The legacy of a departed king is celebrated but with a shade of happiness.
|Princess Thelna sat on a bear-skin covered chair as her mind drifted while staring at the long fireplace. She brooded upon her father King Ativus. A tear ran down her face. It was a bittersweet day; Her father had passed away only seven months before his fiftieth birthday. At the same time all in his kingdom knew he was now in a better place with God.
A knock came from her polished oak door.
“Enter,” Thelna said.
A servant in a green and white checkered tunic came in. “Princess, the festivities cannot begin unless you are present.”
She wiped away her tear and stood. “Of course. I was about to leave.”
The servant bowed and stepped to the side and Thelna went past him. She walked down a long corridor with braziers against the right and left grey-stoned walls. Chandeliers of crystal hung from an arched roof.
She came to a pair of double doors, making a spearhead shape. She cracked it open and slid through to a large antechamber. Banners with King Ativus’ milky skin and grey beard, hung on the walls and arches.
A tall slender young man ran to Princess Thelna. “Sister! Where have you been! I can’t take the pressure on my own.”
“You will have to deal much more when you are crowned king, Bronus,” Thelna said.
“It doesn’t seem right without him, does it?”
Thelna looked down. She shook her head. “It is not.” She shrugged. “Let us get on with the birthday memorial.”
A plump orator stepped up onto a raised, circular platform. “Citizens and royalty, we stand here to honor our late king Ativus with solemnity abut also with joy. For certainly he has gone to be with our father God and His son.”
The orator motioned with his hand for Bronus to take the stage. He did so with a frown as he hung his head. “To all present, I give you thanks for your trust and support of my father, King Ativus.” Bronus paused. “As our good announcer Clement said, me mourn for a death but also to celebrate life. When I receive the crown I will do so with a humble and joyful heart. I shall see my father again someday.” Bronus lifted his head and narrowed his eye. “As king I will serve you just as Christ served when He came to Earth.”
Orator Clement, came to his side and put a hand on Bonus’s shoulder. “That will do, Prince Bronus.”
Bronus stepped off the stage. Behind him, thirteen unlit candles on a brass lampstand stood against the wall.
The gathering of royalty and peasants parted as thirteen men in white robes holding lit candles approached the lampstand. One by one, they lit the candles on the stand. But the last candle to the right was not lit.
“As each previous king died and whose spirit was quickened to be with the Almighty, we take time to honor the death of the thirteenth king, the wise King Ativus. Light the candle!” Clement said.
The last man in white touched the last wick and it burned.
“Let us be silent in honor of King Ativus and his legacy,” said Clement.
An ominous silence overtook the crowd. Several minutes passed. Clement raised his eyes and lifted his hands. “Now, let us rejoice!”
The crowd shouted in praise and golden trumpeters sounded their instruments. People began to dance and sing as colorful clowns on stilts walked about throwing confetti.
“When will the feast start? I’m getting jittery!” said Bronus to Thelna.
“The servants prepare it as we speak,” said Thelna. “I know you are anxious for the crowning to be done but try to have fun.”
“The whole kingdom will rest on my shoulders. You can’t imagine my distress.”
The music stopped. Everyone looked around, murmuring.
The royal anthem melody was sounded by the trumpeters and Clement smiled broadly. “Let us go to the banquet chamber for the feast!” he said.
The myriads of people crowded their way through five immense arched entryways. Endless rows of seats and tables with foods of all kinds were set.
At the back of the chamber, an elevated wide table had a gold high-backed chair.
Bronus looked at it and cringed.
“Stop worrying brother! You are not king yet,” said Thelna. “Lets go take our seats.”
The royal table lay so far in the vast room, a horse had to sprint there with Thelna and Bronus on it.
Both took a silver chair on each side of the vacant golden throne. Servants placed a meat platter in front of the royal siblings. They ate as they looked at the jubilant assembly celebrating the king who had left the mortal coil to dwell in heaven.
A smile came across Bronus. He took a deep breath and exhaled. “Perhaps it will not be so hard.”
“That’s the spirit!” said Thelna as she reached across and touched her brother’s arm.
Bronus ate heartily with his sister and time passed. When all had eaten their fill, trumpets sounded with a peculiar note.
“It’s time for the last transaction of the day,” said Thelna.
“I am ready,” said Prince Bronus. He rose and he and his sister mounted the same horse and they were carried to the antechamber.
Bronus walked to the throne. He turned and faced his people and kneeled. An azure robed priest holding a golden crown stood in front of the king-to-be.
“Do you, Bronus, swear to uphold the law and govern the kingdom in honor and truth to God and the people? Do you pledge your life to relieve and protect the poor and helpless? Do you promise to be king until you are called home to be with the past kings of your kingdom of Rune?”
“I do,” said Bronus.
“I crown you King Bronus!”
The new king stood and sat on the throne. “I will do my best father. I will always treasure this day of your fiftieth birthday! God bless you!