Part Eleven

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"It has been three weeks," the king stated while leading Harrison through the corridors of his home. "Haven't you been able to duplicate the relic yet?"

Harrison stopped and reached to trace a patch of gilded thread of the tapestry in front of him. The cloth depicted a significant victory in the wars of unification. The first king stood peering out over his fleet being bathed with golden sunlight. He took a long breath before dropping his hand to his side. Without looking away from the ornate scene, the tinkerer stated, "I haven't been unable to duplicate the relic yet, Jacob."

The king sighed, stopping in the hallway. He glanced over his shoulder and saw his tinkerer studying the embroidery. He looked at the trailing guards and waved them off while he walked over to Harrison. "It's a marvelous piece of art, isn't it, Harrison?"

"It is," the tinkerer answered.

Jacob nodded as he leaned against the wall next to the tapestry. "You're my tinkerer, Harrison," the king said, folding his arms across his chest. "What's the problem you are running into with the relic? You duplicated one of Garrett Hughes's that was comparable in design to mine."

"It's somewhat similar, Jacob," Harrison agreed as he rubbed his chin.

"What is so different?" Jacob asked as he scratched his jaw. "Both relics are destructive weapons. Are you worried about how it will be used?"

Harrison buried his face into his hands, trying to silence a light chuckle.

"I didn't realize that I made a joke, Harrison."

The tinkerer shook his head and lightly clapped the king's back. "I wasn't mocking you, Jacob."

"I don't remember laughing," Jacob stated, narrowing his eyes.

Harrison ran his fingers along the embroidered design before stepping away from the wall. "Your argument would equate a bow with a pistol, Jacob?"

"No," the king answered.

"But both are weapons of destruction," Harrison replied with a smile.

"I've seen what the replicated weapon does for Garrett," the king said as he walked to Harrison's other side. He gripped the tinkerer's shoulder, asking, "What makes it so much different from my relic?"

"Your relic generates fire hot enough to melt stone."

"I already know that, Harrison," Jacob answered, releasing Harrison. "But what difference does that make?"

Harrison tore his gaze away from the tapestry and sauntered to the wall and leaned against it. "I do not understand how his relic works."

"But you replicated its destructive power," the king stated.

Harrison put his foot against the stone and rested his hands on his leg. "I created a more effective recipe for gunpowder."

The king took a step towards Harrison.

But the tinkerer lifted a finger. "While the gunpowder I designed is more efficient and more potent to what other people can produce, it pales in comparison to the original relic."

"What do you mean?"

"The devastation from Garrett's rod was silent."

"That weapon destroyed an exterior wall of his keep."

"The fallout wasn't quiet," Harrison said and walked over to his king, putting his hands on Jacob's shoulders. "The destruction was caused by a flash of light. No matter how much I improve the effectiveness of gunpowder, we will always fall short of the capabilities of that relic."

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