“So I suppose this means it’s over?”
For a second Patrick thought the prince was joking, but when he turned to face the boy he saw weary resignation. The dark humor that had kept them going was gone, leaving his regent somehow hollow.
“Not until you abdicate,” the royal lion raised it’s head with a rumble of pain. “Not until you break our pact.” The beast’s amber eyes were expressionless, and for a moment Patrick was worried the lion’s ambivalence would tip the prince over into full surrender.
“Would my uncle be that bad a king?”
“No,” Patrick broke in before the lion could answer. “No, he wouldn’t, but he wouldn’t be a better king. The lions chose you Cian, not him.”
He wasn’t sure that was true anymore, the lions had chosen badly in the past, purposefully, in order to steer the country away from greater evils they foresaw. There was a growing resentment towards the mythical beasts, one Cian’s uncle was actively cultivating.