[Imperial Struggle] Chapter 3: Coronation at a funeral

in writing •  2 years ago

It's me again, with the story of Marco, the young prince who became Emperor against all odds. Enjoy the read

Previous chapter
It’s been a week since Augusto death. The Empire was in mourning, everybody crying the passing of one of the most loved Emperors in recent history.

For the whole week the body of the emperor was held at the Imperial Temple, allowing the subjects to pay their respect to their late sovereign.

Today was the day when Augusto will be placed into the Imperial Tomb, where all the previous emperors were buried. And according to the tradition, today was also the day when Marco will be officially named emperor and will receive the crown and the Pledge of Loyalty from all people.

In his room, Marco was anxiously pacing. In a few moments an army of servants will come to dress him in ceremonial clothes. Afterwards, the guards will escort him and to his carriage and together will go to the Imperial Temple to attend his father's burial and then he will get crowned as the new Emperor, as his father wished.

He knew all of this, and over the week he managed to get used to the idea that he is Emperor now. But the words of his father still kept him awake at night. What storm is coming, what challenge is the Empire facing and most of all who poisoned his father and why? What gains would somebody have by killing the emperor. The next emperor will still be someone of his children and the dynasty would go on. Unless… someone wanted to put a weak emperor on the throne and control the empire from the shadows. But then again, none of his brothers are weak, and somehow they didn’t get on the throne but him, Marco. Indeed he may be weak now, but he surely wouldn’t be controlled by some shadow puppeteer.

These questions and thoughts wandered through Marco’s mind all the week, and he couldn’t share them with anybody. Not yet. Not until he was officially on the throne and gained more support of in the court. He couldn’t make his move yet. He knew at least that. Whoever was behind his father’s death, was powerful enough to have access to the emperor and poison him. And that person was dangerous. So he has to be careful.

A short bang waked up Marco from his flow of thoughts. The chamberlain had arrived to help Marco dress in the ceremonial clothes and prepare him for the ceremony.

It took almost an hour to have him prepared. Marco was now dressed up with the white imperial clothes that represented purity and the long red and gold cape with the symbols of the empire on his back. At his waist a gold ceremonial sword was, evidently, making Marco uncomfortable.

Four guards flanked Marco and escorted him outside the palace. A gold carriage awaited them there and behind it a small group of 20 imperial guards for protection. Every guard was having a full plate armor, all shining with gold and silver elements. Each guard was riding a majestic white horse and stood proud in the presence of the Emperor.

“Your majesty” everyone kneeled down when Marco arrived.

The carriage start moving.

The streets were filled with people. Everyone wanted to catch a glimpse at the new Emperor. Although Marco was quite known by reputation in the capital, not many people knew exactly how he looked. He stayed mostly inside the palace or he snuck out and nobody knew that he was a prince. For many people the new Emperor was quite an enigma.

Imperial tomb. A large group of nobles, generals, influential merchants and high ranking imperial officials were waiting for Marco’s arrival. You could say that all the elite of the empire was present today. Who would dare to miss such an event as the coronation of the Emperor.

“What was in Augusto’s head when he named Marco?” a young noble asked. “He’s nothing but a fool”.

Smack! The young noble received a blow over his head from his father.

“Fool, did you just called the Emperor a fool? Do you want the demise of our family?”

Marco had a strange reputation through the noble circles, especially with the young ones. Almost never participating at the young nobles parties, these young lords thought of him as just an afterthought. Even if he was an imperial prince, he was just the seventh child. He would never rise to prominence, and because of that they disconsidered him. Just like many other high circles. And now, he was the Emperor and they all had to bow before him.

The carriage arrived. Everybody stopped their conversation and looked at the carriage door. They wanted to have a good look at the man who hold the fate of the Empire into his hands in the next decades.

Marco took a deep breath before exiting the carriage. With a hand resting on the sword and gazed over the people that waited for him. With a short nod he greeted them all and after that he went straight to the Temple, flanked by four Imperial guards.

In the middle of the Grand Hall of the Temple, there was the ceremonial throne. In front of the throne there was a big coffin, situated on a big stone bed. There was Augusto was resting, still having the smile on his face. Marco stopped for a little by his father’s coffin, kissing the forehead of his father for the last time.

After Marco took his place on the throne, four priests began to slow chant, signaling the beginning of the ceremony. The priests continued singing the chants and performed the rituals for the dead, that were now in the Realm of Light, ruled by the God of Light, the almighty ruler of every living thing.

The rituals were short, as the Cult of Life was a religion that celebrates life, rather than the death.

After the ritual, Augusto coffin was lead to the crypt, to the eternal rest that he deserved, near the other emperors that lived before him.

It was now time for the most important event for the day. The coronation ceremony. The crown was placed near the coffin and, with the coffin gone, was all alone on the stone bed, in front of Marco.

The coronation wasn’t complicated, because Imperial word was the law. Augusto has named Marco the Emperor and that was it. But for the sake of etiquette and tradition, the ceremony had to be done.

All the nobles, general and other high officials had to kneel before the crown and emperor and declare their loyalty. It was this simple. The first to act was Armando, who smiled at his little brother that was fretting on the throne. After him, everybody present, one by one kneeled and made the loyalty pledge.

When the final noble rise up from his pledge, Marco rose up from the throne and took the crown in his hands.

“My dear friends, I thank you all for the kind words and for your loyalty. I thank you all in the name of my father, the Emperor that helped us through so many moments. He was a great man, not only as an Emperor, but as a father as well. He was the Father of this nation, not only for his children... because, for him, we all were his children. The rich and the poor, the nobles and the commoners. We all are part of the Empire and we have to remember that an Empire is made by his people, from the lowest beggar to his Emperor. We are all citizens of the Empire and we all should be treated with the same respect as brothers. “

“I am young, and truth be told I don’t know why my father picked me to be the next Emperor, over bigger brothers and sisters”. The whole place was left speechless at this remark. Nobody expected such words from the new Emperor. “I know you all think the same. That I am too young, too inexperienced and maybe to rebel to hold the throne. And maybe that is true. But my father saw something in me, and I believe that my father was right. After all, he was an Emperor. He saw something in me, he saw me worthy of leading all of you. Maybe you don’t trust me and don’t have enough confidence in me. But I plead you to believe in my father and his judgement, like you did so many times in the past. Like my father, I will place my confidence in you, and I will try to reach all your expectation. I thank you all for being there when my father needed, and I hope that you will do the same for me”.

After he finished the speech, Marco took the crown and placed it on his head. He was now the new Eldobar Emperor, the new ruler of the Empire.

Next chapter
Thank you guys for reading. This was the 3rd chapter of our story. I will try to post the 4th chapter as soon as possible.
Please share your thoughts about the story. What do you think about Marco? What obstacles will he have to overcome?

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