Clash of the Crown
It's been a really difficult time for me. The king's health condition coupled with the impromptu duties and responsibilities of the crown that are gradually being disposed on me.
One of such duty was making a decision on passing judgement on my mother - the queen, Lord Charles, my uncle -Lord Castor and Lady Ophelia.
The written judgement has been submitted to me for approval and appending of the crown's seal on it to make it legal.
This was the fourth time, I was going through it, my head was full and aching. The thoughts of punishing my family and best friend was suffocating and I just kept pressing and massaging my temples for relief. Other times I massaged the nape of my neck still feeling frustrated.
“Your highness” Gauis called out to me with a small knock on my office door as I looked up to him.
“Come in” I beckoned to him, he obeyed and sat on the chair across from me.
“You're in pains Eridian, how can I help” he spoke even before I said a word. Gladly, he knew me so well to understand me.
“Punishing your mother....... your best friend......and condemning your uncle to be killed, It's more than pains Gauis” I smirked with a frown.
“Your highness, I know how difficult this is but something to make it easier on you is, ask yourself some questions. Do they really deserve the punishment?...... Did they do anything wrong and if they did, ....... is the punishment worth their offenses?”
Hmmmm! Gaius was one smart advisor. Hearing him say those things, did make have another introspect into the matter.
We went on and on, talking and analyzing the judgement one after another, bearing in mind, the crimes and offenses that were being committed.
Lord Castor and Lady Ophelia were already in custody, arrested. The queen obviously was fighting back squarely while Charles had been under house arrest back at Locris.
There were tons of distractions and interruptions in between as my attention was craved by many. Signing of lots of official documents and getting briefs and updates from the defense and health sectors.
The day went by quickly after attending to all the pressing issues. I'd no time to even think and daydream about my fiancée whose image had not left my head since the night of our reconciliation at Souli.
Well I really hope, she had sincerely forgiven me after the immersed and sub aqueous conversation we had in the garden. It was the most intense we had ever had, she was looking so beautiful and radiant.
So many things I wanted to do to her, telling her how much I loved her but I kept my restraint preserving it for the ideal moment.
“Troy, I think this is good...it's a fair punishment for the queen but..... I still believe she will defend herself”
“Obviously she would. For three days now, she's been seeking audience with me but I've been so immersed in the economic matters of our kingdom” I sigh exasperated.
“Really. Her summon must definitely mean something, then”
“I don't want to see her until after the final hearing. I would communicate this to the king. By the way, I had lots of help from Gaius on the final judgement" I winked at him, and he chuckled.
“That's why you have him, remember..... " He said and handed an envelope to me, still smiling.
“What is this Adrian?” I darted my eyes between him and the envelope, my faced creased in confusion.
“Look at your face man” he teased laughing. “Thought you'd be happy to receive a letter from your fiancée”
Upon hearing that, I quickly opened the envelope as my face lighted and my cheek flushed with hope and read the sweet contents of my princesses heart to me.
Blushing and churning round the room, her sweet words of love, care and affection consumed my body, draining the stress and tension of the day.
This is a confession I make to you this day, unashamed of what perception you have of me after reading this. That night at Souli was magnificent and interesting. I was glad we had those talks about the past, present and future.
I've kept dreaming about the Classic day, we talked about and how breathtaking it would be but most times, when I look at how far we need to go to achieve that, I am scared.
Not scared that I will lose you but afraid that our ever after would be nib even before it begins. Nonetheless, I have strong faith in you my love, I hope you're strong. Adrian told me about the pressure you're currently facing I only wish I was there to share them with you and easing your pains and tension.
Please take things easy and lightly. I want you in one piece and not in pieces..... lol.
Paid a visit recently to the project site in Rythfork. Its ninety percent ready, longing to auscultate the name it will be inclined with.
I miss you very much, your highness. Everything about you my body craves.
See you soon my prince.
The next day before stepping into the king's office — where I've been using of lately, I decided to go see him.
When I got there, he was having his breakfast in bed and as usual, been fed by his maid. I hated seeing my father this way. It broke my heart and shattered me to pieces.
Blind and paralyzed! What a torture! I really pitied him.
The maid, I guess Fiona was her name froze on her chair, immediately she saw me. I gazed at her intently trying to decipher her body language.
“Your.....high…ness” she stood up, stutering and bowed with a flushed face.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes ......sir” she said, I could sense her trembling but my attention turned from her and I walked towards the king who was sitting on top of the bed, his back resting on the headboard.
“Father” I held him by his arms and kissed his cheeks warmly. “How are you?”
“Oh..... Eridian, you're here?” He breathed acknowledging my presence.
“Yes your majesty. How have you been?”
“Well, as you can see, fine and peaceful” he gave a small smile as I drew the chair closer to the bed and sat down.
“Fiona, I think that will be all for breakfast....” he spoke up, choking on his words, he started coughing unceasing.
Grabbing onto the water from the side drawer, I fed it to him slowly, rubbing his back as he began to ease up quickly, as I set the water down.
“Thanks son. Thank you, Fiona. You may leave” he muttered and Fiona excused herself.
“Father, I wanted to see you concerning the judgement to be meted out next tomorrow”
“Is that the day of the final hearing"
“Let me hear it then”
After reading out the judgement to his hearing, he smiled. “That's a good one although I feel Castor should be executed before your coronation”
My brows furrowed and my eyes widened at his words. Confusion flooded my whole body instantly.
“Coronation?...... What are you talking about Father?”
“Eridian, you know what it is. Look at you, even though I can't see, I sense you're doing a great job being king..._”
“But father, I don't understand. You're still alive and hopefully you will recover and return to your position. I'm only in an acting capacity” I emphasized the last phrase.
He chuckled lightly shaking his head “Are you even in this kingdom” he muttered inaudibly.
“Heard your mother is planning on making you king soon”
I growled hard on hearing that, rising to my feet I let loose with a loud guffaw. “Is she crazy? She doesn't have such power when you're still very much alive..... I won't let her do that... oh I can't wait for all her powers to be stripped off her" I scoffed shaking my head slowly.
“Eridian, she has her parents solidly behind her, so she has the power to manipulate the council”
And so what? Like she had when she exiled Katherine. What is wrong with my mother? And all these years, I allowed her to brainwash me thinking she was an angel. Thankfully, my eyes are now opened.
“Son, this is what we've been preparing you for all these years..... a time like this when I will be old, weak and feeble. She is doing you a favor” he let out a mischievous smile “Don't oppose it”
“A favor you say. How so? Are you tired of being king?”
“Your choice of wife can now move back to court and you can do anything you want to with the so much power that comes with the crown. Just remember to use it well and for good. As for ruling..... there is little or nothing I can do in my present state”
I got lost in the king's speech, sinking more and more into bemusement. Is that not the reason he's been treated, to get better? My subconscious asked.
“Father, let me get this straight. You will be okay if I'm made king now?”
“With all my heart but first things first, Your fiancée, Lady Aris should be brought back to court because you will need her. She is a good lady with a heart of gold”
I blushed lightly at his admiration of Aris before I realized, “But Lady Gemma is still -”
“Send her away” he growled quietly as I imagined the possible ways to do that. Only that it wouldn't be easy.
“Father you've got to help me. I don't want to abuse your powers and seal” I pleaded becoming aware of the time.
I didn't noticed I had spent that length of time with the king, but either way it was worth it.
My mind still travelled back to all the things we discussed as I settled into my chair in the office. It felt I was drained off of all the energy in me.
I however managed to call on the royal secretary instructing him to send out information that lord Castor will be executed tomorrow at dawn.
To that effect, a visit to him later today will be much welcomed.
Deep in thoughts, ruminating of ways to send Gemma away and return Aris to court but my fragile mind could not settle on any neither could it come up with a plan.
Later in the evening, accompanied by Adrian, Ian and Theon, I visited the prisons. The prison guards bowed in acknowledgement as we approached the prisons.
“Troy, I don't know if this is a good idea.... you know visiting him here” he whispered as we walked in.
“Relax Adrian, there are guards everywhere, so he can't harm me, besides I just want to talk” I glanced at him with a confident smile.
His prison cell was opened and I walked in with Adrian. He burst out into laughter once he saw me.
“Eridian, how lovely for you to visit me before executing me” he smirked mockingly.
I shut my eyes, taking in deep breaths as he kept ranting and throwing shades. The guards tried to stop him by inflicting pains but I stopped them.
“Lord Castor, I only came here to ask you a question and grant you a dying wish” I spoke, my voice firm and cold.
“A dying wish.......” he scoffed, laughing annoyingly and spat at the floor. “How is my brother..... you know what's the irony, we are both going to die and end up in the same place Eridian. That is my dying wish....”
I chuckled softly and then kept a straight face. “Is that so? Anyways I want to know why you did it? Why uncle....?”
“He calls me uncle, on the eve of my death. You're a pathetic weak fool Eridian..... You think you've won by killing me...... No. I..... Castor was meant to be king not Constatine, but they denied me, and he made me his slave..... I knew I was going to become king soon after getting rid of you but then you found out and put me behind bars and now you will send me off to my ancestors....... Hahahahaha........ Isn't it funny” he laughed out again but this time around, it was filled with pains and tears and before long, he broke down in tears begging.
That was my cue to leave, my heart wasn't made of stone, standing there will only make it harder for me tomorrow. I whispered into Theon's ears instructing him on the dying wish.
“Release Lord Castor and keep him in the royal lodge, tighten up his security, let him be well-fed, let his wife visit him and ensure he sleeps well tonight” I commanded.
“Ensure he doesn't take his life by his hands.... Understood” Adrian added as I nodded in appreciation while Theon acknowledged.
By the time we returned to Zirconsite, Gemma was there outside waiting. Seems the guards didn't let her in as instructed. My face was already squeezed in a frown and my breathing becoming intense.
“Relax man, it's just Gemma” Adrian whispered patting my shoulders softly.
As she kept pacing, she lifted her head and saw us, and ran towards us, throwing her hands across my neck in a hug crying and mumbling. “Its so good to see you Troy. I missed you.....please don't push me away.........can we talk?"
My body stiffened in anger at her touch and more at her mumbles. I wanted to shove her away but Adrian stopped me as we communicated with our eyes.
“Gemma” I pulled away gently. “What's the problem” I asked irritated with a scowl on my face.
“Adrian” she nodded in acknowledgement and he half grinned.
“Baby, I have something to tell you and it's very important you should know" she sounded serious as I and Adrian exchanged glances with shocked expressions.