Silently, Fluin passed the sword to Harith, for his inspection.
“Beautifully balanced,” was his laconic comment.
“What must we do with it?” asked Steppan, turning to Fluin, “It’s yours, now.”
“Mine?” said Fluin, sharply, suddenly concerned, “I don’t want it! I don’t want to be king!” He thought of how he’d been the happiest since he could remember over the last few days. He thought about his new-found powers, of the simple pleasures of singing and meditation and magic—and love. He didn’t want to wear a crown. He didn’t want to be alone again, and somehow he knew that a king is always truly alone, unable to uncover his true friends out of the entourage of hypocrites and sycophants.
“I don’t want it!” he repeated, “I’m not the bearer!” He was angered by his sense that he was wrong to avoid his duty, that he truly had no choice, if the empire was to be spared disaster.