Second World - Chapter 940
The next morning when most everyone had left, Jack went to the palace. The guards had been notified about his coming and they took him to where many people gathered. He waited with the other people there for almost an hour before royal advisor Mason showed up.
Everyone came to attention and Mason started to describe the rite of the coronation ceremony. The ceremony would take place in the throne room. Everyone would gather first before prince Alonzo made his entrance. A head priest from the Church of Creation would then utter prayers to bless this future king. Afterward, Royal Advisor Mason would read the vows of kingship, which Alonzo would swear to uphold. Mason would then present Alonzo with the royal regalia. Alonzo would then sit on the thrown before Mason put the crown on his head and affirmed Alonzo's status as the new king of Themisphere.
Each of the subjects presented in the throne room would then take turns to swear their allegiance to the newly-crowned King Alonzo, including Jack. They were all told to say exactly the same thing so all Jack had to do was memorize a few lines.
After the lengthy process, a feast would then be held to celebrate the ascent of the new king. A separate feast would also be held outside the palace for the commoners. During this feast, Alonzo would show himself to the public from the royal balcony and deliver a speech to mark his first act of addressing the people he ruled.
After explaining the process, Mason started informing everyone there about their positions in the throne room during the ceremony. Everyone had a fixed position. He couldn't have them stand as they pleased as if this was a commoner's gathering.
Of course, many were not present at that moment but would be during the ceremony, such as Emris, Meryl, Duchess Isabelle, Duke Alfredo, and the rest. They were still on their way back from the battlefield. But their places were also marked. They were expected to arrive one day before the ceremony so they could at least join one rehearsal.
Jack asked if the armies who fought the orc invasion were also returning to the capital. Mason answered that most of the armies had been dismissed and returned to their respective posts. Only the important officers came here to attend prince Alonzo's coronation.
After all the instructions were laid out and everyone rehearsed the rite of swearing allegiance to King Alonzo, everyone was told by Mason to stay in their positions. The rehearsal would soon take place. Mason called Jack over.
"Yes, royal advisor?" Jack asked.
"You still need to memorize and rehearse more things for the ceremony. Come," Mason said.
"Huh? I have more things to do than stand in the throne room and swear my allegiance?"
"Yes, you have a special role so there are other things you need to do."
'What...?' Jack's face asked, but Mason either didn't seem to notice or purposefully ignored it. Jack could only follow with a depressed mood.
On the way, Mason explained to him, "Everyone will gather first in the throne room before prince Alonzo made his appearance. The prince would walk through the path from his chamber to the throne room, marked with the royal carpet. Memorize this path."
Jack saw the floor they were walking on. It was covered by a gorgeous red carpet with golden stitching at its edges. He realized that he had walked through this corridor on his past visit but this carpet was not here then. It must have been placed now for the rehearsals and the coronation.
"Why should I memorize this path?" Jack asked.
"Because the prince will be walking down this path with his escorts. You will be one of these escorts, along with Emris and Meryl. Being the three great generals who had repelled Verremor's invasion, this is the honor bestowed for your success. As the companions to our new king."
'I would prefer additional rewards than this honor, thank you,' Jack said in his mind.
He didn't voice his complaint, and he did pay attention to Mason's words and memorized the path. He disliked such official matters, but he was not a moron who would intentionally mess up just because an undesired task was forced upon him.
They arrived before the prince's chamber. Two guards were watching the door as usual. The two opened the door and let Mason and Jack in. Jack saw the red carpet extend into the room.
After the two went into the foyer before the prince's bed chamber, Mason told him that he was to wait there. The prince was preparing inside his bed chamber. He had to wait until the prince was ready. Jack asked how long he had to wait. Mason answered as long as it took for the prince to prepare, but it should be no longer than one hour.
Jack was lamenting about the prospect of waiting for one hour without anything to do. But luckily, after around ten minutes of waiting in that foyer, the door to the prince's bedroom opened. Jack saw Prince Alonzo wearing a lavish robe which was not his usual fashion. Jack imagined that should be the royal robe for Themisphere King.
"Mister Storm Wind, I'm very glad that you can make it," Prince Alonzo said.
"My pleasure, Your Highness," Jack replied.
"Ahem!" Mason coughed. "Your Majesty, this is a rehearsal, please treat it as a real ceremony. Please refrain from doing casual remarks. Do not engage in unnecessary conversation during the ceremony. And Mister Storm Wind, please get used to calling him Your Majesty from now on instead of Your Highness."
"Oh, sorry. Duly noted," Jack apologized.
"I'm sorry, royal advisor. Please proceed," Prince Alonzo also said.
Mason then explained to them what should be done once Alonzo opened the door of his bed chamber and revealed himself. Jack was to walk at Alonzo's left while Emris would take the lead and Meryl on the prince's right. Jack was then to shout a command for the guards outside to open the door to this foyer.
Afterward, they would walk in the same formation with the prince following from behind, flanked by the same two guards who watched over the prince's bed-chamber. They would walk along the path marked by the red carpet until arriving at the throne room. Mason had left ahead because his position was to wait with the others in the throne room.
Once the prince showed himself, Mason announced the prince's arrival from beside the throne. The prince then walked towards the throne escorted by Jack and the others. Once the prince arrived before the throne, he would then kneel before the head priest who stood in between him and the throne, which in this rehearsal was represented by another person. The head priest was apparently a big shot from the church of Creation and would only present himself during the actual ceremony.
After escorting the prince to the throne, Jack and the others then moved to the side and took the positions which had been mentioned before. There, they would wait until their turn to swear allegiance.
The rehearsal went on as how Mason had explained. The head priest uttered a prayer and afterward, his position was taken over by Mason who read the still kneeling prince his kingly vows. Mason then gave the regalia in form of a sword and a scepter. Alonzo accepted them.
He stood up and slung the sword to his waist and held the scepter. Mason moved to the side to clear the path to the throne. Alonzo then walked forward and took his seat on the throne. Mason then took the crown which had been prepared beside the throne and put it on Alonzo's head, completing the crowning process.
The subjects in the room would then start to swear their allegiance while Alonzo sat listening from his throne. Jack didn't have a problem memorizing his lines due to his high intelligence stat. He uttered them fluently when it was his turn.
After a long process, Mason announced the start of the feast. Of course, there was no feast since this was just a rehearsal. Alonzo walked to the side of the throne room which brought him to the royal balcony. Jack was instructed to follow as his escort the same way he had escorted the prince from his chamber.
There, the prince would show himself to the crowd with Jack, Emris, and Meryl standing at the side. After it was finished, the prince would then be escorted to his new chamber, the king's chamber. Jack wondered if he would finally see the current Themisphere's King, King Themos. He was expecting to see the ailing king on the royal bed when he entered the king's chamber with Alonzo. But apparently, Mason informed them that the rehearsal stopped after they arrived in front of the king's chamber.
Mason and Alonzo thanked everyone that had participated. Mason also pointed out what went wrong and what needed to be improved from the rehearsal. In Jack's case, Mason told him that his pace of walking during the escort was a little inconsistent. That he should keep the same speed, not too fast and not too slow. Mason also pointed out to Jack that his voice was not loud enough when he swore his allegiance.
Mason said he didn't immediately point out the mistake during rehearsal as today was just an introduction. Starting tomorrow, he would address the mistake on the spot and have Jack repeat the process until it was done right. So, he expected Jack to continue showing up for tomorrow and the following days until the coronation was over. He was especially demanding of Jack's presence during the rehearsals and even threatened Jack with penalties if he missed even one day.
'Dude, is that necessary?' Jack uttered in his mind. But perhaps outworlders were indeed unreliable when it came to such routine formality. Jack himself had thought of ditching all these many times during today's rehearsal. But he assured both Mason and Alonzo that he promised to show up every day.