"Obligation."

Story by Adele
Story Copyright 2003
A story based on the series, "Voltron, The Third Dimension"

The characters of Voltron are the property of World Event Productions.  All other characters are the copyright of Adele.  Please do not use them without asking for permission.  Thank you.

Enjoy!


Chapter 4
A Royal Deception

In another part of the Castle, King Augusta's trusted advisor, Sir Anserrot, joined him in his temporary chambers.

The King was troubled.  "Anserrot, I'm afraid that the Commander of Voltron is going to be a problem in our quest to obtain Voltron to help us."

"Your Majesty?" Anserrot asked.

"I mean... he's going to end up talking Princess Allura out of sending Voltron!  I must have Voltron!  He is the only thing that can prevent the capture of Surbain!  He must be mine!" Augusta's hand came to rest on his chin, and he began rubbing it thoughtfully.  "There must
be a way of forcing her to help us!"

"A union of houses perhaps," Anserrot suggested slyly.

"Oh, Anserrot, I know all about the ancient bonds our two planets had once shared.  But that is all in the past!  We know nothing about this people, and they know nothing of us!" Augusta replied, waving his hand at his advisor.

"The union I speak of, is not merely based on the ancient promises of long ago." Anserrot continued.  "I speak of a bond, more permanent.  A bond of marriage."

"Are you saying, that I should marry the Princess... in order to obtain all rights to Voltron?" Augusta said slowly.

"As King of Arus, and her husband, you will have Voltron to do with as you wish.  You won't need her permission."

"But how?  How to get her to marry a complete stranger?" Augusta said.

"Sire, I know something of the ancient Arusian customs and some of Arus's history...thanks in part to our scribes, who kept the records, up to a few hundred years ago...when our ties severed. I am acquainted with one custom in particular, requiring an unwed monarch, upon their 25th birthday, to find a consort.  If he or she does not, then it falls to the Chief Magistrate to appoint a suitor."

"And so?  Do you think Coran would even consider that?" Augusta shouted at Anserrot. "Fool! He'd never buy into that!"

"Ah, but he would have to, if royal tradition forces him to do so!" Anserrot said, defensively holding his hands out in front of him to ward off the angry young King.  "You see, Your Majesty... Princess Allura looks old enough to be either the age of 25 or beyond.  And
she has no suitor, apparently.  Royal Arusian tradition forces her to marry a Crown King or Prince, and if one is not presently courting her, then one is appointed to marry her by the Chief Magistrate."

"What if she refuses?" The King barked back.  "Or worse, what if she is involved already with someone...such as a commoner?"

"No matter, Sire.  As a King, you have the right to challenge.  And according to Arusian custom, if a potential suitor is found to be of Royal blood, and challenges his right to the Princess, as an equal Royal, she must submit herself to the challenge."

"That makes no sense, Anserrot!  If that's the case, Prince Lotor, himself, could challenge and marry her, without question!" Augusta shouted.

"His planet is not aligned with Arus, Your Majesty. According to Surbainian history, Queen Ariela, the first ruler of Planet Arus, made a pat of friendship with your ancestor, King Shalimar, nearly a thousand years ago.  So you see, Sire, there is a long running bond between our two planets, unknown, perhaps, to the Princess or her Magistrate."

"Do you really believe that she will know nothing of this vow?" Augusta replied.  "She appears to be a bright young woman.  Surely she is familiar with her family's past history!  And you need not remind me of mine! I still don't understand how that will help usobtain Voltron..."

"If we can twist the vow to suit our needs, and convince the Princess of the same, she will have no choice but to submit to your purposal of marriage!  Surely, she will not want to disgrace her family's honor?" Augusta smiled.  "She will accept it...she must!  Or she will shame her Royal House...and she appears to be the sort of woman that would do anything but disgrace her family name!"

Augusta pondered his advisor's words, then turned to walk across the room.

As he turned; his cape swooped upward, then came down to rest behind him.  "Perfect! Anserrot...you are a genius!"

"I wish to serve you." Anserrot humbly answered, bowing before the King.  "Now, Your Majesty, we must formulate a plan quickly!  We must make the announcement tonight...at the banquet that she throws in your honor!  The Princess will be surrounded by her subjects, and as
witnesses to the challenge that you will make for her hand in marriage, she will have little room to wiggle!"

"Agreed, Anserrot." Augusta replied.  "Let us get to work, immediately!"
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