The people gather in the square. On the stage made of rock, a stone table where a dead body lies in elegant garments. The people each give a flower to convey their feelings to the dead. There are a lot of pink, peach, and yellow flowers.
Before the table stands the prince, now king, Cobalt. He was named after his cobalt blue eyes. Beside him is the captain of the guard, Kristoff. He's a man in his thirties and was considered the king's right hand man. The captain passes a torch to the king.
“Father, you were an honorable man. I only wish to live up to your example. May the flowers guide you to where you need to be.” Cobalt says before setting the corpse on fire.
Everyone watches in silence as the fire spreads. After what seems to be an eternity, the crowd starts thinning. Eventually, only the king and the captain remain on stage. “I’ll have a servant collect his ashes, my king,” says Kristoff.
“My king,” Cobalt muses. “I already miss when you call me ‘my prince’.”
“I understand you’re mourning but I hope you’re ready to serve the kingdom tomorrow.”
“Of course. I’ve been raised for this.”
Back in the castle, Cobalt carries the jar of his father’s ashes. It’s tradition for the next ruler to bring their predecessor to the shrine of past rulers. Cobalt passes through rooms of past kings and queens of his ancestry. They all get a room to store their ashes and their most prized possessions, which is stated in their will. For Cobalt’s father, his ashes stand in a room with his armor and sword. As Cobalt places the jar on the center pedestal, he notices another one of his father’s prized possessions, a poorly painted portrait of the king made by Cobalt.
He realizes he kept it all these years, even after he stopped painting. He never cried when the king died but now that he’s alone with his father’s prized possessions, he finally sheds tears that he’s been holding back.
The next day, Cobalt now sits where his father used to. He is scheduled to hear petitions and make decisions on what to do. He’s attended these before and he has studied political theory. He hopes he knows what to do.
A knight enters the throne room with a peasant. He sits up straight to appear as professional as possible. “Good morning, your majesty,” the peasant bows.
Cobalt nods and asks him to stand. “What brings you to here?” he asks.
“Well, your majesty, I found gold in my farm and I don’t know if I should surrender it to you.” Explains the peasant.
“What? You should keep it. Use it to feed your family, improve your land.”
The peasant beams. “Thank you, your majesty.”
With that, he is escorted out. Cobalt gains popularity among the citizens for his actions. Time for petitions end and he stands up to stretch. He leaves the throne room and ponders what to do next.
In an empty hallway, he stops his tracks. “You’ve been in my vicinity for God knows how long. I can’t help but wonder if it’s because you like me.” He jests.
The royal spy steps out of the shadows. “I’m glad you have time for jokes, my king,” she says.
“Please, Siobhan. Call me Cobalt. It’s hard enough hearing it from Kristoff.”
“If it pleases you, Cobalt,” she says. “Also, I collected news about your father’s death. He was poisoned but it takes long to affect the consumer. The kitchen staff says there was a new servant that day that they didn’t hear of. Now he’s nowhere to be seen. He might be our killer.”
Cobalt stands with a serious face. Processing the information. It makes sense but he can’t let vengeance cloud his judgment. “I see. Thank you, Siobhan.”
A moment of silence passes, neither knowing what to do. “I’ll take my leave then,” says Siobhan.
“No need to be so cold.” Cobalt grabs her hand.
She looks at his hand holding hers. She looks at Cobalt and says, “You’re king now. Whatever feelings you have for me, you should give it to someone with royal blood worthy of your heir.”
Cobalt looks at her sadly. Nothing was ever said between them. Nothing was ever done. There was an unspoken thing that they both felt but didn’t do anything about knowing their supposed relationship. Nevertheless, they were close. Just not the kind Cobalt wants.
“I don’t know if I can do that,” he says.
“You have to.”
She pulls back her hand from his and takes a step back into the shadows. This time Cobalt could not feel her presence anymore.