The beginning of The Keys of Quenola:
King Afern took a deep breath. “My child...do not fear. All shall be well.”
Prince Helmham held his dying father’s hand. “You can trust me, Father.”
“And Garnael...let him....” The king said no more. Prince Helmham wiped the tears from his eyes and went out to the balcony.
“My Lord is no more.”
Later that afternoon, Prince Helmham discussed with his younger brother about the country.
“Our father left her in the best position he could manage. However, with his sickness, there was little he could do. Therefore, let us-”
“‘Us’? What is this ‘us’?” Garnael hissed. “It’s you. You’re the new king, even though you depend on other people to pull you through the difficult parts-”
“I do not! I-”
“Yes you do! All you think about is getting the easiest way to do something. I would be a much better king-”
“You would ruin Quenola financially! She would be in ruins with you!” Helmham insisted.
“I would save her! You’re going to ruin Quenola’s reputation for being the toughest country!”
“Garnael, I would, and will, protect everything about her. You know that,” Helmham said softly. “Quenola is a noble country. Our homeland. I will do all in my power to govern her wisely.”
“I could rule so much better! You don’t know what you’re doing!” Garnael shouted. “You shouldn’t be king!”
“My brother, I assure you that I can rule as a just king who will-”
“Shut up! You don’t know what you’re talking about! You can never rule. The noblemen will want me. They will support me. And I shall reign as king of Quenola!” Helmham’s face paled. That would be a disaster.
“Let us go to Mount Ascension, where we may find the Keys of Quenola. They shall tell us who shall reign.”
Garnael glared at him. “Very well.”