Harrison & Sylvia, Part One
The attendant on the king’s right bent over and tried to ask the only question that was running through his mind. “Sire, why…”
“Did I release him from his debt?” Kameron supplied.
Still shocked from the display of generosity, Quentin turned so those gathered in front of them wouldn’t be able to read his lips. “Yes, sir. I don’t understand.”
“Do you need to Quentin?”
“No, my lord but you…”
“Yes, I know.”
“Sire, how could you free him of his debt when you imprisoned the man before him? That one had owed less than what you forgave.”
Kameron returned to his seat and placed the scepter in his lap before folding his hands and resting his chin upon them. He shifted his eyes to his assistant as he answered the question. “Quentin, it is essential to give the ordinary people a sense of excitement, joy and most importantly a sense of hope, at least once during these endless petitions.”
Kameron steepled his finger in front of his face as he thought about what he had done. Despite his disinterest for his people and their problems, he knew just how important the petitions were. Despite the reduction of these days hundreds of his people tried to come before him seeking relief. He finally replied in a whisper, “At least once, Quentin, without it they would eventually rise up against me. With it they all will think that they can achieve what no one expects, that will keep them from revolting.”
Still stunned and confused Quentin said, “As you say, sire.”
Letting his eyes travel across the distant faces, the king saw that defiant face once more. This time that face emanated malice mixed with defiance. The king tried to stand, but Quintin placed a hand upon his shoulder. The king turned up to Quintin who immediately removed his hand, but that distraction was enough to let the strange face disappear into the crowd. Kameron quickly made a decision, and he drew his attendant down to whisper, “Quentin, dismiss the rest of the petitioners, I’m done dealing with them.”
Quentin nodded as the king stood up and turned his back on those still left. The crowd murmured at Kameron’s blatant disregard for the formalities of this tradition, but he did not care not after having seen that face twice in the last few minutes. As the king began to disappear from view, he stopped and spun to his right looking into the shadows, but after a moment he shook his head and continued on. He was quickly joined by his attendant who gasped slightly, as he stuttered, “Sire… the…ther…there seems to be something in the rafters.”
“Something?” Kameron asked as he turned to search for what his attendant had seen, but saw nothing.
The attendant stood there for a few heartbeats searching for whatever had caught his attention, but he quickly dismissed the thought saying, “Never mind, my liege. My eyes must be playing tricks on me.” He straightened himself and added, “The guards will have the rest of the petitioners, escorted out of the chamber soon.”
“Very well,” Kameron said as dismissed his attendant’s outburst drawing his cloak tightly around him as he continued towards his private chamber in the back of the audience room.
The king stepped in but prevented Quentin form following him, “Assist the guards in dismissing the petitioners.”