It was strange that most of his short life he hadn’t felt at home in the palace. And now it was his palace. And he was the schâh now, the crowned king of Pars. And he felt it was where he belonged. He knew this country needed someone who would do everything in his power to keep its people safe.
From his terrace of his vast rooms he looked down on the courtyard and wondered at the quietness of the palace. Over the last days the palace had resounded with the noise of celebration, of song and dance and cheers. The city had been celebrating his coronation, too - or the peace and freedom from oppression that it came with it. Everyone seem to embrace the new era. Arslan had yet to find out what people really thought of a boy on the throne.
But he wasn’t worried.
People didn’t know the truth of his accession to the throne and even less about his birth, but those few who knew in his military had been swayed by the fact that he was in possessions of Ruknabad.
Behind him he could hear a soft knock, the door opening. He wasn’t worried about that either. He had friends guarding his back - and very literally his door. Jaswant wasn’t going to let anyone get at him that easily. He wasn’t scared. Month he had fought to free Pars, to find a place for himself and to get the right to rule the country. He’d fought men and killed demons. Now it was time to take on the task of ruling.
“Yes, Elam, I’m out here.”
“I know that,” the young man said, before he even reached the terrace. “Daryûn saw you standing here and he and Narcasse are sending me to ask if you need anything.”
“They sent you to see if I’m all right.”
Elam didn’t deny it. “Are you all right, your Highness?”
“You don’t need to call me that all the time, Elam. We are both the children of nameless parents, aren’t we. In a way that makes us brothers.”
There was a slight pause, before Elam stepped up to stand beside him and tried to see what he was looking at. “Are you sure everything is all right?”
“Yes. I’m just enjoying the silence. The last few days were so busy, that I hadn’t really all that much time to think.” He smiled. “It’s time for peace now.”
Elam chuckled. “I hope you’re right. We’ve had enough excitement and adventure to last us a lifetime. There’ll be tales about the way you took back Pars from the enemies.”
Arslan smiled again. “I hope there will be many tales about how I made the land prosper and kept the peace hereafter.” He looked down at the courtyard again. “You can tell Narcasse and Daryûn that I’m all right now, yes? I’ll go to bed in a few minutes. I just want to enjoy the silence for a moment longer.”
His friend knew when he was dismissed and just nodded. “Just don’t stay out here for too long or they might come up themselves.”
They shared an easy laugh and Arslan could see that Elam visibly relaxed. He couldn’t say if Elam had been worried about him or worried that being king had changed him more than the last month had done. They both had matured a lot since their first meeting.
From now on life would be different. It was time to make this place where he’d only been the unwanted prince his home. Tomorrow he could worry about being a king worthy of the legends that were already being spun. And he wouldn’t have to face the changed world alone.
He’d never again be alone. There was time to worry tomorrow.