[Nameless Hero - Chapter 15]
King Gideon’s heri had been the subject for political warfare within the noble court for almost eleven years. As the King had decided that the ‘most suitable’ would inherit, noble factions practically arose to support each of the first three children over night. Of course the Second Prince’s faction was almost non-existent at the current date.
It is basic political strategy to support one of the first three as they have the greatest claim to the throne. After the third in line, the legitimacy of their claim drops off drastically. Even if one of the first three dies, that wouldn’t mean an increase in their standing. Merely increasing the support the first two gain, or even further distancing them from the throne altogether.
Now, considering this knowledge, one may finally see the depths of the King’s true plans as it was to those within the room, especially to Heraldr.
If the King had just had the third in line renounce his claim, what grounded legitimacy would those even further down the line of succession have now?
Even if Leon, who the King had just chosen, dies, the King’s succession choice remained the same. The one most suitable, if the third wasn’t suitable, that would thus give grounds to the main two factions surrounding the First Princess and First Prince to denounce the other successors by way of claiming they lacked ‘suitability’.
To go even further, by the King openly stating that Leon was chosen, the previous heir apparent, First Princess Sophia, was longer ‘suitable’.
This is why the King’s single statement was so ‘outrageous’, he had, with just a few words, disinherited his entire family and locked down the position of the heir apparent
Many nobles had begun to wonder if this was even still the same ‘puppet king’ they had always mocked and ignored.
The shock and despair from the previous incident, that had only just occurred not even an hour before, had already long since forgotten in the face of current events.
If but temporarily.
“My son, you are the only one who should succeed me now.
It matters not the shock on this court, before any maneuvers can be made, I can no longer have a choice but to act and stave the grounds that yours and mine own kin have for the throne.
These incidents have stolen my time, and my ability to remain silent.
My eldest daughter, your own sister, is lost to us.
As you know, as per the laws of the Light, your sister lost her soul.
While the body still walks and breathes with her memories, she is truly dead to us upon this plain. The young woman I loved as a daughter died but an hour ago, but her rest was forever rended by that woman. That woman changed her memories, who she was, who she loved. To tamper with someone’s soul is beyond wrong, but, we will not be seen to have taken action against that woman.
We will leave her to Lord Isaac Kaylock, he chose to lead her away, we shall await the results.”
The King pauses for a moment, looking away from the still trembling Leon, the shaking now even becoming apparent to the nobility, though there were few who could blame the youth. He was only eighteen years of age after all, and there was not a soul within the room who could have believed such events could occur one after another.
To the King right now, the world was simply moving too fast, and the old man and father known as Gideon was lamenting every second of it.
Leon’s shoulders jolt and shake wildly as he replies. It was as if he was beaten senselessly, yet every strike was a treat, Leon simply didn’t know how to feel or respond anymore.
(Crown Prince Leon)
“Y… … ye...yes Lord Father!”
The King sighs and lowers his gaze from the distant lands that the King’s mind had wandered towards, and directed itself upon Leon, their eyes met.
It was the first time in Leon’s entire life, that he felt so small, the pressure his father was giving off was immense. Even the high nobles had begun to sweat slightly under the current circumstances.
Where was he drawing this unbelievable power from… Where did he find this untouchable authority… No… he had it all along… no one ever noticed, they never thought… but… this is the true power… the true pressure of a King…
For his entire life, this man had hidden away the true potential he had to be a king.
“Even if I am to die tomorrow, you will promise this old man that you will never go after her. She is far beyond your reach, you will never be able to pull her down, not even with you, not even if the whole realm were to join in your chase.
She is beyond you my son.”
The King dropped a single statement that was beyond absolute, it was a crushing declaration.
No matter how capable Leon was, no matter who joined with him, to take revenge, or even harbor such desires against that woman… was practically taboo…
Leon, a man who cared for his family, who had the duties and principles of chivalric code imprinted into him, could not simply accept his father’s statement.
To forever forgive a person who tained one’s kin was simply impossible to a knight!
(Crown Prince Leon)
“Lord Father I-”
Leon could not bare what his father was saying and had blurted out… but he was almost instantly cut off.
The King’s voice boomed throughout the room, causing all of the color on Leon’s face to visibly drain away, his heart skipping every other beat due to the sheer pressure his father had given off. It felt as if a surge of energy had just pulsed through the room. To even the mighty and proud High Nobles, even if it were just slightly, their hands were trembling… they were trembling before the true might of a King.
The silent puppet king had just shouted, and with his words came an unquestionable level of authority.
To say the least, the current man standing upon the throne was no puppet king… no… that is a real King… to the nobles, that figure standing atop the throne was extremely intimidating. They had never experienced the true potential of the throne with but a single soul sitting atop.
Was the King always that tall....
“Who do you think you are speaking to boy!”
Leon remained silent, his body freezing and then trembling as if his body could not process how to react, his attire visibly showing signs of sweat as it permeated from every pore.
“ANSWER YOUR KING!!”
The King’s voice erupted from his core.
Leon could feel the vibrations of the King’s powerful voice coursing through his body… he felt numb…
(Crown Prince Leon)
“I… m… my… ki… king… i...i…”
The King signed once more, he had obviously pushed the boy too much. Leon wasn’t even twenty years of age yet, of course he wouldn’t be able to keep hold of himself yet.
But this would prove a useful and necessary lesson.
The King once again lamented at his fate.
He should not be the one to give Leon these lessons. The various minds of the nobles would have molded him into a figure they would accept, and combined with the wisdom of Isaac at his core, keeping him from becoming the noble’s puppet as he had.
Heraldr would deal with the darkness that the nobility or the spirit of man could birth, thus allowing Leon to focus solely on the light.
This was something that Gideon had decided when he was but twenty years old. He would have a first born that would bear the blight and displeasure of the court. If it were a woman, than all the better as the second born could be the male. If that happened, he could allow his family to become truly stable and ensure that he would not witness his children destroying one another from his grave.
He was the King who was given his throne, he was not owed it.
He couldn’t rely on the past Baron Isaac’s support, no, he was isolated in the Noble’s court.
The various factions had all supported one High Noble family or another after the fated Incident of the Royal Genocide that had happened just two years before the previous King’s death. The various courtly factions broken out into a silent war to destroy the Royal Family, taking all but the King and Gideon’s life in the process. Over three hundred lives from both sides were lost in a single night, thousands more in the weeks to follow. But the uproar quieted eventually, and the King passed away, with the sole member yet carrying the Royal blood being an illegitimate child that was birthed by a great noble who had been raped by the previous king.
Not a soul had backed the bastard son of the late King. If it hadn’t been for the Baron Isaac’s political maneuvers, citing that only those capable of performing the holy ceremonies of Light could sit upon the throne- an ancient law outside of common knowledge-, Gideon would not have been sat upon the throne.
Doing so had actually somewhat isolated Isaac as well, even if he was a prominent High Noble. He even had one of the largest factions vying for his place upon the throne, but he had gone against their desires and had put the last of the old bloodline upon the throne. Needless to say, but the old sentiments against the old line were still present at the time.
The King had no other options but to be controlled, he had no authority to do otherwise.
But, he would not let the Kingdom fall to the nobles!
He gambled everything, using the name of the King for all it was worth the moment he took the throne, to support the rise of a single man.
The King had no talent for numbers, nor agriculture, management or stewardship. He was by all means, a rather simple king.
But even a simple man can have strength if he can look within and without to find it.
The eyes of a man who gazed upon all, upon enemies, upon desire, upon ambition, upon skill and genius, upon every form of man, every noble, every talent greater than his own that passed before him during the flow of time.
If he was at the bottom, than he only had to look up to see how to improve. The further down, the more amazing the top will look to one’s self.
All he, the king, had to do is look into a person’s eyes, even for but a moment, and his gaze will be able to breach into one’s very soul. The eye capable of gauging a person’s capacity without fail, that is what the King’s entire life was used for, to train a single trait. It was not a mighty ability that could bring him authority, yet it was not a weakness that could be exploited, it merely was, and remained so for his long reign as king.
A person’s intent, their strength, their wisdom, their true intentions hidden within their hearts, he could see it all.
It was because of this that, even at a young age, Gideon knew that he could never be a true King.
But as Isaac flourished, he realized that this man could open the path for his children.
His influence would easily grow to one day stand above all others, but he would never be able to use it greedily for himself.
Though… the king could never truly trust him…
There was always something… hidden just beneath the surface…
Something that even he could not understand, like a guiding force that simply spanned beyond his comprehension had reached out and changed that man’s course.
It was because of this that Gideon had made sure that Heraldr remained outside of Isaac’s influence. He had to make sure that there was someone held behind to keep the family safe, safe from what even he could not see.
It was because… because he once again… that feeling, as if that hand had once again surfaced that he could no longer remain silent.
Like a storm consuming all, if he didn’t stop it here, he knew those present could never brave the surf. They would have been consumed by what they could never understand.
He had to set them straight here!
He must save his family before they fall into disaster!
That woman was…
“My son, she, is beyond my reach, beyond your reach, beyond our reach.
What she is, is simply above you.
My eyes have seen thousands, if not tens or hundreds of thousands of talents above my worth. Yet, for all these years, a figure known to all had dominated the peak that had never been bested or met during my entire life.
You all know who that is. No one can deny that man after all these years.
That woman… those eyes of hers… they’re the same eyes… she…
The same… as that man…. that woman... they are… the same…”
[NH Chapter 15 - END]