The rebuilding of Kingsperch had been going well, but the search for the young prince had only turned up dead ends. A king’s counsellor was nothing without a king. Lord Cully leaned back in his chair and sighed. His brother had died in the uprising over three months ago, and had declared his only son as the heir to the kingdom. Cully could have contested it, but then his remaining brother and sister would as well. Besides, it was much easier to counsel a king than to take all the responsibility of actually being the king. As it was, if they did find the prince, the trio of siblings would still need to cooperate while raising the young king and teaching him all he needed to know.
A knock came at his door. He removed himself from his slouching position and sat up straight. “Come in.”
His younger brother, Rowan, and his sister, Dela Eden, walked in. Lady Dela Eden took a seat near Lord Cully. Lord Rowan remained standing.
He knew the answer by the looks on their faces, but he asked the question anyway. “Any luck yet?”
Rowan shook his head, “No. We’re still where we were from the start. We know someone slipped through the kitchen with him, but no one has been able to identify her more than as being a hooded woman. Furthermore, no one knows where she went after that.”
Dela Eden shook her head, “I’m afraid I’m losing hope, as are the people of Kingsperch.”
“You mean those who don’t want him dead.” Rowan interjected.
“Most of the rebels left after King Adinath was slain. They got what they wanted.” Cully replied. “I don’t know how many times I told him he shouldn’t be taxing the outlying cities so much. Now they’ve all declared themselves independent and Kingsperch is left without a ruler.”
“Kingsperch still has us,” Dela Eden stated. “Speaking of which, my informants from the streets say that most people agree we should form a ruling council until the time our nephew is found.”
“With just us?” Cully sighed, “Dela, you know I have no wish to rule.”
She frowned, “Nor do I, but we need to step up and take care of the people.”
Rowan shook his head, “I want no part of being on the council. I’m far too busy investigating not only the disappearance of our prince, but of the other cases we have open with the guard unit. If you absolutely want to do a council, perhaps my seat could be left to a vote for a candidate chosen by the people.”
Cully and Dela Eden exchanged a glance. Cully gave a slight nod to indicate that he was fine with it. Rowan was good at his job, and if he wished to continue doing it, then perhaps it would be best to elect someone to the third council position.
Dela Eden nodded once while looking back at Rowan, “I’ll check with my informants, and see what the people think of the rumor of an election for a seat. I don’t think it will cause much trouble. It may be good to have a commoner on the council.” She paused a moment before continuing, “There was another issue people are speaking about, and I suppose it may sound rather frivolous, but a lot of people say the city can’t really be called Kingsperch anymore. Afterall, we have no king.”
Cully raised a brow. He supposed it wasn’t untrue, but was the name of the city really that important?
Rowan replied, “What do they want to call it, Kingsfall?”
Dela Eden regarded him. “I’ve not heard of any suggestions, but I don’t think Kingsfall would be a bad idea. It would be a nice way to honor our fallen brother; to rename the city for him, wouldn’t it?”
Rowan considered it briefly and replied, “Perhaps it’s something you can speak of with the ruling council. As for the council, you will have it set up to step aside should I find the prince, correct?”
“Good. I need to return to check with my men to see if they’ve found any new leads.”
“And I must go plant some rumors about an election and a name change for the city before setting things up for real. I want to make sure both ideas are well-received.”
Cully stood to see them both out. “Health and happiness to both of you.”
“And to you dear brother.” Dela Eden said as she followed Rowan out the door.