“Lord Kincaid, Lord Kincaid please if I could only have a moment of your time!”
He hurried after the noble’s long gait. He stopped as the hunched little man slithered around to face him. The gray robes he wore seemed to swallow his frail figure up. The noble squared his shoulders with a furrowed brow now facing his pursuer. Their appearances clashed, the withered old man in his gray robes and the Prince wearing a brilliant golden tunic.
“I am not Lord, that was my father. You know my mother sits at the throne Ophion…”
“My apologies Prince Kincaid, I bring news of the intruder.”
“Ophion,” he took a breath and rubbed his temples. “He has done nothing to break our Kingdom’s laws. Whatever quirrel you have with him leave me out of it,” he starred into Ophion’s sunken eyes.
“But Prince he is a Caligas, will you let rumors of allying with Lord Praevus spread?” There was a pinch of panic in his hushed voice but Prince Kincaid refused to be manipulated.
Prince Kincaid stepped forward leaning down into Ophion’s face. He kept his hands behind his back, perhaps out of self control, “Queen Perette may have asked you to come beside her as Chancellor but you have no such favor with me. You are trying to stir something up and when i find out what it is… believe these words Ophion, you will pray to Sendiil that you will be able to crawl out of this Kingdom.”
Ophion shrunk backwards and his hands writhed over one another with greater intensity. A look of fear as if he, the innocent, had been accused covered his face.
“Your Highness, I am afraid I do not understand. But, I will not continue to bother you with petty news. Long live the Queen,” and with that he slithered past the Prince and down an adjacent hall.
Prince Kincaid regained his composure and pulled his long blonde hair back. With his hand on the hilt of his long sword he treaded out the arched double doors onto the stairs that lead to the palace garden. He took a moment to mourn what the kingdom was becoming. His eyes traced over each peaked building and shop, through the alleys and across shop fronts. He remembered the colors vividly, bright and limitless. The kingdom would repaint everything every few months and festivities would follow. He could see the Monolith from here, one of the biggest in the central region of Fray. It would flicker and glow surrounded by the bustle of daily traffic. He could remember walking by it on a daily basis and always looking at it and being thankful that his family had been so successful in establishing such a kingdom. One that would stand for righteousness! Justice! Truth!
That was all fading now. Where there was once color, now it’s just deadened shadows of its former brilliance. Where the camaraderie was between everyone, there was a reserved mistrust. Where the Monolith jutted into the sky with its beauty, there was now Miasma edging in on the city walls. They had never been this low on Ether as long as the kingdom has stood. Losing their king, and his father, was the worst thing that could’ve happened to them. Every man and woman would’ve charged forward with the king at their side and die gladly defending their kingdom before, but no longer.
Garden attendants wandered about snipping shrubs and watering flowers. As soon as one noticed the Prince’s presence he whipped around and gave a deep bow with, “Prince be blessed.” After the first all others heard him and followed suit. The Prince gave a quick bow after everyone was finished and continued on his way. The light through the Miasma seemed to become more and more gray each day since the passing of King Adel.
Prince Kincaid wish he knew more of his father’s glory days. He was very young when the plague seemed to capture his father’s body. What he knew was told by others. King Adel was a young and vigorous king, and he had the love of his people form the beginning more than any other king in history. Perhaps he still does but other things have crept in since. He was passed the mantle by the previous king who strangely had no heirs. His wife was barren but they loved Adel as their own. A few years later they both passes and then war broke out. A northern country struck out knowing the freshly appointed King Adel would have no aid from his mentors. That’s where he really won his people’s love. Despite his age he was an excellent tactician. That coupled with his enthusiasm and gusto he lead the kingdom to victory on many accounts. During the last year of King Adel, he was completely bed ridden and guiding the kingdom by page and announcements made every morning. But on the day of his death the Miasma place it’s heavy hand over the kingdom where it still remains. That was the day the Kingdom stopped wearing their colors. Queen Perette never again wore their the brilliant gold that marked the kingdom. The melancholy gray was worn on the day of his death and never seemed to turn back.
The Prince quickened his step, worried he would be late once again for his meeting with Ashlynd. She was his best friend and trusted partner of the Gilded Shield, a military force that lead the kingdoms companies. The few who still donned the colors of the King. Ashlynd was what Prince Kincaid called blunt, very black and white. She was more reliable than anyone in the kingdom and had been his best friend since childhood. Her parents were some of the King and Queen’s most cherished friends
He weaved through the maze of vegitation at a brisk pace. Finally turning the last corner that opened up to a small clearing. There were beautifully crafted stone benches and tables here, and sitting with a smirk on her face was Ashlynd.
“Why are you wearing your armor? Was war declared while I eating lunch?”
“Has your mother not spoken with you?”
He noticed her unrest at the beginning but now he was becoming concerned. If he hadn’t been taken aback by her attire he would’ve greeted her in a friendlier manner. Ashlynd stood from the stone bench and handed him a missive.
Prince Kincaid’s eyes widened and his gut tightened. He just looked up at Ashlynd who had felt the same way only an hour ago.