Same Crown, New King Tears ran down Iona's face as she sat in black wooden chair in her room's balcony. She felt shattered, and torn over her husband's death, but most of all, she was frustrated and angered at herself, for having been able to do something for him.
As she sat there, she remembered the day they met. They had ran in to each other as they walked through the royal gardens. She remembered how he looked directly in to her eyes, with his ice blue eyes, that almost seemed to have been penetrating her very soul. His long black hair fell gently upon his strong broad shoulders, as his hand was held out to her with a white rose between his fingers. Soon enough, the memory faded away was Alastair placed his hand on her shoulder gently.
-My queen, I'm very sorry for your loss, but it's important to decide who's going to be the heir to the throne, mostly given the fact, that we are at war, and a kingless kingdom, is sure to lose- said Alastair in a wise and gentle tone. Iona stood up, and looked down at her kingdom, before walking past Alastair and taking seat at a large round table.
-Fine- said Iona in a resigned tone. -For starters, if we take into account tradition, Cyril, as oldest son, would be the heir, but, if we take into account who the kingdom would rally behind, it would be Bryce- said Alastair as he sat across from Iona.
Iona looked over at Alastair with a surprised look on her face. -I know it's surprising to think that your youngest son would have more followers, but he's earned it, unlike Cyril- said Alastair. -What do you he's earned it? asked Iona confused. -As you know, our now late king, would always test both Cyril and Bryce, in order to see who would be a better king.
Surprisingly, for both the king and I, Bryce came on top in almost all those tests. Also, those tests have proven that Bryce, is a gentle and kind person, not only to his family, but to his servants, and to the rest of the kingdom, as well as outsiders. Unlike Cyril, who has shown to be insensitive and conceited, treating everybody like trash, except for his family- answered Alastair.
-So I suppose you recommend Bryce be appointed as king- said Iona. -I do, I believe he could be a great king. The people support him, and he is quite wise for his age, and not at all rash like Cyril. Don't you agree? - asked Alastair convincingly.
-I do in fact, but I'm afraid Cyril wouldn't accept that- answered Iona preoccupied. -No need to worry my queen, Cyril may be rash, and stubborn at times, but he knew that his father would choose one of them one day to rule over the kingdom. So he already knows, that the crown was never his birth right, but something he had to earn- said Alastair.
-So, when are we going make the announcement of the coronation? - asked Iona. -Given that they're going to go scouting tomorrow morning, I believe it would be best to announce it at their return- answered Alastair as he got up.
-I agree- said Iona as she tried to put on a smile. Unbeknown to them, they had been overheard by Cyril, who was enraged at the thought of losing the throne to his younger brother. As clever as always, Cyril walked towards the dovecot. Once there, he ordered the pigeon caretaker to get him a piece of paper, a quill and some ink. Soon after, the caretaker arrived with what he had ordered.
Cyril began to quickly write a message as the caretaker looked in awe as Cyril's hand seemed to fly across the paper.
-Where do each of these pigeons go? asked Cyril harshly. -Well, starting from the right. That one goes to the kingdom of Artus, the next one to Dawtone, the other goes to Ovev, and the last one goes to the Great Library- said the caretaker.
-But if you wish, I can send it, just where to- he said in a frightened tone. -No need, I can send it myself, so leave now- said Cyril. Once the caretaker had left, Cyril walked over to the Dawtone pigeon, and wrapped the piece of paper around its right leg.
Cyril untied the pigeon from the post it was tied to, and held it in his hands. He walked over to the window and threw the pigeon out gently. Cyril looked on as the pigeon flew past the large pine filled forest. A Darkened Dawn Bryce rode upon his pure white steed next Cyril, Nye, Leo, Conall and several other knights who formed the 2 small scouting squads.
He looked towards the sun, it was just rising as they rode through the dense forest. After riding for about half an hour, they came out to a small green clearing. -We'll be separating into 2 squads now, the first will consist of Leo and Conall, who'll go towards the right side, and the other will be of Nye, Bryce and I, will be going down the left- said Cyril in a powerful tone.
-Wasn't I supposed to go with Leo? asked Bryce. -Yes, you were, but I decided it would be best for you this way- answered Cyril as he began to ride down the left side. Bryce followed behind his brother hesitantly. A couple minutes later, as they walked through a clearing in the forest, they were ambushed. Dozens of arrows fell over them, and many soldiers and horse fell to the ground lifeless.
Bryce's horse fell as well, but luckily for him, he was able to move his leg before the horse had fallen on it. Bryce drew his sword, as well as the other knights behind him. The enemy had them outnumbered 4 to 1, but they stood their ground as they saw the countless enemies charge at them.
Soon enough, they were completely overwhelmed. Bryce noticed there was no longer anybody by his side, instead, he was surrounded by 8 enemies. Bryce slashed his sword around, blocking, dodging and attack as best he could. Eventually, his sword fell to the ground, and the tip of a cold, bloody sword was on his neck. -Grab him- ordered an enemy general from behind them.
As soon as the order was given, he felt how they took him harshly by his arms and stood him up, making sure not to let go of him. Bryce looked around in panic, and noticed Nye and Cyril were standing across from him, unscathed and uninterested in his situation. -Cyril, help me! - screamed Bryce desperately.
-Sorry brother, but I can't. I made a deal with the king of Dawtone- said Cyril with a nasty smile. -A deal? asked Bryce confused. -Yes, as long as I gave him someone of royal blood, they would bend their knee, and swear loyalty to Iredale. So please don't be angry with me, I did this to ensure peace- answered Cyril coldly. -Peace my ass, you would never accept this kind of victory, so tell me what's really behind this- screamed Bryce angrily.
Cyril looked at him with cold, angered eyes. -So you want to know, huh. Fine, you thought you could steal my crown, and just get away with it- said Cyril angrily. -Your crown, what are you talking about? asked Bryce confused. -Yes, you were going to be the heir to the throne, but now, since you've "died" because of an "unfortunate" ambush, I'll be king- answered Cyril coldly. Bryce looked at his brother in shock as they began to drag him away.
-What should we do with him? shouted a tall, blonde haired enemy general as he walked past him. Bryce looked at the general closely. Aside from being tall, he seemed to be really well built, by the evident musculature that he had. His mere presence seemed imposing, but his large, green, soulless eyes made it completely clear.
He was a war veteran, and not only that, but a monster when it came to combat, that Bryce new, because he remembered seeing him kill all the knights who formed the squad. -Do as you wish with him, as long as he doesn't return to Iredale alive- said Cyril as turned around with his black steed.
As Bryce was about to scream out to his brother. He noticed the general's sword was just a couple millimeters away from his neck. -Have some dignity young prince, it's of no use trying to fight off the inevitable- said the general in a surprisingly calming tone. Bryce calmed down as he thought over what the general had just said.
-Tell me, are you going to be cooperative or not? asked the general. -I will- answered Bryce resigned. -Let him go- ordered the general. Bryce looked up at the general confused as they let go of him. -You'll be riding with me-said the general from atop his steed as he extended his hand out to him.
Bryce took his hand firmly and pulled himself up. -You try and kind of funny business, and your dead- said the general in a serious tone. By the way, my name is Azriel Henbolt- -I'm Bryce Ayton, and I'd very much thank you, if you called me by my first name instead of prince- said Bryce. -Why would you prefer that?
asked Azriel curiously. -Because for all I know, I'm either going to be dead man, or a slave to the crown.
So there's no longer any need to call me something I'm not- answered Bryce. Azriel smiled as he marched behind his squad. Bryce looked back in direction of Dawtone as a tear ran down his right eye, he knew he was no longer going to be able to see Fenton or any of his loved ones. Shattered Kingdom & Broken Prince Iona fell to her knees, crying desperately as Cyril announced the "death" of his brother to the whole kingdom.
For the first time in history, Iredale had fallen into silence, except for those who mourned his brothers "death" with tears. Leo wrapped his arms around an emotionally broken down Fenton. Fenton's eyes were wide open in disbelief and horror as tears ran down his face like waterfalls. Leo tried his best to get Fenton to stop crying, but it was to no avail, as he found himself in the same position. Bryce cried in pain, as blood ran down his now battered and scarred body.
His hands were shackled with heavy steel chains that hanged from the ceiling, he could just barely touch the cold blood stained floor. He was completely naked, except for a white blood stained loincloth that barely covered his penis and ass.
-Now tell me, what's your name? ordered a small muscular man with a bloodied scourge whip in his hand.
-My name…is Bryce…Ayton- answered Bryce between grunts of pain. -Wrong again- screamed the man as he lashed the whip at his back. -Your name is Lazaron Atherton- screamed the man again as he lashed the whip again.
Bryce let out a bloodcurdling scream as the whip dug in to his bare skin, tearing it apart, and exposing his soft, weakened flesh.
He could feel how his warm blood ran down his back, and that's when he realized, that this was just the beginning of his torture. -So, what's your name? asked the man once again. -Bryce… -Bryce was answering before he got lashed brutally. -It's Lazaron Atherton you stupid boy- screamed the man angrily as he lashed Bryce multiple times, making sure, to hit him harder with every blow.
Bryce stared at the stone floor, as blood began to cover it. They weren't going to stop until he was completely broken, at least that he knew.