23. His reasons

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"What?" I mutter, wide-eyed. He turns and looks me straight in the face. I dodge his stare and look past him.

"Tell me." The tone in his voice is almost begging me to say no.

"No."

Confused I wrinkle my nose. "Swear it to me!" He roars.

I flinch, making him look at me sadly. There's no need to put on a show. He doesn't care for me or for anyone. He's a monster.

I muster me courage to get this conversation over with. I didn't want to speak to him.
"I d-didn't!"

I don't even get what he means.

"Then why did you lean of the balcony? You looked downwards, it looked like-"

His hands stroke through his hair. He's not wearing his crown today.

"....like you were contemplating on jumping."

He thinks I was trying to jump?

"I wasn't going to." I almost choke on my voice.

The normally composed and mighty King now looks smaller, almost broken.
He opens his mouth but doesn't say anything.

"Then what were you doing? And why did you ask when I'd return?"

I'm confused and upset. "Because!"

"Because, what?"

"Because I needed air! I needed to get away from you! I couldn't breathe. And truth be told I didn't want to see you." My eyes well up with tears again.

It's frustrating. All I ever do is cry. I'm so sick of it.

"I'm sorry, okay?!" He half shouts.

I huff and he ignores it and speaks on. "I shouldn't have killed that man in front of you. I know you're not used to violence."

"That's what you're sorry for?!?" He's sorry for not killing him secretly or unofficially?

I can't believe this.

"Doesn't a life have any sort of value in your eyes?!" I shout back. How can someone be so cold.

"Don't you dare accuse me, little Lyrian!" He takes a step towards me and lifts his finger in my direction threateningly.

It takes all the willpower in the world not to take a step back.

"For it isn't I, who is heartless, but you and that fucking country."

"That's total rubbish! You're the one who's killing people heartlessly with no reason other than hate!"

I know I'm angering him but I can't keep my anger unspoken anymore. People are dying and no one will rebuke him for it. My morals simply can't get on with it.

He takes another step towards me glaring at me, as I glare back up at him.
I can clearly make out the rage in his eyes, which I've become very familiar with.

"I said, DONT YOU DARE ACUSE ME!"

"I am accusing you! For killing fathers and brothers and sisters and daughters! For tearing families apart and for every damn life you've taken!"

He grabs my the collar of my dress and abruptly pulls me towards his face, making our nose almost touch. "NO ONE GAVE A FUCK ABOUT MY FAMILY WHEN YOUR KING KILLED MY FATHER!" His eyes are wide with anger, until another emotion flashes across his face, resolving in him slowly letting go of my collar. I quickly identify it as sorrow.

I'm under shock. "Your father?" Never has word of this gone around in Lyria. There were rumors of the previous Kings death, but they went from a death during a sword fight, all the way to a death of natural causes. I remember someone even telling me that the crimson King had killed his own father only to inherit the throne. Even living here, id never thought about the previous King.

The King turns and walks towards one of the chairs by the fireplace. He plops down on it and let's his head fall into his hands.

"Your father was murdered?" I ask quietly. I almost feel bad for him.

A short silence traced the Kings chambers before he starts explaining.
"Yes, three years ago... I wasn't even half the man I am now." I walk over to the King subconsciously, wanting to see him while he spoke. His head was still buried between his hands which were now clawing at his own hair.

"Jaxon... he came into my room, crying. He said something was wrong, but I reassured him everything was alright. Jaxons chest kept hurting more."

It doesn't feel like he's talking to me, more so that he's mumbling to himself, but that certainly doesn't shake my interest.

"Jaxons chest hurt?"

"It's complicated. But I promised him to go get father and when I did I found him here. Right next to the bed, lifeless."

I slowly take a seat in the armchair across from his after eyeing up the Kings bed.

"Of course, I checked if he was alright. But once I turned his body I could see the stab wounds and his cut throat. It was an overkill. It was more inhumane than anything I've ever seen or done."

The King drops his hands and leans back into chair. Not wanting to interrupt him I wait silently.

"I was the first person to find my father. I hadn't known that his murderer was still in the room. Before I knew it I was being choked by one of your people." He grits his teeth.

"He mocked me and told me that Lyria would always be stronger. I swore that I would avenge my father, and sometimes I think the only reason I was left alive that night by that man, was so that he could prove to me that I could never beat him, or Lyria."

His letter to his parents suddenly makes sense to me. " If you where to look down at me, would you shake my hand and clap my shoulder proudly or would you leave and turn away in disapproval?"

His hate towards Lyria suddenly becomes more understandable to me but it doesn't excuse his merciless behavior.

„I'm sorry," I whisper to the King who's glare was still mindfully staring at the ceiling as his mind seemed to replay memories of that horrible event.

Suddenly I feel sad for the young King before me, who's behavior now seemingly has a reason. One thing is sure though, my father didn't order Theodores Fathers assassination. Not only is my father not that typ of person, but it wouldn't make any sense strategically. I'd never understood much of war, but even I knew it would have never benefited Lyria to have the King killed, since they'd been exchanging valuable goods before the war began. Who was using my countries name in order to kill? Or better yet, was it in their intentions to start a war?

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