Part 1: Prologue
King Stefan had been confined to his bed for months.
In vain physicians from around the kingdom and surrounding lands had been called by the Crown Prince Franz to cure his ailing father. None were able to restore the good king’s health. Day after day, Prince Franz diligently performed his duties of acting head of state, with the assistance of his father’s top advisor and most trusted servant, John. Each evening, the prince and John visited the ailing king to hold his hands and spend his precious remaining time together. One evening, while Prince Franz was still attending to the duties of the kingdom, the king asked John for his final wish.
“My beloved John”, King Stefan said, holding his companion’s hand. “I know I do not have much time left.” John squeezed his hand in reply, holding it to his lips.
“My Faithful John, promise me you will continue to watch over our boy. Promise me you will continue to love and care for him, as you always have.”
John blinked heavily, but tears still slide from the corners of his eyes at the inevitable truth.
“Yes, Stefan. Always. I am your faithful John. I will love our boy, just as we have always done.”
It was not long after that night that King Stefan passed, holding the hands of his Faithful John, and his son.
“John, what will I do without him? How can I be half the king, the father, the man he was?” The newly Coronated King Franz asked, head bowed under the weight of the crown.
“Franz, my boy, you are not alone.” John lifted the young king’s head as tenderly as a mother. “I am always your Faithful John”