"Gerhald's Strength!" Johannes, a small confident that helped the king with finances, cursed. He stood in challenge, of course, but realized he was the only one who had done so and immediately sat back down. Good, Rhazin had done his job convincing most the confidents that Monstroth should have the chance to fight as a new member.
Saeronn simply smiled darkly. Sands! That was a scary look, even for Monstroth who was equally as large as his uncle. "What gives you the right to make that challenge?"
Monstroth smiled nervously. He had never openly opposed anyone like this, especially not the king! It was near enough to make hims sit back down and ask for forgiveness. But, no! It needed doing. "Page 334, paragraph 3," Monstroth said. One of the confidents opened a copy of the book and searched. Good man, Roshet, always double checking things. Monstroth had counted on it. "Greatmother Galvure wrote that any member of the confident who believes the king is being unreasonable or unreliable on a subject up for discussion can challenge for the right to be the deciding force. All it requires is a vote of half the current confidents, minus the King and the challenging confident."
Monstroth smiled with a sense of accomplishment as Roshet repeated the word from the Mandate. He would have cursed himself for not repeating it perfectly, but Monstroth was too happy he had actually gotten to this point. How many times did he practice with Rhazin? How many weeks had they cowered and decided not to go through with the plan? Well, it was coming together.
Saeron glanced at his brother. "You raised a brave son, Craetor," he told Father, "Our mother would be proud." The King turned his gaze back to Monstroth. Scarred Father! That look was enough to make a man cringe. But, Monstroth was a man among men. He was a prince of Faerein!
Seikren sighed and stood. "I side with the boy." It seemed oddly humorous coming from the small man. But... Seikren wasn't small when compared to the average man, so Monstroth couldn't truly say anything. Plus, he was grateful for the support of the second strongest man under the king.
Craetore stood and sighed, looking disappointed. "I stand with the King."
Monstroth nodded sadly to his father. He knew this would happen. It wasn't easy to change Craetor's mind. A few others stood and supported Monstroth, but just as many supported the king. It was because of the slander of news, Monstroth was sure. But, he had given up his speaking turn in order to challenge for the right ruling that subject, so there was no helping it.
Eventually everyone stood and claimed their side, making both sides even. Yes! Monstroth would win this if both sides were tied on the matter. But... Wait, why wasn't the man in the brown cloak standing? He looked to be thinking, but nobody dared demand his decision, as was their right. Monstroth, of course, had no right since he was challenging! Sands! Why didn't anyone say anything? Not even Father looked like he would say anything!
The man finally did stand, revealing a large insignia on his chest under the robe. Monstroth's gut sank as soon as he realized who this newcomer was...
"I side with the King."
Saeron smiled and bowed to the Sovereign of Mineral, one of the nine most powerful Mystic users in the the world, not including the Scarred Father and Murdos, assuming the former even existed.
"Nephew," the king said, not sitting, "I will not say I am displeased with you. In fact, you have earned my respect for your bravery." Bravery that had gained him nothing. "It is uncommon for someone to so openly oppose the throne, but it is a healthy check. We need events like this to test us. If the throne were unable to-"
Monstroth looked up from his defeated posture, trying to see what had cut the king off. He was known as someone who wouldn't stop speaking even during a sandstorm. Monstroth even remembered being scolded for an hour for sneaking out as a kid. What could have...
No one moved as King Saeron's head rolled across the table and came to a stop just before Roshet. The man looked about to sick up, but Monstroth paid no more heed to the man that he would a fly. No, his eyes found the eyes of a man standing behind the King's corpse. A man with a bloody sword in one hand and madness radiating in his eyes.
A man named Rhazin.