Chapter 4 – Part 3

The King’s Celebration – 3/6

King Gorion led Noam into his study and shut all the doors behind them. “There are neither servants nor women in this room. Let us speak openly with one another, for we are born from the same womb.” He sat down in his usual chair next to the desk and motioned for Noam to sit across from him. “Please have a seat so we may speak man to man.”

“Your majesty, I’m afraid standing suits me better.” Noam enjoyed the feeling of looking down at his brother while standing. “I shall commence by informing you that the Hermonion armies are passing through our kingdom at this very moment, plundering each house. They will assemble the people outside of our castle at the beginning of the ninth hour[1] for the celebration of your birthday. Your majesty will make a speech, and afterwards, I, the next in line to the throne, shall declare to our people the future of our kingdom.”

“I shall make the same speech I have made every year. What will you declare to our people regarding their future?” King Gorion watched Noam’s face closely.

“I must warn you not to make your usual speech today, because the people may regard it as mockery and despise you in their hearts.” He tapped his chin with his gnarly fingers. “I advise you, however, to explain why our people have been robbed of their belongings in their own home.”

“I trust you will explain that in your speech.” King Gorion held back his anger.

“Hahaha! Are you telling me what to do again?” Noam growled with fury. “If you had asked me yesterday, I would have obeyed like a dog. But from today onwards, you must obey me like a dog!”

“Noam, I don’t understand why you hate me so much. How have I wronged you?”

“No, of course you don’t understand! You’ve never been hollered at! You’ve never been accused of doing wrong! You’ve never been rebuked by anyone!” Noam’s voice grew louder until he lost control of himself. “Today! On MY birthday, I shall be proclaimed king! And you will understand! You will understand what it is like to be a rug under the king’s feet!” He clenched his fists and stomped the ground as if squashing an insect. His eyes burned with the same hatred that had consumed his youth. He was a withering old man at the age of forty-six, frail, hunched, gnarled and grey.

“Noam, please come to your senses. It is not too late to turn back from the error of your ways.” King Gorion offered his right hand.

“No, your majesty!” Noam slapped King Gorion’s hand out of his sight with force. “I’m afraid it is too late! The wounds you have cut in my flesh have festered and spread throughout my whole body. I must have you removed from my kingdom to ease the pain!”

“You may do to me as you wish, but do not harm the Queen and Ayden.” King Gorion implored his brother.

“My dear brother, you are as good as a dead fish in the fisherman’s net. Have you other demands for the fisherman?” Noam taunted.

“I would like to ask for two more things, and I shall be content. Please treat the people of Orr with kindness and generosity as our parents have instructed us. And please take care of yourself under the rule of the Hermonions. You know very well what kind of people they are.” King Gorion sympathized with his brother, who has lost his soul to the evil desires of his heart.

“You don’t need to pretend to be magnanimous, because I know what it is that you truly want!” Noam continued with his rampage. “You loved to have control over me. You loved to give me orders and tell me what to do. You stole all the love from our parents! Everything was about Gorion! He’s handsome, he’s intelligent, he’s wonderful! Noam was always the foolish and naughty little brother!  But look who’s laughing now and who’s rotting in their graves! Hahahahahahahaha!!!”

“Noam, it is a small matter for you to insult me, but do not insult our parents, the late king and queen! They gave their lives for us and our people. We owe them everything we have!” King Gorion rose from his seat with indignity. His robust figure towered over Noam’s frail frame.

“Oh, no, no, no! You have misunderstood me. I was merely lamenting their foolishness.” Noam smirked with contempt.

“How dare you call them foolish!” King Gorion’s heart burned with anger, but his mind stayed calm.

“Your majesty, don’t be so cross.” Noam stretched his neck upwards to meet King Gorion’s gaze. “Please sit down and allow me to tell you the whole story.”

“Please forgive my manners.” King Gorion sat in his seat once again. He studied Noam’s face carefully for the first time, and what he saw horrified him. Noam’s forehead was sunken and marked with deep horizontal wrinkles. His nose was crooked and knotted at the bridge. His beady eyes were droopy and surrounded with deep dark circles. His lips were thin like sheets and deep purple in colour.

“First, they made me a miserable and angry child by giving you all the love and attention and ignoring all my needs and feelings. Then, they made me despicable by forcing me to be kind and generous to all people, even though no one was generous to me!” Noam glanced at King Gorion. “Do you understand that no one deserves to be miserable and angry, no, not even me! So I took matters into my own hands and I removed everyone who stood in my way! Soon, you will join them in the land of misery! Hahahahahahaha!” Noam jeered.

“Noam, please stop this nonsense! Our late father and mother had an accident. God took them to be with Himself.” King Gorion answered firmly.

“No, it was not an accident! It was my fault!” Noam screamed in King Gorion’s face. “I was the one who ordered the deadly poison to be mixed in with their favourite dish. I was the one who condemned the chef to be executed for his negligence. I was also the one who removed Mr. Jewels, the pathetic good-hearted doctor because he raised questions.”

“No, Noam, you didn’t. You’re lying to me. Everything you’re telling me now is a lie!” King Gorion grabbed Noam by his frail arms and shook him violently.

[1] That is 2-3 PM.

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