Fredrick waited outside the courtroom of king Cornelius for what seemed like forever. The sun had only just risen when he had arrived, but it had been dark for hours. People had come and gone from the throne room all day, each time the door opened he hoped it would be his turn for an audience, only to be met with disappointment time and time again.

Then, just as he was about to give up, a large guard opened the doors and called Fredrick’s name, beckoning him in with a look of disgust. Alchemists were not as popular in Cornelius’s kingdom as they were in others due to an incident with the kings wife and her obsession with the alchemist at the time. Particularly his ability to make anything larger.

As he approached the throne he felt a wave of nausea flood him. He had waited five years to get to this moment, where he would offer his services and serve his people as best he could.

“We are in no need of an alchemist at this time.” A voice informed him. It wasn’t the king, but one of the elders who were overlooking maps and tactical plans on a large wooden table. “Thank you for coming.”

And with that, the guard who had escorted him in, beckoned him back towards the door.

“But my king. I -” Fredrick caught a back hand. The guard’s plate armour making a heavy clanging noise as it met the bone in his cheek.

“Do not speak back.” The elder simply said looking up with the same disgust the guard had shown him at the door.

Fredrick looked towards the king who couldn’t hide the grin that appeared as he noticed the look of shock on Fredrick’s face.

The next morning, Fredrick poured a cocktail into the only river that supplied the kingdom and left.

Three days later, a warning got around to the surrounding encampments that under no circumstances should they travel to Cornelius’s territory, a rather horrid plague had broken out and everyone was to be exterminated.