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Chapter 4

“Anything. But –“


“I’m not King yet.”

“No, son, you’re not. And I’m afraid” his voice dropping noticeably deeper “if you reject what I have to disclose to you, you could never be.”

“Never -- be? Wait…? What do you mean never be?! There is no… there is no other possible way.”


“It’s in the bloody law! Or don’t you remember them? I know I sure do after you had me over look it twenty-thousand damn times.”


Only it’s a bit too late for calming tones. Louis has been literally and figuratively been on edge for many weeks now; too much stress had built up in his, unusually small, frame. He was a ticking time bomb waiting to be set off. And unfortunately it was his father who mentioned the straw that could break the camel’s back.

“But of course that was only during my three years of doing absolutely everything I was told by every possible pain-in-the-arse you could hire.”

“Now just wait one minute Lou…”

“And then you have the nerve to spring on me at the last possible second, before the biggest event of my life, that I might not even be given my birth right? I am the next in line! I am the next blood heir; the oldest child to your thrown!

“LOUIS.” The prince froze, mouth wide, about to drill in his next sentence. “If you will stop shooting venom out of your mouth for just one minute I could finish what I had to say.

You are next in line. This crown is yours to take in two weeks-time. But your instruction is far from over. Your reign is not yet here, and you will NOT address me in such a matter, high and mighty or not. Do you understand me boy?”

Though not much physically bigger than the prince himself, the King had an impressive amount of confidence in all of his commands. The intimidation factor was enough to shut Louis up fairly quick.

“There are pieces of our history, as a family and as a monarchy, which affect you by default. Royalty doesn’t often get the fairytale ending promised to us at the end of storybooks. It’s an occupation glamorized by our well-being and access of authority. Much of which you know can only work by a means of a well-structured checks and balanced system, set aside in advance by an untouchable source that defines our powers for the good of a nation.”

Louis could only nod is head in acknowledgement. He had read up on power trips, and the disaster they inevitably bring, a year and a half ago.

The King had then turned his body on a slight angle to see out the sliver of window the curtain hadn’t covered. “They believe everything is lollipops and sunflowers behind these walls. And you know why that is?: because that is the news that must be delivered to them.

Our people Lou” spoken as if he couldn’t stress the importance enough “have their own problems, problems which directly impact their personal lives. This palace is their stronghold, their ray of light that burns strong, even when they feel as if they themselves are headed towards a spiral. They have put up with so much in the past, carrying the wounds of our mistakes. And I can’t help but personally feel our responsibility is proportional to their happiness.

That is why we sacrifice.

As we reside up here in what we all know is the “lap of luxury”, there are families not so distant from where we are sitting now that are struggling to make their ends meet, scrounging for just breakfast on the table. So they go to work, dutifully, providing resources for their communities and income for their loved ones. Our armor doesn’t appear out of thin air, and our food supplies certainly do not harvest themselves.

In return we assure the protection and the opportunity necessary to continue life.

Don’t you see? We, as humans, as Arcadians, are the checks and balance system! The ability to provide what we can and the unselfish heart to not even think twice.”

Louis could do nothing but watch as what he believed to be the fatigue of the all-nighter crashing hard at last.

“I admit I have faltered, that I have proved young and foolish plenty of times in my day too. And for that I have seen those I love already pay a hefty price.

You remember, I assume from your basic social science education, the last major devastation Arcadia has encountered?”

“Yes. It was war.”

“And war of the most heart-wrenching kind to boot; treacherous: a traitor from inside our own walls. Scores of information leaked to our most plausible threat in exchanged for what we can only assume was status climbing. One of our own soldiers swindled by the opportunity of promotion by none other than the Xaverian officials themselves!” -SLAM- The barely touched mug almost tumbled across the breakfast setting.

“The signs were all there, it wasn’t well executed in the slightest, but I turned a blind eye!

Looking back I realize how naïve I was being; and even when the moment came to strike back, I was too much in denial to send out the troops in time. I’m still thanking God we were able to even pull off whatever miracle we did! Only a mere eighteen years ago.

We were so unprepared. I led everyone into believing that being alert was optional for far too long. The consequence? My people suffered. Families were broken as soldiers died, bread winners lost, and fathers and sons mourned. What was I to do? Well I wasn’t in denial anymore. I realized how incompetent for this position I actually was. My rule alone just wasn’t enough.

But the best miracle of all? It didn’t have to be.

Your mother was the best thing to ever happen to this country Lou. When it came time to step up, she single handedly made sure everyone was put back in their place. The most intelligent woman this castle had ever known!” And like someone had flicked a switch, the carefree attitude at the beginning of this conversation was back. “I knew I loved her long before those days, and by pure luck on my part, she just happened to be able to return the feeling back. We may have begun our family already, but unions between royalty do not necessarily promise positive emotions. True love is rare. Those with titles network for stability in all matters. Marriage is no exception.”

The Prince just stared at his father completely baffled. If he was confused about the direction of this meeting earlier, then it was nothing compared to how out of the loop he felt now. Why was he being lectured on the obvious? Was this his father’s way of announcing a new war? The Xaviers hadn’t made a peep in years.

“We were able to work hand-in-hand, your mother and I. Stopped the enemy by mutual decision. Together, by unity of the royal signatures, we were able to obtain solid protection and funds to build back what was either lost or taken.

Marriage had ensured the future of Arcadia once… and marriage will guarantee the future again.”

Eyes like saucers, a ping had gone off like Louis was finally starting to get the drift of what was being said, but he was too shell shocked to actually move. He couldn’t be…

“Our treasury was robbed, what was left was quickly dwindling to supply the army with just food to eat. We couldn’t arm them; a number of our men had already passed. The majority of our allies refused to step it at that point. They believed we were practically a lost caused, and it was almost the case. The desperate pleas then began. We didn’t really have much at that point worth exchanging that any others saw worth the effort. That was until a wise man, by the name of Desmond, came to us with a proposition we really could not refuse.

His family, not exactly royal, but definitely noble, had money to their name, yet no security. Their real estate was lost when their once dependent state withered. Desmond knew that the wealth they enjoyed now would be gone one day; their money could no longer make money. They needed to invest, and the certified way was to be attached to a royal name.

They had one child: a daughter. Still young, but who was already showing interest in the church. There was no room for insecurities though. The deal had to be finished, the window of opportunity shrinking. But his wife Anne just happened to pregnant with her second child, one whose opinion couldn’t be altered. And that was the selling point.

In exchange for the family fortune, a wedding was to be arranged. The latter would be announced in the future, but the papers were signed then and there. We now had the funds to once again supply our army. Our boys came out fighting for vengeance fueled by their second wind. The Xaviers were well spent and caught off guard by the come-back; then they fell.

The war was finally over. Your mother and I, we had did it. Our people were safe once again, and our family name was once more respected, and held in high esteem. The final sacrifice had been the key.” The King had finished off his grand tale while beaming at his son. It was obvious he thought he had got his point across wonderfully, that everything he had built up to made all the sense in the world.

“That’s not sacrificing for the people” Louis finally spoke, realization hitting him hard in the chest “that is paying for your own blunders! And you knew” he could feel the tickle in his throat, the emotion of betrayal seeping out with every word “I’d be the one paying the price. So you wouldn’t have to! To personally see to it that I couldn’t possibility refuse at this point, that everyone would think I backed out, cold shouldered, at the last minute only for mayhem to ensue. My first act of King gone horribly astray! My legacy gone; to be replaced with the title of, what – Louis the Leech? How about Louis the Loser? Lose of the Kingdom?”

“You know” the King offered, struggling for his composure as well “that those were never our intentions. That we have sought any other solution; our best had been on clock! Those compromises are written in the blackest of ink, and I pray one day you will see the implications of the entire ordeal. That you will understand –“

“That you had sold out your only son, at the age of three.”

“Louis, please –“

“What’s her name?” It was the only distraction he could think of, something tangible enough to progress out of this horrible moment.

The King could only sigh at the abrupt slap to his apology.

“He is called Harry; Duke of the west fields of Arbury and – Louis, no! Wait, you must be properly infor….” But the end of that sentence halted pathetically in the air. The Prince could hear the recognizable scrape of the heavy chair being pushed backwards, but, to his relief, heard no footsteps tailing after him.

This… wasn’t happening. Not now. It was a dream; a terrific dream induced by one too many late night freebies from the kitchen. He must still be in bed, tucked away safely into goose down comforters and false pretenses.

Any thought of enjoying breakfast in the dining hall had long been forgotten. The only priority on Louis’s mind, other than strangling himself with his sheets, was to find Zayn – and quickly. He was his best friend for many reasons and right now nothing sounded better than wise words from a biased ally. And he knew just where to locate him.

Luckily there was an empty passage leading directly outside to the palace stables.


You such a great writer! You have the talent keep up the good work :)

Beautiful_MOFO Beautiful_MOFO
Update I have to know what happens!! I love yor writing by the way it's brilliant
I love this and I hope you update again soon!
Thewayshefell Thewayshefell
@KerriMadison Thank you! Means a lot to hear [: When I began writing this I never really had a decided year to base it off of. There is no modern technology for any appliances, transportation, comfort, or entertainment, but the characters express a very "modern" attitude. I always just consider their setting as "parallel universe". I don't think it will ever coincide with an actual time era.
okaynicole okaynicole
Love it so far! I was just wondering what time it was set in?
KerriMadison KerriMadison