14 April 1579
Who am I? Why am I here? I no longer know… :
I don’t know how long I sat there before one of the guards finally came to get me.
“On your feet,” the guard said gruffly. Judging by his uniform, and the rest of the guard’s uniforms I had seen, I was being held in the palace. Why I was here, I had no idea.
The guard was a big man, with arms about as big around as my legs. He had a thick mustache that wiggled every time he talked. Grabbing my arm, he began leading me somewhere. His boots clicking on the tiles was the only sound along the way. After a few minutes, we stopped at two huge wooden doors. The guard knocked three times on the door, and I heard a faint, “Come!” from inside. He pushed me through the doors ahead of him, and forced me down on my knees.
“Stand up,” the King said. “No need to bow.” I had known I was in the palace, and I had guessed the guard had been taking me to see the King, but what I hadn’t counted on was seeing the man who killed the commander. He was standing stiffly next to the King’s chair.
“Hello Markus,” the King said. Markus?
“My name is Sebastian de Aguilar,” I said lifting my chin. Maybe they had the wrong man, and I would be free to go.
“Hmm, but it’s not,” the King said standing up. I stiffened. What was his problem? I think I know my own name. “Your name is Markus Arevalo.” Arevalo… but that would mean… I stumbled back a few steps, trying not to believe what the King had just said. “That’s right,” he said seeing the recognition in my eyes. “You are my son.”
“The only father I had was Mateo,” I spat. “You will pay for what you did to him!” Was this a joke?
“Ah, but you are wrong again,” the King said taking a step towards me.
“No!” I practically shouted. So much for keeping calm.
“Then how do you explain that?” the King flung a hand behind himself, pointing to a portrait hanging on the wall behind the chair he had just vacated. I hadn’t noticed it before. I had been too busy focusing on the King. There were three people in the painting: a younger looking version of the King, a child version of Mateo’s killer, and a child version of me. “Mateo was no friend of yours. He kidnapped you when you were five, and shaped you into his mold. You are Markus Arevalo, and you are next in line for the throne.” Surely he was lying. Mateo wouldn’t do something like that, and besides I was an orphan. Mateo took me in and gave me a home when I had none.
“I am not your son, and I have no intention of being King,” I said hoarsely. My throat felt dry as dust.
“I told you he wasn’t fit to be King,” the man who killed Mateo sneered.
“Quiet Jose!” the King snapped. “However, I fear you are right. He is not ready.” Turning to the guard who had gone to stand over in the corner he said, “Take him back. We’ll keep him there until he is ready.”
The guard grabbed my arm and led me back to the cell. I could wait, though. Mateo himself had said I had the patience of a God; and the first chance I got, I was going to avenge his death.