Chapter 29: Chapter 2
There was an awkward silence in the court after Father Henry was asked that question. Few good folks of Kings City were brought in to witness the trial so they can be the ones who will spread the word to others and speak of that day and what they saw.
Prince Castellan grew impatient “You are being asked Father. Speak up” he shouted.
Castellans voice was thick and grumpy it made princess Thelma shake for a second, she gasped at how angry her brother was.
“I have nothing to say my prince” replied Father Henry.
Prince Castellan stood up abruptly “You have nothing!” now he was angrier. “Do you admit to killing my father”
“I admit to nothing my prince. My loyalties lied with king Taelin and they shall follow him to his grave. The secrets of who murdered the king will be out sooner rather than later, I prayed to the gods for it”
Shaken and a bit nervous Prince Castellan found himself slipping from his anger, Katarina was right by his side with their young son Barkis, she never seemed to leave the boy anywhere. Katarina held on to Castellans hand and urged him to sit.
When the air cleared, the lord of justice and law, a man with high knowledge known as Lord Ambrius continued to read the passage and the faults of Father Henry. The main thing he was accused of was if he saw the cut when he and his septas prepared the body for kings funeral.
To which Father Henry said “I did saw the cut, but some things are better left unsaid” and this is what became his downfall. Prince Castellan smiled at Father Henrys misfortunes, he wanted to see him hang or better worse beheaded. Then the trial was left off for the day, Father Henry was taken to the dungeon and manacled at neck, wrist and ankle.
It only took a day for Prophisians to learn of the kings traitor and murderer. Father Henry was the talk of the kingdom, some praised him for putting down a tyrant who they hated and some wished to see his head on a spike. So, Prophis was divided.
This division favored prince Lucian Mithandir and his attempt to win back his fathers throne and once again place house Mithandir on the map. Lucian had a strong fifty thousand men loyal to him and his cause. But that wasnt even half of what House Taelin had, he was outnumbered before he even made a decision to march to Prophis.
Lucian and his men took camp on an abandoned village along the way which had no name, there was a castle which was dark, the stones had leeches and moss clearly showing the castle was ancient. All of his men had tents to sleep in and they made many more tents with hope of having more men joining their cause.
They trained during the whole day and rested at night, everyday nonstop and thats because not all of them were soldiers. Many were Prophisians who escaped King Taelins rule and offered to join the cause, the right cause and they were ready to die for house Mithandir.
It may come as a shock but you wouldnt believe the length a man will go to prove his loyalty to what he strictly believes to be certain and fair. These men were ready to die for Lucian. They had given their whole life and purpose just to put Lucian Mithandir on the throne because they believed it was right.
Lucian was inside discussing matters of the war with his three close confidants and circle of lords, it was inside his castle which was lighten up by candles and logs of fire. Although there was a fire inside the council chambers of his castle, he was still freezing and his fingers were numb.
The three lords were Lord Hubelet who betrayed King Taelin and joined Lucian, he served as the master of coins of Prophis before he felt like Taelin wasnt the king he wanted to serve and left the kingdom. The other two, Cardinal Topher and Duke Rayness. Cardinal Topher was a knight of a faraway land Lucian has never heard of.
And Duke Rayness was a descendant of the very first Mithandir king, hence he and Lucian were related. He wasnt really a duke, he just loved giving himself titles, he once told Lucian he was a prince. Topher and Rayness were of the same age as Lucian, forty-four years old but they were still strong and agile as if they were in their twenties.
Lord Hubelet was in his early fifties and he always wore black, perhaps being a Prophisian and living in deep snow all his life would explain his bad taste in colors and fabrics. He was a tall man with white beards and hairs with a mixture of both white and black – he may look old but his magnificent thews proved him otherwise and one may mistake him for a knight although he was never knighted before.
During their meeting Lord Hubelet was the one who had techniques and plans because he knew Prophis more than anyone there, even Lucian himself had completely forgotten his own kingdom because he was forced to leave at a very young age. They all depended on Lord Hubelet for directions of the palace, the alleys and the dumpsters, the secrets pathways and exits.
“I received a note from merchants passing through the lagoon this morning” said lord Hubelet and took out the note. He then gave it to Lucian “It says the High Septon, Father Henry is charged for treason”
“The High Septon” asked Duke Rayness.
“His name is Father Henry, he is a good man of the gods and loyal to the crown” added Lord Hubelet.
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Lucian read the note more than one time “What did he do” he asked handing the note to Cardinal Topher and Duke Rayness for all of them to read it.
“They say he colluded with the former hand of the king, sir Goliath in murdering the king. Sir Goliath is accused of slitting the kings throat at his council chamber and Father Henry for covering it up”
“Do you believe these accusations” Duke Rayness intervened.
“I say Taelin got exactly what he did to my brother. The omen was foretold and it never ends good for him” Lucian intervened “We should focus on getting more men and storm the capital while the kingdom is at its weakest” he insisted.
Now the reality was spoken, all of them remained silent for a moment. The letter sent to Maldonia asking for Artemiss help fell onto deaf ears – its been sometimes and still no reply.
“The king of Maldonia has yet to reply to our cause, but the note has reached Maldonia. Perhaps we should wait...”
“We have no time” Lucian stood up suddenly and stroked his hairs. “I should go to Maldonia myself and confront Artemis. Our houses have a history of alliance; he should offer to help me”
“Might I speak plainly Your Grace” Lord Hubelet always had something to say.
“Go on Lord Hubelet”
“I fear the alliance formed in the past between House Arteides and House MIthandir does not exist anymore. Your predecessors were good allies no doubt, but I fear things will not be the same for you two”
“Whys that my lord”
Cardinal Topher intervened “I heard the king has set off to his travels to visit the ten houses of Maldonia. We all know that journey may take months, and you are right we dont have the time”
“Then what!” Lucian screamed, he went after a broken chair next to him and threw it over the wall and he broke it some more. “Should I just wait for those bastards to sit on my throne again They are holding my sister captive”
“Princess Varys is married to a lord and shes living a good life compared to what you think. She was never a threat to king Taelin, her being a woman. If we are set to move against Prophis we need -” Lord Hubelet was suddenly stopped by Lucian who didnt want to hear any of the objections anymore.
Perhaps he should just return to Doha with his wife and sons, in Doha he wasnt a king but he was royal and he lived ten times better than most kings did in Prophis. Prophis was cold, ancient and always in darkness while in Doha the sun visited him every day and he never lacked neither power nor food.
With the winter approaching there was a huge threat of hunger and death amongst his believers, Lucian knew and even his people also knew of the danger approaching. Lucian decided to breath and walk towards the window which gave him a clear view of the tents. These werent just tents, these were men who believed in him, they gave out their life to fight for him and he wasnt going to turn his back on them when they were too close.
Hence he made a decision “Well take the horses and ride to Maldonia at first light, I need an audience with the king” he said.