King Dorian Lockridge sat tall on his throne. He was getting up in age; the short gray hairs that blended with the few remaining black hairs on his head, as well as his short-boxed beard, made that clear. Despite his age, he still had the form of a king, standing at six-foot-two, with broad shoulders and almost perfect posture. The royal garb he wore added to his authority. A long, dark-blue coat with golden buttons on both sides of the chest and a golden design on the sleeves also bore the simple yet intricate branding of the royal family. His forest green eyes were keenly analyzing a tiny crown clutched in his hands. He looked around the throne room, seeing a quiet and empty space, nothing abnormal during this season in Odsia. After all, Februarys in his country were awfully cold and rainy. Most people wisely decided to stay indoors.
But Februarys for the Lockridges were quite notable, albeit gloomy. Their grandson would have been a year older this February, had it not been for the accident.
Marah Elderon, a woman from the royal guard, watched him from the entryway of the throne room. Her athletic build was covered from shoulders to feet in black and brown armor. Her brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail, her hazel eyes growing sympathetic as she saw the little crown in his hands. “Your advisor is here,” she announced, bowing before the king and then stepping out of the room.
“Your Majesty, you asked to see me?” a man asked, entering the room. August Elderon stood at about the same height as the king, with a medium build, large dark-blue eyes, light-brown hair—worn in a short cut—and a docile expression. He was only thirty, which was young for an advisor, but his maturity greatly surpassed his age. The white military jacket he was wearing wasn’t one he wore too often, as it was a reminder of his past days at war, but he preferred the most modest attire from his wardrobe as opposed to the overly fancy clothes the stylist would make him. He gave a friendly smile as he bowed to Dorian.
“Time is running out, August,” Dorian told him. “I’m not getting any younger. And people want to feel secure. With the Delorians rampaging through Karia and putting the country on the brink of war, they’ll want to know Odsia is in good hands, should anything like that happen here.”
“I understand, Your Majesty,” August Elderon replied with a nod. “We are doing the best we can to find an heir, but—”
“I don’t want just any heir,” Dorian softly said, returning his attention to the little crown.
August sighed, lowering his head. He understood Dorian’s pain and wished he could fix everything that had happened, but they needed to carry on. “Your…Your Majesty. It may be time to…”
Dorian stood and walked over to the left side of the room where a white pillar was against the wall; then he carefully placed the crown on a small pillow that lay upon the pillar. He turned to August with a slight smile. “My grandson is alive, August. I can feel it.” His voice held unquestioning conviction.