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SilasCrane t1_iy1cxz0 wrote

The Child of Destiny will be born under the light of the falling star. None shall be able to slay him, for Fate shall watch over his destiny and keep him whole, and when he grows up, he will overthrow the Golden King.

Vizier Haran pondered this baleful prophecy concerning the foretold end of his monarch's reign, as he watched the king's heir gallop across the field below on his purebred white destrier.

"You look thoughtful, Haran." the King Draymond said, idly. "What's on your mind?"

Haran cleared his throat. "Sire, it is just that...well, you know the ah...traitorous so-called prophecy concerning you?"

King Draymond chortled, waving his hand dismissively as he took a sip of wine from his golden goblet. "Come come, Haran. We have to execute anyone who repeats it in public, for appearance's sake, but you don't need to toe the party line in private. You know the prophecy is true as well as I do -- the pronouncements of the Silver Oracle have never been wrong."

Haran shuffled uncomfortably. "As you say, sire. But...your majesty, I cannot understand why, rather than exiling him somewhere, you chose to adopt the Child of Destiny. And naming him your heir, no less! Surely your majesty is inviting the fulfillment of the prophecy, by doing so?"

King Draymond smiled, slyly. "Am I? Tell me, Haran, do you know what happened to my father?"

Haran paused. "It is said he fell from the tower of your family's keep when--"

Draymond rolled his eyes. "Yes, that's what we said, but obviously I killed him. He was constantly ordering me around, I was sick of waiting to be able to make my own decisions, so I pushed him off the tower."

" of you, sire." Haran said, diplomatically. He knew for whom he worked, of course, but even he was surprised at the king's frank admission of his own ruthlessness.

The king laughed again. "Indeed! And that's the key. Up until that point, I'd just grudgingly done as I was told, letting my father dictate everything I did. It took me a long time to get tired of never getting what I wanted -- I was already a grown man, by most measures."

King Draymond raised a finger. "But that day, the day I shoved him off the battlement, the day I decided to take action, to take responsibility for my life...that's the day I really became a man. Do you see now, Haran?"

Haran paused, looking back down at the prince below. He could hardly see any paralel, there. As a parent, the king seemed like precisely the opposite of how he described his own father. He indulged the prince's every whim -- fine clothes, wine, rich food, women, the lad was denied nothing. That stallion he currently rode was the third expensive purebred added to the prince's stable this year alone!

The lad wasn't as profligate as some, perhaps, and was cruel to neither the women nor the horses he was supplied, but he was still so thoroughly indulged that he could hardly help but spend all his time on frivolity and carnal distractions.

Then Haran's eyes widened in realization. He turned to the king, his mouth agape, as he recognized the cunning monarch's genius.

"...and when he grows up, he will overthrow the Golden King." Draymond quoted, smugly. "Well, even if you can't kill him -- and alas, the prophecy says you can't -- there's still one way to ensure that the brat never grows up..."

King Draymond gestured to the prince below, idly trotting in circles on his new horse. "Just give him everything he wants!"