The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)
In Quenth, several days after the team had succeeded in freeing the small mining village, the funeral for King Jolon Whitlock Ⅲ was held.
The Zenototes led by the red-scaled Mixolydian and Netzian representatives led by Feya had decided to return home with the sudden ending of the conference. The remaining Hobusians led by the ashen-looking King Fio and Bentulousian forces led by the black and white striped Zenith stayed to attend the solemn celebration of King Whitlock’s life.
On the morning of the funeral, thousands, or maybe more, of Aqueenian citizens gathered in Quenth’s central streets in preparation for the funeral. The ceremony was to take place in the central plaza with the high-ranking personnel carrying the casket. Four streets led out from the plaza and three of which were left open for the citizens to gather and attend. The last street was left for the arrival of the funeral procession.
Each citizen was dressed in ceremonial black clothing in which their colorful, jewel-like faces contrasted intensely.
The Whitlock family rode in a special transport that carried them and the casket of their late father. They were dressed in ceremonial clothing like the citizens and were very quiet. Donn, the oldest son and crown prince was the first to break the silence as he read a report on a tablet.
“Look at that, Fiona and the Nonpareil saved a whole village from some bandits. I’ll need to route supplies to the village so they can recover soon, and we’ll need to give guidance for what to do with the captured bandits,” he mused as he finished reading. He started to type something.
“Donn, this is not the time to be working,” Hermina, the second oldest, said as she shook her head.
“Sorry,” Donn replied as he slipped the device away.
Queen Whitlock sighed.
“If you would like to work hard, it would be in your best interest to find a suitable partner,” she said to the prince. Aqueenian tradition was that a new king could not be placed on the throne until they were wed.
“I’ll… work on that, mother….” Donn said as he looked out the window to the crowd. “Lots of people came to father’s funeral,” he added.
“He was beloved,” Asha, the youngest prince, chimed in with a voice that sounded like he was trying to hold in tears. They had completed the Final Rest ritual the day before, and Asha still was saddened about having to say goodbye to his father.
“I suppose he was,” Donn said solemnly as he looked out to the mourning crowd.
The funeral vehakul reached the central plaza, and the family exited to carry the casket. They were joined by King Fio and his eldest son Avon from the crowd in the plaza. The Hobusians walked next to the Whitlock family as they carried the casket to the central plaza.
“I’m surprised you wanted to participate like this,” Queen Whitlock said to King Fio.
“Jolon may have been an ally at times and a thorn in my side at others, but above all else, he was a friend I could rely on. When I find who orchestrated his death, they will learn to fear the might of the Hobusians,” King Fio said.
“I look forward to seeing it,” the Queen replied.
They set the casket down on a stand, and Queen Whitlock walked to a podium while the others found their seats in the plaza. The light from Resh’s suns seemed to gleam off Queen Whitlock’s light blue face, and the glow hid her expressions. To prevent such an occurrence, some of the funeral planning committee thought they should hold the funeral at a different time of the day or apply a shine removing cream. Still, the queen had insisted on doing it a certain way. The planning committee figured she did not want all the capital of Quenth and all the nation of Aquia to see her sad expressions as she gave her speech. Her voice echoed through speakers and screens across the nation.
“Friends, family, citizens, I thank you for coming to this most solemn celebrations. Today, we are here to remember the life and journey of our beloved Jolon Whitlock, who was the third to carry on the name of the great king we all remember hearing about in childhood stories. It was my great honor to stand by his side and support him in all his affairs and to experience the life he lived with him.
Many of you may not know, but Jolon was a champion for peace in his youth. He desired to unite all of Resh and dissolve all the bloody history that keeps our species apart. Of course, he also sought to make Aquia a more beautiful country.
Many of you know the projects he commissioned that created new buildings which decorate our streets even today. In fact, the facility to my left was one my husband personally oversaw the construction of,” the Queen gestured to a swirling building contained among the others on the outskirts of the central plaza.
He was adept at seeing what was coming and somehow knew where we would need new construction long before the rest of us. This extended beyond beautifying the grand country and into many of the internal affairs he conducted. With great skill, he always was able to weave through any challenge and come out with success that would astound many.
It is no secret that my husband’s interference in talks helped prevent a fourth major war between the Bentalousians and Zenototes. He was always able to find good and bring it to the forefront. Often with a smile on his face. He will be missed dearly for this skill and attitude to life.
There are many other things I would love to tell you, but going into detail would make this funeral last all day. I will keep it brief. My son, Donn, will be made the next king as soon as he is wed, he will resolve to maintain the wonderful country my late husband worked hard to build alive and well, and as long as I remain, Queen, I will resolve to do the same. Please remain silent as we begin to play the final song.”
All at once, everyone in the crowd made sure to keep quiet. Those with hats on removed them. A beautiful song began to play over the speakers, and many cried as they waited for it to end. It was tradition to close out an Aqueenian funeral for a high figure with the nation’s anthem.
Queen Whitlock looked down as the song played and listened to the weeping of the crowd. The crying carried on after the song ended and was said to have continued through the day.