Chapter 2: A Transfer of Power

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Cail ran home, away from his friends, to the solidarity of his bedroom. He collapsed on his bed, face pointed towards the ceiling. An immense pressure fell over him, a weight that was suffocating, a weight he could not cast aside. Cail blankly stared at the ceiling for a few moments longer, then sat up and noticed his father standing in the doorway. "Are you done wallowing?" he said with a smile on his face.

"I was just resting before the ceremony."

"Kadir told me about what Lydia said to you," Cecil paused as he sat on the bed next to his son. "Why were you trying to peek into the future?"

"I'm not ready to take control of the island. I'm turning seventeen tomorrow and I'm supposed to protect an entire city? It's preposterous!" Cail unintentionally let his rage and anger flare out.

"Seventeen is preposterous?" Cail's father calmly asked. "Your great grandfather, Jiro, was the youngest Lord that this island has ever had. His father was deathly ill when Jiro was just eleven years old. Elona was leaderless and the island was in shambles. Jiro was nowhere near ready to be Lord of Elona at that young of age, but Lordship was thrust onto him. His people suffered at first because of his ignorance, but over time he learned that he must rule Elonians with compassion and stability. I'm not passing the family ring onto you because you're ready, I'm giving it to you because it's time for you to learn."

Cail had no response, his father's words dug deep and pierced him like a sword. It felt so surreal to Cail, the day that he would take up his father's mantle. For much of his childhood, he had dreamed of gaining this independence, being the ruler, answering to no one. But now that the moment was upon him, Cail felt more imprisoned than ever. Cail looked up at his father, who was staring at a picture frame that was on his wooden dresser. The picture was of Cail and his parents, taken when Cail was just an infant. Cecil, in those days, looked just like Cail does now, a slender body with cream colored skin and dark brown hair that matched the dresser. Cail's mother was skinny and a little bit shorter than her husband, with blonde hair matching the sun.

"I married your mother just a year after receiving the ring, and you were born two years after." His father paused, holding back tears. "I wish she was still alive today, she was always wiser than me. She would be very proud of you today."

Cail had no memories of his mother. She passed away from illness when Cail was a baby. Cail's father rarely talked about his late wife, and when he did, a deep and heavy sadness could be heard in his voice.

"In what ways was she wiser?" Cail asked.

"She taught me that a prosperous leader must first be a compassionate one. If you care as much about your people as you do yourself, then Elona will thrive. Ignore them, and eventually you will fall. The Lord of Elona depends on his citizens in many unforeseen ways." His father's words of wisdom boosted Cail's confidence. Cail looked over to the picture again, seeing the gleaming smiles on his parents faces. The thought of his mother looking upon him with pride and adoration gave Cail the courage to step into the next juncture of his life. Cail felt a new, warm vitality rush through his veins. He jumped off his bed and turned to his father. "I'm ready," he said.

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In the afternoon, the entire village went to the main square for The Tidal Change, which was where the heart of the carnival was earlier that day. Everyone had taken down their tents to make room for the attendees of the ceremony. In the center of the square was an oval body of grass with a dirt road creating the border of the oval, and other dirt paths extending out into the village. In the center of the oval was the stage. The main stage sat underneath a giant oak tree, which the locals called Ole Greene. The stage stood about waist height and wore a maroon carpet. In the middle of the stage stood a podium made of beige wood, behind the podium sat four chairs, one for Cail, his father, and Cail's two friends.

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