Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The King's Favourite

My job? Sometimes it’s like being in a royal court. You live a life of frivolous happiness, raw emotions, and surreal existence. And just like in the European courts in the past, there are secret plots and sensational intrigues and romances.

If this was a royal court, perhaps I’m simply a foreign and anomalous count and imperial envoy from another empire. But this is not about me. This is about a king’s favourite.

Our story begins when some vassal king in the expanding Florentine Burg Empire Fell in the love with the Viscountess of Philandera. Or at least that’s how we, observant busybodies, saw it.

Madame du Barry, favourite of King Louis XV of France

Let’s name this vassal king, The King of Hearts. He’s not particularly handsome and he’s definitely note hideous. But he’s a very affable man and of good character. He’s a hard-worker, a fair ruler, and intelligent man. It’s been over a year since he was crowned as the new vassal king of the Osmen Restaurant Kingdom, since his predecessor was nominated as Imperial Vicereine.

All the dukes and duchesses, the counts and countesses, and other members of the court barely know anything about the king, but everyone agrees that he’s a good man. But a few months since his ascension to the throne, it was reported that he severed his ties from his fiancée, a princess from Meadowland.

At the time, it seemed to be one of the many consequences of promotion because work tends to become even more demanding and the transitional status can be burdensome. Everybody felt sorry for both.

But that wasn’t the case at all.

One time, I had an audience with the second-in-command, the ferocious Archduchess, and she reported nonchalantly that the King of Hearts was out to teach one of his friends, the Viscountess of Philandera, how to ride a horse. Innocently, she commented that the king was truly a nice and considerate man. I concurred.

However, to the eyes of the knights and dames of the court, it was the beginning of a new chapter in the book of love of the king’s life. We ought to rejoice for the king, but we were dismayed.

The Viscountess was already betrothed to some prince from a faraway country. Her acquaintanceship with the king is becoming more than friendly. As the days went by, it became too evident even for the credulous Archduchess and a foreign count like me to think that theirs was more than pure friendship. Even the Albanian Duke and the Italian Landgravine consider their relationship as something way beyond friendship.

It was the first time that the whole Osmen Kingdom recognized the fact that the Viscountess was elevated as the king’s favourite.

In a recount of those outside the kingdom, the former fiancée once said that the Viscountess of Philandera is the reason why the king left her. And now, it seems that there’s more probability that it was true. The princess (ex-fiancée) is now living peacefully and beautifully in a nearby kingdom.

Though it should be none of our business, we were quite scandalized, not so much with the king’s behaviour but more with the viscountess’ actions. She even had the guts to proclaim the eternity of her live to her Betrothed Prince.

Things have changed however. The Betrothed Prince has come to Italy to live with the Viscountess of Philandera and marry her soon. The King of Hearts has become the butt of jokes and made himself lower than the jesters of the court.

How could he possibly fool himself by telling everyone that it was friendship, when he was apparently clinging to her like a lover? It’s the classic boy-and-girl-best-friendship-kuno.

As for the Viscountess of Philandera, it is quite sad to see this side of her. She’s very amiable, sociable and fun to be with. And perhaps way too much sociable and fun to be with when it comes to men. She’s no different from Magdalene and the Samaritan woman whom Jesus met, except that Magdalene and the Samaritan woman repented of their sins.

As for the Betrothed Prince? I wonder what would he do if he knew about the two of them? It’s really good that he’s here.

In the evenings, the King of Hearts sings sad songs. The Viscountess of Philandera cherishes lovely moments with her official lover and basks in the attentions of the King as his favourite (more like a courtesan). And the Betrothed Prince? He’s probably living ingenuously in a bubble waiting to be pricked by a small hint of doubt and reality.

Until then, the court lives on and the empire continues to expand.

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