The king was dying.
At least, that was what they told Jameson. In all of his years of living on this earth, he had become accustomed to only believing what he could see. Hearsay should only be taken with a grain of salt, and barely even that. But as he watched the aging man writhing in his bed, deep in the throes of his eternal departure, all Jameson could do was stand and wish that he was blind.
There wasn't much light in the room, nor enough air. For all Jameson knew, everything was trained on the straw mattress and the being that occupied it. The few torches that were lit flickered with each waning breath that the king dragged in, only becoming still when he, too, stopped in his struggles.
Jameson glanced to his side. The frail light only let him clearly see three figures beside him. There might have been more, but no one could truly say. Everyone, even the shadows, was too busy waiting for the king to speak.
If he ever spoke at all.
Suddenly, a throaty growl broke through the dull silence. “What's taking so long?” it grumbled. “How hard is it for one person to possibly pass?”
“Be quiet, Balthasar,” someone hissed.
Jameson didn’t need to crane his head to see who had spoken. The little boy, hardly any younger than Jameson himself, stood the closest to King Kronos' bed. His knuckles, as pale as the old lace that decorated the sleeves of his tunic, gripped the bed’s frame as he used it to balance himself. What he lacked in height, he certainly made up for it with a fiery tongue, one that could only be rivaled by his brother’s.
To be quite honest, Jameson feared Hannibal, as anyone would. He was the tallest of the children, with a hard face and an icy gaze. Jameson couldn’t tell if it was the color of his skin, or his choice of clothing, that made him blend in so well with the shadows of the room. Whatever it was, it was those eyes of his, ones like twin pools of a smoldering fire, that stared out of the darkness, trained on Kronos' body and nothing more, that made Jameson truly wish that he could do nothing else but leave. Run, preferably, as far away from where they were until he was in the safety of his mother’s arms.
The only problem was that their parents, blessed may they be, were further than he could count and then some. It was, after all, sacred that the next generation be there to watch the last die. Jameson didn’t know why, but he didn’t ask questions. He was still wondering why he was there at all. It was custom for the king’s closest family to be there, from his most beloved sibling to his twice-removed cousin. Jameson could understand that. Nobody wanted to die alone, and to see familiar faces brought you comfort.
But he was a nobody, a humble servant that was often subject to tricks and jeers from the very children that surrounded him. If he had no familial reason to be there, and he certainly wasn't feeling any sort of hospitality while there, what could possibly be the reason?