“Your Majesty, i just uncovered a plot by some disgruntled elements to destabilize your coronation by abducting you and killing you. As we speak they are finalizing the plans and i have proof to show how advanced, the plan has gone.” Le Coquin then presented to the King-in-waiting the communication and handwritten notes of Verstockt that he had stolen from his house. Immediately, the King summoned High Chief Metomofin, who in turn convened an emergency Council meeting were it was resolved that the matter be quelled at once by sending the King’s Guards to effect the arrest of the Traitors and the matter nipped in the bud before the coronation day so that it sends a strong warning to anyone who could be contemplating it.
Before the final resolution could be passed, High Chief Metomofin tried to urge caution and to investigate thoroughly the facts of the case before a decision was taken. But the Council, would have none of it as they felt dismayed that someone had the temerity to spy on the Royal Family, which in itself is an offence punishable by banishment, not to mention actually conspiring to abduct the King on his coronation day and killing him!! What a sacrilege!! “The facts speak for themselves o High Chief!!!” Exclaimed Chief Kabbeling. Others chorused in agreement and urged the matter be dealt with immediately except the High Chief was trying to protect the people involved.
What laid the matter to rest was the involvement of the Uncle of the King-in-waiting, Ariyanjiyan. It was an open secret that he harbored a deep grudge against the King-in-waiting, and a deep hatred for his Father. He had actually tried to usurp power in the first year the late King was coronated but was thwarted by King’s Guards who were fiercely loyal to the Royal Family. Hence the Council of Ministers where not willing at all to let the matter rest but rather have it dealt with finally to forestall a re-occurrence. Moreover, the King’s Guards were more than willing to finish the job if the Council of Ministers should procrastinate on their decision. The memories of the last battle to defend the King against the attempt to overthrow the him led to the death of their Commander who died protecting the King when Ariyanjiyan had barged into the inner chambers of the King and tried to kill the him. He had been imprisoned for the attempt before the King pardoned him against all counsel not to. He said, “He is still my blood, we are from the same source, he’s just misguided and we need to show him we do not seek vengeance but love”.
High Chief Metomofin reflected on this as he sat with the King by the river bank as they fished in solitude and reflected on the events that had happened till date. “Where is the evidence that was used to prosecute your Uncle and Verstockt?” He asked the King. “I left them with Le Coquin, he said that he wanted to keep them in the Palace Sanctum”. “But i was in charge of the sanctum, and i never saw anything there, moreover he does not have the access to the place” Metomofin replied the King.
“So King, i read your letter and you stated you were lost and not in touch with your subjects, why do you think so?” Asked Metomofin. The King broke down in tears, unable to hold back as he opened up to his Father’s friend about the challenges he had been having and how he feels he is no more the King as he stated in his letter but feels like a puppet with no control over what is happening. Metomofin asked him, “who do you think is pulling the strings then, if you are the puppet?”. The King lapsed into silence for a minute and whispered, “Le Coquin”.
The King immediately felt a burden lifted off his shoulders, his heart felt merry, and the veil of darkness that had clouded his reason was suddenly lifted when he mentioned the name to Metomofin. It all came into clarity for him immediately, where he had erred and gone wrong and what he had failed to do. He opened up immediately to Metomofin like a burst dam of water, he revealed his deepest secrets to Metomofin, how he had been stung by a bee in his left ear and how he and Le Coquin had connived to deceive the people so no one would know what happened. He began pacing along the river bank, lost in thought when the enormity of what he had done hit him with the full force of a gale. He realized, he had betrayed the trust of his people, who had seen through his deception, he had betrayed his late father, who had believed in him, and above all, he had fooled and betrayed himself by thinking he had deceived the Oracle.
Metomofin sat quietly has the King poured out his heart, he watched in silent awe, the transformation that took over the King when he confessed to what he had done and identified the source of his misery. He felt within himself, a stirring of emotions that he had long thought were dormant, grief, sadness and joy all mixed together. It was a potpourri of emotions for him as he realized the role he had failed to play in the King’s early life when the little birds had forewarned him of what was going on but had chosen to ignore it. He wept openly before the King, the dam behind his eyes, broke as the tears came pouring in regret and joy that, at last, the time had come for a restitution.
The King stood aghast when he saw the tears streaming out of Metomofin’s eyes. He could not fathom why he was crying, but then he realized, he was crying as well. He just discovered that his face was wet and the water was flowing in torrents down his face. He realized that Metomofin was a man he could not afford to hide his feelings from again, that its better for him to be naked and his weakness known by him but covered and not taken advantage of. He wondered why he had strayed so far from his God-Father, who had been there for him from birth all through his maturing years. He remembered, the walks in his garden as a kid, and the tours through his library as he learned at his feet. He gnashed his teeth in anguish when he remembered, he had wandered off the moment Le Coquin stepped into his life.
Metomofin got up quietly, and told the King to wait, he walked into the bush nearby and came out with some leaves with which he prepared a herb mixed with fish innings and grounded into a pulp. He placed a drop in the King’s left ear, and after a while poured water into his left ear, and out came the bee’s stinger that had broken off inside the King’s ear back then. The King felt immense relieve from the pain that had plagued him for years!
He wondered what exactly Metomofin had mixed together that had relieved the pain. Metomofin just smiled and told him, “Your Majesty, with age comes wisdom and experience”.
Three Months later, the King summoned a Council meeting with Le Coquin in attendance as usual. And he was seated in his usual place, by the right hand of the King. All presentations, requests were tabled before him as usual with the arguments for and against. Le Coquin grilled them all and whispered to the King what he should accept and what he should ignore. The King kept quiet and did not say a word all through the proceedings, which was quite unusual as the King would have signed off on the ones he recommended and the meeting would have been over within an hour. He felt the King was probably trying to recover from his three-month hiatus in the Mountains where he had gone on his yearly retreat. And he needed time to fit back in. Not that he was bothered about that, at least, he had the King in the palm of his hand.
The King never did assent to anything during the meeting, but rather he got up and said he had an important announcement to make. The Ministers shifted uneasily on their seats and Le Coquin got up hurriedly to inquire what the King wanted to say. He waved him back to his seat and he took a deep breath and began;
“For the past 10 years i have lived a lie. I have deceived the People, deceived the Council and above all deceived myself into thinking i can get away with this ill. I am not fit to be your King after this, and if you decide here and now, i would accept it. Please note, i bear full responsibility for had transpired and in no way blame anyone for it”.
And he revealed how he had been stung by a bee, how he and Le Coquin had planned the cover up to deceive people and the palace. And hence the reason he named Le Coquin has his spokesman and his right hand man against all Palace Convention. He revealed how he had come to the truth and realization and discovered the Charlatans in his council, and a city held in a vice grip by people thirsting for power under the guidance of Le Coquin.
Le Coquin froze in horror on his seat, and he got up to speak interrupting the King, “Your Majesty, it seems you have been bitten by a bug in the Mountains, where come this mad talk??!!” The King responded, “It came from you, 20 years ago, when you befriended me and led be astray. You have a chance to redeem yourself if you can own up to the Council and the People the way i have owned up and ready to forsake my throne for justice and fairness to prevail in the land”. “Will you shut up there o foolish King!! Who did you think you are, you are nothing without me! I made you, who knows you as King? Who do you govern that you know of?” Le Coquin laughed in derision at the King. Guards!!! He bellowed out, “seize him for our King has run mad and he knows not what he is saying!”
At that point, High Chief Metomofin walked into the Council Chambers, with the Kings Guards and ordered Le Coquin arrested and charged with High Treason to the King and his Kingdom and he placed several of the Council Ministers under arrest as well whose loyalty was not to the King but to Le Coquin. High Chief Metomofin invoked an ancient law of the City in which if the King should be found wanting, he should be relieved of his duties till he makes full restitution and the People hold a congress to have him back on the throne with confirmation from the Oracle.
The King gladly stepped down from his throne, and accepted to go to the Shrine to observe the required number of days prescribed by the Oracle for him to be restored. He handed over the control to High Chief Metomofin to hold in trust till he was restored by the People and the Oracle.
Le Coquin was furious with rage and could not understand the turn of events. He lunged at the nearest guard to snatch his sword but was restrained and wrestled to the ground where he screamed in rage and panic. He wept bitterly and cursed and King and everyone for turning against him. He cursed the Oracle cursed all the gods that be for his misfortune, struggled against his bonds and refused to acknowledge that he had done wrong nor back down from his taunts and insults. His face was contorted with rage, he was unrecognizable, has it was like a demon had suddenly possessed him! He shook in anguished rage, with foam coming out of his mouth, his eyes had grown to twice their normal size and the muscles on his face and neck stood out like they were about to burst out of his body.
Suddenly he became rigid, then went limp and collapsed in the hands of the guards, all form of live seem to have ceased from his body has he was laid on the floor in the council chambers. Le Coquin’s heart had burst from the exertion, blood could be seen at the corner of his eyes, and he collapsed dead with no chance for restoration. The King had left the chambers, led away by the Priests when this was happening hence he didn’t get to see the end of his dear friend. He could not mourn him for it was forbidden to mourn the dead when under restitution. But he was sad, that his friend did not have the second chance that he was having.
Every one of the Council Ministers immediately pledged loyalty to the throne and the king and swore oats of allegiance to High Chief Metomofin, the Regent. The news spread like wildfire in the City and the King’s message for forgiveness was read in the city center and posted everywhere. People discussed in groups, what had befallen the King and rejoiced at what befell Le Coquin, who they loath with so much passion for the hurt he had done to them.
After Seven Months, the People held a congress and decided to let the King occupy the throne after they noted his brokenness, humility and openness to them. He was confirmed again by the Oracle and he was re-coronated has King of the Kingdom of Suuru. He ruled with justice and fairness and ensured that every man got his fair share of justice, reward and punishment. The city prospered and his reign was peaceful. High Chief Metomofin was held in high regards for what he had done for the Kingdom and the King and he was respected long after he joined his ancestors.
The King still could still not hear with his left ear, a fact now known by everybody, but they were well assured of getting a fair judgement, no matter whom was involved.
And he was loved and loved and loved by his People for his honesty and forthrightness.