"Why do you care, it didn't make any difference."
"Of course it would. The whole castle probably knows the king doesn't share the bed with the queen."
"And they probably knows you have a son with a slave."
"That's right, I have the power of giving. All the whores you slept with couldn't give you any child, or any power. Guess you just have bad taste."
"Can't be as bad as yours. You spread your legs for a filthy slave. I had to remind my assasin to take a bath after killing that disgusting bug. At least, my whores are entertaining, not needy like you."
"Oh yeah? They just use you and the almighty Sabur is too stupid by lust to see it."
"I'm the fucking king, I fuck who I want."
"That's right, you're the fucking king and you only fuck. And you can't do nothing else on your own."
"You bitch, you're drunk on power as much as I am. Don't act as if you're better than me."
"Oh hell yeah, I can see, and you can't see most things."
Gille stopped eaves-dropping his parents. He walked away from the room with the sounds of tables and chairs slamming against the wall echoing from within.
So, I have a half-brother. Where is he? Is he dead? What happened to him? Why did I never hear about this?
"Hey, you seemed lost. What happened?" Richard tapped him on the shoulder, pulling Gil out of his train of thoughts.
"Rick," Gil smiled and pulled his best friend behind a bush in the garden, "guess what I just overheard the famous couple's fight? I apparently have a brother."
"Aw, now, everybody knows I'm your good brother." Rick grinned.
"No, I mean seriously, Rick. My blooded brother, half-blooded but brother nonetheless."
Rick hanged his mouth open then closed. "You don't have to acknowledge him. I mean, Sabur might not even know who the mother is or even if that boy is his."
"No," Gil laughed, "surprisingly, it's my mother's son with a slave."
"Uh-huh, so you don't have to...wait, what?" Rick still got stuck at the news.
"I have no idea when this happens and according to Sabur, we might be the only one in the castle left out in the gossip."
"Aren't we always? Now where is he? But hold on, why do you want to know about him?"
"Because he's my mother's son. He's my half-brother. I might want to know maybe someone in my family isn't that crazy. He probably doesn't have much of a family, like me. Maybe we can..."
"Yes, maybe, I just want to know him. Come on, aren't you curious?"
"Yeah, you're sure about this?"
"If he's alive, yes, I want to get to know him."
"I don't know if he's alive."
"So how do we find out?"
"Gossip? I thought you were good at that."
"Right, who do you suppose I should gossip with? Just grab anyone?"
"Maybe your parents?"
"Of course, it's hush-hush classified." Rick winked. He was always cheerful, seemed to have no concern but Gil knew more than that. Rick was his best friend and his brother at heart and he made Gil's business his.
Three weeks later,
"Rick, I find out about David."
"Who?" Rick yelled over the wind as they were both riding their horses.
Gil slowed down his horse and Rick matched his pace. "David, my half-brother, he's alive and he's in the castle. He's living with the slaves."
"Where did you get this information? How did you start better gossiping than me?"
"Oska told me. She said that David aware of his identity since he was young."
"Oh yeah, and who named him David, his father?"
"No, the slave that nursed him. I don't think his father even knew about David's existence before his death."
"Then how did he know about his identity and why hasn't he asked for anything better than a slave's life?"
"How can he not know? Slave quarter is gossip center. Direct order from Lydia to that nursing slave to take care of David and Sabur killed her when David turned five. He made it quite clear that David shouldn't even speak of his blood."
"Why didn't he kill off David to?"
"Because he's Lydia's blooded son. Mother is famous for protecting people she loves, especially her flesh and blood. So killing David will most likely upset mother to the point that Sabur doesn't want to find out yet."
Rick sighed and rubbed his face. "You want to go see him."
"Yes, Oska told me that he had to chopped up woods and delivered to the blacksmith every afternoon."
"Maybe your darling slave can also tell us where to hide and spy."
"We should sneak to the wood yard and see him."
"Don't confront him, Gil. See him but don't be seen."
"But I want to get to know him."
"You're 17, Gil. What are you going to do? He probably doesn't care about you and most likely hates you since you can be prince and he has to be slave. You think he's going to cheer for seeing you? Besides, if you want to help him, what can you do?"
"You're right. I can't do nothing to help him even if I want to." Gil sighed his defeat.
"Sure, as good as ever. And Gil, I still don't trust this Oska...There's something about her."
"Because she likes me more than you." Gil snorted.
"Uh-huh, because you're able to grant her wish."
Gil grinned and urged his horse go forward faster. He felt affectionate toward that cute Oska; she seemed to understand him. He'd find a chance to talk to her privately later. Aside from Rick, no one should know about his special treatment for Oska or they would harm her.
That afternoon, cloaking under the Invisible Coat, Gil and Rick watched Dave being whipped while chopping woods. Gil clenched his fits and bit his tongue till it bled. Other slaves taunted and tortured Dave mercilessly but Dave remained quiet, occasionally glaring at his bullies under his wet hairs. Dogs were unleashed after Dave and Gil wanted to punch Hex, the cruel slave but Rick gripped his shoulder, reminding him of his place. Dave's knees wobbled and Dave tried to maintain his balance while carrying pile of woods and running to the blacksmith. Some dogs sniffed at Gil and Rick's feet and they quickly followed Dave before risking discovery.
Dave went around to the back of the blacksmith and stocked up the woods. Then, he hid himself in the forest for awhile and waited. Gil and Rick glanced questioningly at each other but didn't dare whispering, afraid Dave might hear them. After all, Dave was Lydia's son; he at least would have enhanced hearing. Gil and Rick followed Dave sneaking into the blacksmith that was now empty. Dave looked around, and stared at Gil and Rick's invisible spot for awhile. Making sure no one was around, Dave then tugged lightly at this black collard. Dave then stood next to the melting pot of metal and held open his palms. Gil and Rick patiently watched as two blades miraculously appeared on Dave's palms, weavering then disintegrated into thin air. Two disformed swords appeared briefly and then disappeared. Gil was mesmerized, watching his brother struggle to harness his power. He wondered what going through Dave's mind, perhaps he had a plan to escape? Suddenly, a claking sound echoed from outside and Dave ran fast into the forest, breezing past Gil by inches. If Dave bumped into Gil and Rick, everything would be a mess. Their identities would be uncovered and Dave wouldn't escaped in time.
Gil and Rick watched Dave returned to the slave quarter and they took off the Invisible Coat in the stable.
"He has magick."
"Yes, he's practicing it too."
"Look like someone knew about it."
"How do you know?"
"Don't you see the collard on his neck, Rick?"
"Yeah, I thought it was normal."
"No, it's not. No slave has it but him. I bet Sabur or his follower knew about this and put it on him to block his magic."
"They obviously sucked at it."
"No, they actually succeeded. They just didn't think that his power would be as strong to overcome the block in the blacksmith. His power is metal controlling, so surrounded by metals in blacksmith, the blockage spell was drowned out but he still struggled to push his power."
"You sound proud of him."
"Of course, he didn't lose hope. He obviously thinks of an escaping day. I just wish to know when to aid him."
"Well, well, when that day comes, with you this intuned, I'm sure you'll know."
"I like to help him, Rick. Do you see how unfair it is for him?"
"Yes, I also see how unfair it is for you. You're the prince, you don't have the basics thing that a usual child takes for granted. And you have a big heart, you now want to help your half brother who doesn't care if you exist."
"Can't blame him, Rick, everything with a noble label hurts him. You shouldn't involve in aiding him, you might risk go against Sabur or something."
Rick laughed heartily. "Gil, Gil...That's impossible. I can't miss out that fun."
"Rick!" Gil smacked Rick's arm but he knew better. Rick's loyalty lied with him.
"You better practice your magick too, Gil, because when Dave escapes, when that day comes, you'll help him, you'll go directly against Sabur so you'll better be prepared. I only have brawn and a body to help you."
"You're the best I have."
"Same to you and hey, I can be harsh too, you know. So go read your magic book and start practicing now! I like to have my body parts intact for ladies, you know!"
Gil laughed, feeling lucky to at least have Rick by his side. He thought back to Dave and promised to himself that one day, he would make himself known to Dave and made Dave understand that they could be brothers, their own only family.