>Why the wise old king is so wise
When I was walking through Brightvale, thinking of all sorts of things, I wondered how it came the Wise old king was so wise.
Could it be that he read all the books? Or maybe even more? I decided to ask him.
So I went to the castle, and noticed that he was out for breakfast. I asked to a guard when he would be back, but that would take an hour or so, he said.
I said that I didn’t want to wait that long, and he asked why I wanted to see him. “It’s about a question,” I responded, “but, ehm, do you know someone who knows the king really, really good?”
He gave me the name of his brother, but he didn’t know where I could find him. Oh well, it doesn’t matter, I’m not the dumbest here and I know how to find people.
When I left the castle, I immediately visited my brother, he might be not as wise as the Wise old king, but he knows a lot of people, though. He lives in the Haunted Woods, he says he get inspired by all the monsters. He writes poems about them. But, back to me, now. I saw my brother was really glad to see me, he didn’t see me in a long time, and suddenly I felt a little guilty, because the only reason I went to see him, was that I needed his help.
“What brings you here?” he asked, with a big smile on his face. I smiled back.
“Two reasons,” I said, “first reason is that we didn’t chat in a long time, and I missed you. Second reason,” I took a seat, “is that I need your help.”
“What is it about?” he asked.
“I’m looking for the brother of the Wise old king,” I said, “but I don’t know where to find him.”
My brother took a book from a shelf.
“Why do you need him?”
“Well, I wonder why the Wise old King is so wise. The king himself was out for breakfast, and the guard said I could ask his brother.”
That’s where my brother began to laugh and put the book away.
“Don’t you know that yourself? It’s the famous story!”
I didn’t understand. My question wasn’t that stupid, was it?
“Which story? I never heard the story.”
“Don’t you ever read books?”
I blushed. It’s true, I never read any book. Although I like comics or fun books, I don’t like history books or boring books. My brother saw me blushing and remembered I never read books.
“Well, then I’ll read the story to you.”
Pfew, fortunately I didn’t had to read it all by myself.
“Thank you very, very much,” I said, and I began to laugh myself.
“Once upon a time,” my brother began to read, “there was a very old king. He wasn’t very smart, and his time was come to leave this world. His wife has died a few years ago, the only relative was his 14 years old son. He felt his time has come, and he called his son.
“Son,” he spoke, “my time has come to leave this world. That means that you will become king. My wish is that you won’t do it just like me, the people like me, but I’m not as wise as they think I am. I hope you will do one thing for me.” His son agreed. “You will become the most wise king ever. You have to read all the books in the library, and even more in other worlds. It will take a while, and if you were a normal human you couldn’t do it in your whole life. It will take too long. So I asked the great Illusen if she want to help you.” Illusen came from behind a curtain, she bow for the king and sat on the floor.
“Listen,” she said, “I can help you to become the most wise king ever. I will give you a drink, if you drink it you will be able to read a hundred times faster. I think that would be helpful.”
She gave him the drink and disappeared.
Two weeks later the prince had read all the books in Brightvale, and in one month he knew all the books in the whole world by heart. He was the wisest man all over the world, and just in time, because the king died the next day. After all the formalities the prince became king.
No one knows his old name nowadays, we just call him the Wise old King. He will probably also be the last king of Brightvale, because the civilians love him and Illusen made him immortal. That’s the story of the Wise old King.”
My brother was silent for a long time. I was silent too.
“Well,” I said, just to break the silence, “thanks.”
“I should go, I think.”
No response. I stood up and walked out the door, back to Brightvale. I went to the Wise old King, who finished breakfast, and told him some wisdom. For the first time in history, he didn’t already knew it. – Marieke