The rose bushes shined in the afternoon sun with an army of gardeners surrounding them. Manned with thick gloves the heavily concealed bushes were thinned out so they weren’t so round, a courtesy for the king.Beads of sweat dribbled down the men’s faces, the brim hats barely keeping the heat off them. Every time a rose bush had to be added to the row, two burly men struggled to pick it up. Their lugnut arms struggled with the twenty-pound plant. Amid it all, no one noticed the young man on the balcony above them watching them. His dark bangs curled into his face, but he didn’t bother to fix them. He also didn’t bother to move when he was addressed to.
After a moment, someone behind him in the room cleared their voice. He slowly turned to the servant.
“Sir, your parents are waiting for you in the south gallery.” The servant bowed to him from the center of the room.
The young man sighed and turned back to the rose bushes. Nothing had changed, the workers hardly working in his eyes.
“They make it seem like it’s so hard to plant the roses. My family and I use to do it when we were small. Hardly a strenuous task for these many men.”
He waited for a rebut from the servant, for them to excuse the workers on the account of the massively different weight. The roses his family had planted were mere seedlings and at best just juveniles compared to the mammoths his father had order to replace the chrysanthemums. Yet after not hearing anything, he quickly turned around. The servant was steady in their stance. In their face, the mouth was a complete a straight line. A tight straight line like they were barring down in order not to say anything.
He abandoned the balcony with a grin, his eyes sparking with a sudden rush. “Don’t you think they’re just being dramatic. I mean how hard can it be, picking up some roses?”
The servant took a solid breath, and the young man’s heart bounded to hear the response,the complaint must be on their tongue.
“Lux, the King has requested for you in the gallery. I wouldn’t have him waiting.”
Excitement soured into rage. The servant showed no interest in the conversation, a feat towards his time working with the family.
Lux sighed heavily. “You’re absolutely the worst. There’s nothing to gain if you don’t live a little.”
Once again,the servant had no answer. Lux gave up and exited the room. The halls were mostly empty with most servants setting up dinner somewhere else in the large estate. The ones that were around refused to make eye contact with the young man, most hurrying away to another chore. Down a flight of stairs ,across a veranda the young man came to a large domed building. Solid white on the outside, inside it was vibrant with solid colors and white wood trimmings. Eloquent art hung from its walls ranging from large ceiling to floor oil paintings to tiny sculptures in display cases cemented to the floors. As tradition went, the gallery was a large open building with the second floor wrapping around the main opening. No matter where you were on the first floor, the intricate painted ceiling circling the automatic skylights could be seen. On the second floor, the fine details of the painting could be seen from below. Lux didn’t get to the second floor.
“Prince Lucijan Alojoz Vitezic, Your majesty.” A servant announced.
***AUTHOR’S NOTE: If you can’t pronounce his name, that’s the point. Just call him Lux, or trouble. Time to meet the rest of the fam-fam! ***