Today Was The Day

Submitted By iff4h
Words: 2001
Pages: 9

Today was the day. I felt nervous and felt as if I wasn’t ready. A challenge given by our father, the king himself to see who out of me and my brother was empowered to the throne. I didn’t want to proceed with this; I tried to decline the challenge and also insisted that this would in still hatred between the two of us but no one ever had the right to decline a challenge given by the king, not even his own sons. It was a practice, a ritual that every Armenian king in the past had followed.
It was something I already knew of, I wouldn’t have been so worried if I had only been blood related to the king. I was an orphan before; my real parents were killed by assassins. My father was a royal guard, he served to protect the king and indeed he fulfilled his duty by throwing himself in front of the assassin which gave the king time to escape; my father was killed during that process. My mother was slaughtered during the mayhem. I ran away. Living in despair and poverty I had become a thief, it wasn’t something I was proud of but it was my only survival tactic.
After many attempts, the guards had caught me and at that time the king was visiting the village. He had come across me being taken away by the guards and ordered them to release me, he recognised me; after all, I used to be his son’s best friend. I was to go to the kingdom with him. The king said he made a decision of adopting me because he was grateful to my father for saving his life but devastated that my father had been killed. He told me he already considered me as a son when I was his son’s friend and that after the day my parents were killed; he had guards searching for me but couldn’t find me. He thought I might’ve been killed that day too and seeing me alive had made him content.
If only I wasn’t adopted. I feel as if it’s not right for me to participate in the challenge, because if I were to ever win, it would make me feel guilty since I am not the rightful heir to the throne. My brother, still today my best friend, how is it fair upon him. I am unable to bear the pain just by thinking about it.
Today at the ceremony, the king will announce what the challenge would be and give each of us gifts that will help proceed in the challenge. I keep wondering upon what it would be, what kind of challenge did father give us. The servant maids had come to my room with the preparations. I was dressed in a robe, the colour of emerald, elegantly embedded with floral patterns. I was led by my royal guard to towards the entrance of the hall in which the ceremony was held. I felt that I was more nervous now than I would have been at my marriage ceremony. I heard my name being called, the big gates in front of me slowly opened. I took a deep breath and started proceeding forward, the crowd on both sides were cheering. My brother was already there, I stood next to him and we both kneeled before the king. Our father rose from his seat and gave a welcoming speech and an introduction to what was happening. I felt like there was a burden on me.
The challenge was said; we were to go to the top of mount Armenistasia and get Iria Le Garth; a flower which was very rare and beautiful in the whole world. There would be obstacles on our journey and were given a month to proceed, whosoever returns with the flower first would be aired the throne. Thank god it was not something like a match between us two brothers, I would never want to fight against him. My brother looked unpleased as if something was wrong, like he didn’t want to have this as a challenge. I didn’t know what to say to him.
Our gifts were the same; a sword, rope, some food, flint stones, blanket, a cloak and a coloured cloth. But the special gifts were different; my brother was allowed his royal guard and I was given an empty glass lantern along with a bow and arrow. I wondered why I needed it. We had to swear upon the Armenian goblet and drink wine from it to show that we would ensue with the challenge and not withdraw. A