That has nothing to do with the case, you know. The fact isthat even if you are the regent and my uncle, I'm still king and you'restill my subject. You oughtn't to call me a fool and you oughtn't to sit inmy presence, anyway. You haven't asked my permission. I think you ought tobe careful, or I might do something about it pretty soon."Wienis' gaze was cold. "May I refer to you as 'your majesty'?""Yes.""Very well! You are a fool, your majesty!"His dark eyes blazed from beneath his grizzled brows and the young king satdown slowly. For a moment, there was sardonic satisfaction in the regent'sface, but it faded quickly. His thick lips parted in a smile and one handfell upon the king's shoulder bicelle b5 gel
"Never mind, Lepold. to you. It isdifficult sometimes to behave with true propriety when the pressure ofevents is such as ?You understand?" But if the words were conciliatory,there was something in his eyes that had not softened.
Lepold said uncertainly, "Yes. Affairs of State are deuced difficult, youknow." He wondered, not without apprehension, whether he were not in for adull siege of meaningless details on the year's trade with Smyrno and thelong, wrangling dispute over the sparsely settled worlds on the RedCorridor.
Wienis was speaking again. "My boy, I had thought to speak of this to youearlier, and perhaps I should have, but I know that your youthful spiritsare impatient of the dry detail of statecraft."Lepold nodded. "Well, that's all right ?
His uncle broke in firmly and continued, "However, you will come of age intwo months. Moreover, in the difficult times that are coming, you will haveto take a full and active part. You will be king henceforward, Lepold."Again Lepold nodded, but his expression was quite blank.
"There will be war, Lepold.""War! But there's been truce with Smyrno?
"Not Smyrno. The Foundation itself.""But, uncle, they've agreed to repair the ship. You said?
His voice choked off at the twist of his uncle's lip.
"Lepold" ? some of the friendliness had gone ?we are to talk man to man.
There is to be war with the Foundation, whether the ship is repaired ornot; all the sooner, in fact, since it is being repaired. The Foundation isthe source of power and might. All the greatness of Anacreon; all its shipsand its cities and its people and its commerce depend on the dribbles andleavings of power that the Foundation have given us grudgingly. I rememberthe time ? I, myself ?when the cities of Anacreon were warmed by theburning of coal and oil. But never mind that; you would have no conceptionof it.""It seems," suggested the king timidly, "that we ought to be grateful Coffee Maker