Four, 4 more days to see what trouble Brandan and Joachim can get into. Here’s a little teaser:
The trumpets keened their somber notes as the funeral bier bore the body ofTheodric, King of Crato to the royal mausoleum. Encased in a glass casket, he rested upon a bed of myrrh, cumin, mustard, elder leaves, berries, and mistletoe.
King Theodric was dressed in his finest armor; it shimmered in the bright sunlight. The bier passed through the streets of Wyrzburg pulled by six white stallions. Rosa petals lined the streets; their sweet odor filled the air.
Joachim, on a white stud horse, and Brandan, on a black one, rode behind the casket. Rupert, Croifan, Theodric’s personal guard, and finally, the citizens of Crato followed the casket of their beloved king behind the princes. Joachim shared
the mixed emotions of the citizens he passed on his journey. The man they mourned may have been his father, but Theodric had been their king. Now he and Brandan were expected to assume the kingship for both Crato and Mahorg, replacing Theodric and the still missing Waldrom. The pressure of the people’s desire for the reunification of Mahorg and Crato under the Irinaeus family banner
weighed heavily on his young mind. He also knew it was time for all them to put the past behind them and look to the future.
Trumpets blared a second time as they reached the cemetery. Wisdoms accompanied the coffin and entered the royal mausoleum. Kings of the past interred within the hallowed halls lay ready to welcome Theodric home. The clouds parted, the honor guard lifted the casket, and carried it inside. The princes followed close behind. Both dropped down to one knee as the casket reached its designated spot. The wisdoms chanted a prayer:
“Blessed Asha, we bequeath the soul of your beloved servant into your loving hands. Hold him close and save him for a time when he can be reunited with his family. Bless those that remain. Heal the wounds done from the war and separation. Watch over them and protect them as Theodric has done. When their time comes, may they be rejoined with you and your servant, Theodric. May you
rest in peace, Theodric, as you go home to Asha. Amen.”
Once again, the trumpets sounded their mournful notes. The twins stood, and entered the mausoleum. Joa and Brandan knelt down and placed a white rose on the lid of the coffin. Brandan stood to leave, but Joachim wasn’t ready. He removed a glove and placed his left hand over his father’s heart. As his tears dropped on the glass, he felt a light touch on his shoulder.
“Come, Sire. It’s time to go,” said Master Abbot Frederick.
The prince nodded and stood to follow the abbots and finally, the honor guard. Behind them, the iron-barred gate slammed shut. Joachim jumped; his brother
stared straight ahead and walked toward the horses. Joachim knelt upon the marble step in front of the gate. Tears fell from his eyes as he reached through the bars,
grasping at some invisible specter. He was vaguely aware of the villagers shaking their heads sadly as they walked away from the mausoleum. The prince stood, but
his wobbly legs refused to hold him, and he dropped to the marble half-wall beside the path leading to the mausoleum.
Rupert glanced back and returned. He knelt in front of Joa and put his index finger under his chin. He raised the prince’s head and looked into his eyes. “Joa, I feel as you do. Your father and I shared a special bond. His loss will be suffered greatly by many. There are countless others who feel your pain and know
the hole left in your soul. Still, we must move onward. We must return to the palace; there you’ll find the solace you need.”
The tears continued to run down his face, and Joa shook his head. “No, Master Rupert. I will find no comfort there, only empty hallways echoing with bittersweet memories of all things that went before. I still see Father and Mother walking the
halls and Brandan hiding in the trees, pulling pranks on Croifan when no one is looking. Now, no one is in there. All I hear are reverberations of the past. I feel lost and empty. Even Brandan, my one connection when no one else could help, is no
longer someone I can turn to. Will we ever be the brothers we once were? Will the palace halls ever be filled with joyful sounds again? And where’s my mother? No
one has seen her. How could she just disappear?”
“I don’t know the answers. Asha will reveal them when the time is right. As to your brother, only time can heal those wounds. You’re both strong. I believe someday Asha will repair you both, but until then, we must face the future. We have many things to do, including the coronations and the joining.”
“Should we have the joining? Perhaps we should wait until more time has passed. I’m not ready to marry anyone, especially Maeve. She knows me well and won’t accept what I have become.”
“No, you’re wrong. Maeve will accept you no matter what. We need
celebration. We need something for the people to look forward to, to be hopeful and happy about. Things will proceed as planned. Come, we have work to do.”
Joachim still felt unsure as they walked to their horses.
The spirit of Theodric materialized in front of him. “You have done well, my son. It is Asha’s wish for you to continue on this path. I’m proud and always here to guide. Don’t be afraid to seek me whenever you feel the need. Know Asha is also here for you.”
Myrria’s gentle voice popped into his mind, “And don’t forget me, Little One. I am near and will answer your need. Go with Asha.” Joachim smiled. He felt lighter, as if the storm clouds separated to reveal the sun in all its glory next to a multi-hued rainbow.
“Yes, Rupert. It is time we go home.”
Check out my author page and the trailer:https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/our-authors/73-our-authors/authors-w/153-author-11455
Check out the Amazon Blitz tomorrow to get your copy of Palace of the Twelve Pillars so you can prepare for Joachim and Brandan’s new adventures.