My father grins at me. I look into his eyes and feel absolutely cold at his attitude. He may not have been his biological father but he raised him just as he raised all of us.
“I don’t know if you are stupid or kind. You want power, you have to be ready to make certain sacrifices, by letting him go… you have exposed a certain weakness, that weakness could grow and completely consume you. Do you really think that Nuke will seat and let you take over the throne? How naïve can you be? Think of me however you want but I would rather you hate me than my only heir suffers defeat at the hands of a bastard.” My father lights his pipe and walks out of the room.
“Don’t pretend that you are doing this for me.” I growl in rage.
He pauses and looks back at me. “Oh…. I am doing this for me, my legacy and my future. It is not yet over son. Buckle up for the war between you and Nuke.” He smirks.
“Why me? Why? You killed him.” I curl my hands.
“You are the only one who knows that, nobody else and guess who would be her first suspect when she finds out that her dear son is dead? She doesn’t know that I know he is not my son… Whose words would she believe and like you said… we have been getting along these days.” He explains.
“Why? Why are you doing this?” I ask confused.
“You have a promising future but one volatile weakness. You are too soft; you need to learn ruthlessness and who else can teach you this other than the queen? Sit and enjoy the lesson.” My father chuckles in amusement and leaves the room.
I understand at that moment that my father cares for nobody else, not even me. He lives in a completely different world where affections and acts of kindness can be manipulated to suit his purpose. I have never seen my father anxious or nervous, he always has a contingency plan especially when he thinks he can’t win, he always finds a way not to lose and this time I am the weapon he is going to use to get rid of a thorn at his side.
I look down at Samael’s body and I don’t know what to do with it. I imagine the Queen’s expression when she finds out that her only surviving son is dead. The truth will not matter as she will be out for blood.
“What on earth do I do?” I growl out loud.
“Beat him at his own game.” A voice comes out from the shadows and startles me.
“V… Victorr?” I am unsure but he walks out into the light.
“H..I thought you were being treated, how do you even know about this place?” I frown and everything makes sense.
“You said you serve me!…“ I laugh without humour.
“I do but you know your father, he has his claws around me and I had no choice but it is not an excuse. Which is why I am tired of just sitting around and following the rules, I can’t stand him and I cannot stand this situation.” Victor’s gaze makes me uncomfortable.
“How am I supposed to trust anything you have to say?” I cover Samael’s eyes.
“You don’t have to but I have worked for your father ever since I was a boy, I know him maybe better than anyone else and I have to say this so that you can give up any hope of trying to reconcile with him or understand him. King Mona is a mad man. He does whatever he likes and whenever he likes, he is smart and manipulative. When Brahim died, it was only a minor inconvenience, when he did those things to those girls; why did you think your father never tried or did anything to stop him? He could have done something, Brahim was terrified of your father…. One word from him would have been enough to put an end to his act. The reason is because he doesn’t care and I don’t think its because he doesn’t want to, it is because he is physically incapable of doing that. As long as it doesn’t have any effect on him, he wouldn’t care. The only reason he is beginning to pay attention to you is because he knows that he cannot live forever, he is going to try to live through you by making you just as ruthless as he is and that is something I cannot sit and watch. Everybody has their breaking point, and this is mine.”
He finishes his monologue and I stare at him.
I think this is the most he has ever spoken to me since he started working for me, I am perplexed at his outburst which makes me wonder how long he has been holding his thoughts in. I imagine being in his position wasn’t easy, he can’t go against the crown as that is the only life he knows, he must be really confused between following his principles and the law. The fact that he is fully ready to go against my father has completely exceeded my expectations. His family is completely loyal to the crown and has been for generations, for him to call my father a mad man…. I honestly don’t know what to think.
“Okay, let’s say I believe you…. What do you propose we do to my father? He is still the king, isn’t he?” I test the waters.
“He wants you to take the fall for Samael’s death, I suggest that you make the evidence point straight at him. It’s not as if you are setting him up. He did kill him.” Victor said with one breath.
“You are telling me not to become my father by becoming my father?!” I ask unsure and uncertain because this doesn’t sound at all like Victor.
Victor is a simple minded individual and completely unlike how he sounds at the moment. This makes me doubt him even more and a nagging idea fits in place and it all makes sense. Victor’s family had taught him to always put the crown first, no matter how angry he is at my father, he cannot just abandon those teachings like that. He even called my father a mad man, that is just too extreme.
I sigh and pretend to go along with him.
“Do you want to take the fall for his death? You cannot do that… This means that every one you care about will be at risk.” He continues which solidifies my reasoning.
“Since when were you so opinionated about my life and the crown? I thought you believed your only job was to carry orders… Why? Why the sudden turn about? Are you sick by any chance or has your injury gotten so painful its beginning to mess with your head?” I pretend to be clueless.
“Maybe I have always been this way.” Victor shrugs.
“Then that makes you a threat to the crown and the kingdom. The one good thing about you was your immense loyalty to the crown and at the moment… That crown is my father. This just means you are not trustworthy.” I taunt.
“Or this means I finally realize that you are a much more worthy person than your father will ever be.” He doesn’t relent.
“Have you always been this eloquent?” I ponder out loud.
“I have to confess; it is not my strong suit.” He comments.
“You are really working hard; this has to be harder than everything you have ever done.” I smile at him.
“What do you mean?” He asks.
“You know…. Doing everything my father asks you to do. Don’t get me wrong, you are a great actor but … This is so out of character; I mean we grew up together and while we did not share moonlight stories. I know enough about you to know what it is that you are capable of saying.” I raise my brow.
He doesn’t answer but looks down instead.
I sigh out loud. “Victor, I have had a really long day and I don’t have the time to play mind games with my father. I understand that you only follow orders and for that I apologize for everything you have had to go through with my father but I am not buying anything you are saying.”
“The true test is my father trying to see if I will throw him under the bus if I had the opportunity to, isn’t it?” The silence affirms my answer.
“Does he ever get tired of the mind games?!” I say out loud.
“No, not really. Okay… granted you are smart and I might have pushed too far with Victor.” My father appears still smoking his pipe and his eyes twinkling with excitement.
“Father…. This is all a game to you, isn’t it?” I ask.
“Maybe, maybe not. To be honest, Victor quite exceeded my expectations with the acting, I am almost impressed. For a second there, I actually thought he meant every word.” He laughs in amusement which annoys me more.
Victor bows and leaves the room.
“You can do whatever you want, expose me to Nuke or take the fall. Either way, I get what I want.” He gives me a cold smile.
“What exactly do you want?”
“To see you become the man I know you could be…. You have to kill a certain number of people to attain the level of supremacy that is your wife but you can be so much more than you are. I have seen you in action and I regret not fostering you from childhood, I spent my energy on the wrong child. Erin; you have my blood, use it… me or your Queen? Who will it be?” My father smirks and leaves the room.