A black haired man quickly stepped over the threshold to the King's audience chamber. His stride was purposeful and steady. He held himself with authority as he came to the end of a long red rug and knelt down. Deep blue eyes peered up at the gray haired man seated in the throne before him. Faded green stared down at the raven for a long time before anything was said between the two.
“I heard that you were slinking around one of the towns on our border again.” The King grumbled, sitting up a little straighter.
“Ah, yes. I was.” The raven admitted, glancing off to the side for only a second before returning his gaze.
“And what were you doing there?” The King growled.
“Looking for something that I've been searching for since mother passed away.” The raven smirked slightly, glancing away and out the window for a longer time before making eye contact again.
“I told you to quit your pathetic, useless hunt for something that does not exist!” The King roared, standing up to prove his point.
“It's not pathetic or useless. I found something. Something different from what I was originally searching for, but something that could lead us to mother's murderer!” The raven barked back defensively while keeping his spot kneeling on the floor.
“What's done is done! I hereby sentence you to five years in the dungeons!” The King snarled.
“Five years!? Father! You can't do this to me! I'm so close! I nearly found him!” The raven whined, his eyes going wide.
“I can. Lucien Rayner D'aramitz. I hereby sentence you to five years in the dungeons. Guards! Take him away from my sight!” The King declared.
“Wait! Father, no! You can't do this when I'm so close to finding him!” Lucien screamed as the guards started to drag him off to the dungeons.
“Lucien. Take this time to cool your head. No heir of mine will chase after ghosts of the past. Learn from your mistakes while you take your time away from the world for a while.” The King sighed, sitting back down in his chair and composing himself for the next visitor.
“Father!” Lucien yelled until his lungs started to burn.
He fought with the guards the whole way into the dungeons. Kicking and screaming like a child throwing a temper tantrum, Lucien tried to wiggle his way out of the guard's hold. Failing, they dragged him deeper and deeper into the dungeons. As per his father's request, he was taken to the far reaches of the dungeons where the sunlight didn't reach. They threw him into the last cell. Now that his status as the King's only son was void until his five years were up, the guards decided that they would have their fun without getting any repercussions.
Stumbling forwards, Lucien barely managed to stay on his feet as he heard the steel doors slam shut and the jingle of keys locking him in. Lucien turned and grabbed the bars only to be pushed back into the cell by a wooden prod. Landing on his butt, Lucien glared at the laughing guards. He scoffed under his breath before picking himself up and dusting himself off. Turning to the responsible guards, Lucien decided that he had a few choice words to say.
“Who gave you the permission to treat me, Lucien Rayner D'aramitz, only heir to the throne, as a mere prisoner?” Lucien growled.
“Who? Last I knew the King won't have an heir for another five years.” One of the guards laughed.
“That's right. Lucien Rayner D'aramitz was stripped of his title after being banished to the dungeons for five years because of some foolish search for a criminal who doesn't exist.” Another guard scoffed. “We all know the queen was staying in an old inn that happened to go down while she was there. It was old. Nobody would guess that would happen, but it did. How can you possibly get a murderer from an old building collapsing?”
“Someone set it up. I know it.” Lucien snarled under his breath. “And tell my father... the King. That I don't plan to quit searching even when my five years are up. I will find him.”
“Alright then. We'll let the King know.” The first guard chuckled before heading back up.
“If you need anything, scream really loudly. I'll come and check up on you.” The second guard smirked before leaving as well.
Once everyone had left the deeper sections of the dungeons, Lucien was left to himself in the poorly lit area. One of the torches closest to him was starting to die. Which meant that he would be concealed in darkness after a short while. The darkness allowed him time to think. Time to reflect. His father thought that he would think over his actions and think better of them, letting the whole situation go. That wasn't how Lucien worked though. This time that he had to himself gave him the time to think over his mother's murderer's every move. Every single step that he had taken to pull it off and to cover his tracks. Lucien was close to catching him, but his father now gave five years to the murderer. Five years to recover his tracks and to disappear.
“Just watch me father. I will find him.” Lucien's eyes narrowed as he quietly talked to himself, going over strategies and plans until they were engraved in his mind.