Few people knew anything about Sabin Rene Figaro beyond his name and his crown—unusual considering his open nature. The people who knew him best around the castle knew that he was no politician. Deceit wasn’t in the prince’s vocabulary unless it involved creating a clever excuse to not attend the meetings that bored him so. Nothing could bore a free-spirited person more than being forced to sit in an antechamber or a meeting hall and listen to people argue over taxes, wars and political alliances.
A standard royal upbringing required years of intensive study. Studying for hours on end was something that Sabin just could not do. Some, like his twin brother Edgar, took to their studies like white on rice. Sabin was simply the useless part that was washed away. It was the same thing everyday, reading every little bit of information that they could find in dusty, moth eaten tomes. There was just so much information to absorb and remember. Learning how to run a kingdom just didn’t appeal to everybody.
Everyone knew that Edgar was a better choice for running the Kingdom anyway.
Sabin knew that the only reason why he was heir was because of his resemblance to his father. He was tall, with a slight build for a young boy of fifteen years with dirty blond hair that spiked out with royal blue eyes. His jaw was square with broad shoulders to match. If he filled out a little more, he’d almost be the striking image of his father. There were days of constant fittings for clothes in a vain attempt to mold him into the perfect heir in appearance. The prince disliked the standard Figaro attire and always preferred more loose clothing to let the desert heat out. He’d watched his mother faint from wearing such heavy clothing before passing on a year earlier.
The prince sighed in regret at his mother’s passing. He had cried for what seemed like days without condolence. He refused the aid of others; it just wasn’t in him to see others at the time.
Slowly, life at Figaro had returned to normal. Edgar studied and Sabin avoided his responsibilities like the cleverest of thieves. It was the way that life at the castle had always been and was not likely to change anytime soon. Everything was orchestrated perfectly.
Father and sons gathered together every morning to eat breakfast together. It was the last little bit of solidarity that the three had; the last bit of privacy. The entirety of the Royal Family’s private life may as well have become public knowledge. As the king’s health began to fail him, an increased amount of responsibility fell to the princes. The times when they gathered became infrequent and the castle’s halls seemed filled with a deadness that followed the lack of brightly laughing voices.
Rumours spread like wildfire with the various tales behind King Alexander IV’s ailing health; the princes – particularly Sabin – became more frequently agitated. Edgar was skilled at hiding such emotions from the world but the younger twin wore his emotions on his not so finely tailored sleeve. Where the younger had been naïve in the rumour mongering going around his ears, soon a young woman – likely having conspired with the Empire – asked his opinion on his Father’s poisoning which sent Sabin over the edge with a rage none had experienced from him. Still fuming over the rumours, Sabin was dragged to the meeting by his elder twin who tried his best to cool off the simpering temperament of the younger half.
The day, an exceptionally blustery summer day, brought both princes to the monthly political meetings. Sabin kept his head bowed, hoping that the anguished, yet mingled with barely suppressed rage look on his face would give away that he was not in the mood for any type of discussion; especially those of state affairs, taxes, and war; completed now with the constant discussion of the succession of the prince to the throne. Sabin would’ve given any amount of gold he could get his hands on to not be in that room surrounded by those men. If any of these men approached him, the blond wasn’t sure what he would do if anything remotely inoffensive was said to him.
While politicians were masters of deceit, their skills in arguing paled in comparison to the emotions that were brewing in Sabin.
A seedy politician, known for his excessive drinking, gigantic belly and bulging eyes rather than for the fair treatment of his people, was the first to approach the princes, his chubby fingered hand going to Sabin’s shoulder. “My deepest and most sincere condolences to you both for having to shoulder not only the burden of your father’s poisoning but of running this fine kingdom that we call home, if there is any—”
“What did you say?” Sabin snarled at the man before taking the offending hand into a crushing grip and removing it from his shoulder. He threw it away from his body with a force that sent the greasy looking man back quite a few paces. How this fool dared to have any right to speak to him of such things, Sabin thought angrily. Blue eyes narrowed into a scowl at the man who quailed under the intense look on the prince’s face.
“Sabin!” Edgar interjected quickly as he watched the scene unfold before his eyes. The scenarios were playing through his mind on repeat as he thought quickly of a way to excuse his brother from the meeting. A finely boned hand went to his brother’s broad shoulder which was shaking with barely suppressed rage and squeezed it gently. These men were master’s at playing on Sabin’s emotions which was not a very wise decision at this point in time.
Edgar leaned in close to his brother and whispered into his ear in a harsh whisper, “Don’t do it,” while tugging at his arm, attempting to lead him out of the room. “Gentlemen, if you’ll excuse us, I’ll return shortly and then we shall carry on with business as usual,” Edgar said over his shoulder before closing the door behind him, silencing all chances of argument from the shady men.
“Disrespectful bastards!” Sabin spat at the door angrily, glaring daggers that he only wished would rip through the thick door and kill each and everyone of the idiots contained within. “Don’t they think that I already know that rumour! I’ve heard each and every rumour and the Empire poisoning Dad is the only one that makes any sense to me! I should go down there with Figaro’s army and kill that idiot that decided to call himself the Emperor of the world.”
Edgar spun around to face his younger brother. If the younger were not physically stronger than the elder, then Edgar would have given Sabin the trouncing that he so rightfully deserved. Instead, a hand was pressed to his face, covering azure eyes and sighing.
“What?” Sabin asked, sounding like he had considerably calmed down.
“Are you done?” Edgar asked.
“I hate those meetings more than standing on that stool for the tailor.”
“If you hate politics so much, why do you keep going?” Edgar questioned.
“Because Dad wants me to go,” the blond replied simply. “I don’t know why he chose me to be successor. You’re better with people than I am and you’re about as cunning as those idiots are. Why would he want me to learn about this stuff? It’s confusing and it bores me to death.”
“You’re also immature, boisterous, irresponsible and impulsive,” Edgar piped in. “Simple minded, honest and too kind for this type of position. A king needs to be able to make sound decisions for the sake of his reputation and the well-being of the people that will one day be his responsibility.”
Sabin glared at his twin in mock anger before saying, “I love you too big brother.”
Edgar grinned before he turned to face the door, his game face on, a smug look on his face. “I’ll make them loathe the day they decided to bring that up on the agenda. I’m going to bring some change to this country one way or another. I’ll woo them just like I do the ladies.”
Sabin rolled his eyes. “Good luck with that. I’m sure you’ll have better luck with politicians than you do with the girls in court.” Sabin’s laughter filled the hallway as he started walking away from the meeting room. “You know where to find me,” he called from down the hallway.
“Indeed I do little brother, indeed I do.” Edgar replied to himself, pushing open the door and going inside to deal with the politicians.