Chapter 30

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Nherycyn was feeling the best he had in years as he made his way towards his room. His subjects and diplomats across the realm once again regarded him with respect. He was being decisive and firm, wielding the power of the kingdom with an iron hand. As it should be, he thought.

He climbed the last set of stairs with the knights a step behind him. When he reached the top of the flight, Nherycyn breathed a heavy sigh at seeing his son waiting for him down the corridor, in front of the doors to the King's royal suite. Nherycyn began to walk down the hallway and then motioned the knights away, instructing them to tend to Uriel. Head bent, he trudged up to Rhenycyn, suddenly too tired to deal with the argument that was sure to follow. Upon reaching his son, Nherycyn looked up, about to discourage any objections. Instead the King wore a look of total confusion. It was then that Rhenycyn grabbed his father by the shoulder, pulled out a sword and hacked off his head.

Mharkhel and Setryv turned when they heard the commotion and went to the King's assistance. At first they had thought that the King had suffered a heart attack and that Rhenycyn was running down the hall to get a healer. But it was not until they neared the grisly scene that they realized what had actually happened.

Mharkhel dropped to his knees in a state of shock. Although Nherycyn and the knight were not what one would call close, the King had been the only father figure Mharkhel had known. The big knight could neither move nor tear his eyes away from the severed head.

Setryv gave chase down the hall, but Rhenycyn was nowhere to be found. After several minutes the blonde knight returned to where Mharkhel still knelt. "Stay here with the King while I alert the castle!" If Mharkhel heard him, he did not acknowledge it and probably could not have moved if the castle walls were coming down around him.


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