir! How I needed that!"

He smiled again and sat next to me. "I admire you Aragorn."

"Why ever so?"

"Your diplomacy. Your power. Your strength. My people love me and I love them. But all of them would drop me in a moment to join you."

"I'm their King. I would HOPE so!"

"You know what I mean!"

I nodded. "I do. And I thank you for the compliment. But you sell yourself short Faramir. You're always doing that."

He blinked and looked down at his hands. "N-no. Just speaking---"

"You're letting your father influence you STILL Faramir, son of Denethor." I whispered. "He was a great man. But that doesn't mean everything he said was right!"

My Steward sighed heavily. "I know. But habits are hard to break."

I laughed again. "I have mine to break as well. We shall learn together eh?"

The Prince nodded and clapped me on the shoulder. "The next delegates are here."

I sighed. "And who is it?"

"Men of Harad."

"Oh this'll be easy." I snapped.

This time Faramir threw back his head and howled!

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