So, this is from four different points of view, right? This chapter is in Krys's. Don't forget to review, and I hope you like it, somewhat.


Chapter One: Krys

My deep laughter resounded throughout the empty halls as I walked, smirking to myself in satisfaction. I had just managed to persuade the cooks to leave for the night and gather whatever food left in the fridge. And evil tactic, perhaps, in making my brothers somewhat cranky, but that was all part of the plan, wasn't it?

I had already eaten—it didn't bother me; and I had a stash of preservable food in my room anyway—but, though such a trivial matter may make absolutely no impact on my life, it may just raise my chances to win over the crown. I could feel as a glare settled on my back and I chuckled one last time before finally halting and turning towards my hot-tempered brother.

"Dalek," I said, trying to mask the smirk with a smile. I was unsuccessful. "I see you've caught up with me. Coming along to Gail's room?" He just glared harder and I sighed. "What irks you?" I asked innocently.

His face twitched, much to my amusement, and his glare seemed to intensify—if that was even possible—but it bothered me not. I was used to him after spending all sixteen years of my life with him.

"What do you think is annoying me?" he snarled, spit hitting my face. With a slight look of disgust, I wiped it away. There could be tons of things annoying him—after all, only just before our return to the castle, we had a run in with a rather opinionated girl—but I'd assume that he was most likely hungry, and having discovered that there was no food, stormed his way over to me.

Before I had the chance to reply, though, he interrupted, as he so often does when conversing with others. His face became a shade of red as the blood broiled, and I could hear his stomach growl. "Everything," he hissed. "Mostly you, though. How could you have let the cooks leave today? I'm starving and there's nothing—to—eat!" He had pushed his way up to my face as he spoke, but he leaned back again, balancing on the heels of his boots with his arms crossed over his chest.

I shrugged. "You should have eaten before, Dalek. You'll have to wait for tonight; I'm sure there will be something you like at the party."

He growled, sounding very much like an animal. "You didn't answer my question, and you knew I hadn't eaten beforehand, Krys."

Sighing, I said, "Well, the chefs should have a break, shouldn't they? I thought they deserved some time off. Maybe to mourn our father's death. I think that one girl was his personal chef—his favorite; she must feel much sorrow for him."

Dalek's face darkened at the innocent implications I had not-so-innocently included. He made no comment about it though, and changed topics quickly. "You have no power to send the cooks home, Krys. I reserve that right for now."

I raised my eyebrow. "You're saying that I retain absolutely no control over any person employed within this shared castle? I believe you're wrong about that, Dalek. I have just as much authority to scatter the servants as you do."

He huffed, glancing away yet knowing he was beat. It's impossible to beat me in this type of game, especially being one like Dalek. He wasn't finished speaking though, and said, "You'd be better off if you at least tried to not irritate me. I've already been in a bad mood since earlier."

"You're always in a bad mood," I pointed out. It was true though. Never had Dalek come down for breakfast, lunch, or dinner without looking horribly annoyed with one of us.

"Shut up!" he snarled. "I'm just so done with you, Krys!" He threw his hands into the air, expressing his anger, but I noticed he looked quite monkey-like right then and a smile returned to my face. He narrowed his eyes at me.

"I don't know why you're smiling, Krys," he barked, his voice cracking in exasperation. "I see nothing funny about this situation! I've nothing to eat before I attend a stupid party that could decide our whole future, and that girl! She's infuriated me enough for the rest of the day! How am I supposed to attend a party like this?" he asked, lowering his voice to a growl.

I couldn't take him seriously for two reasons. One, I'd been threatened by him for so long that the threats no longer had any effect on me; and two, during his tirade, his nicely-groomed and styled hair had fallen into his face over his left eye and he tried to blow at it in attempt to remove it. It simply fell back into place, and I began to laugh again, ignoring the glare he shot me.

"Shut up!" he shouted, his eye twitching in annoyance. Murmuring to himself quietly, he stomped off, having given up on talking to me, heading towards Gail's room, probably to warn him of my forthcoming.

He acted so much like a child sometimes; it made me laugh to think he aspired to become king. It reminded me faintly of a child's dream to take over the world. With his angry temperament, I doubted he could accomplish anything without flying into a rage. To get so angry over that girl's comments too… It just showed how little self-control he had.

I, of course, thought that the girl had spoken out-of-line, yes. But I could at least take some criticism; it wasn't as if she really knew us anyway—she spoke without evidence. Though it had certainly brought her to my attention. Someone who decided that they would express their opinions quite openly was an object of interest to me, especially since no one had yet dared to speak out against the king. Nor his sons.

That is, until today.

Poor Dalek, having been insulted so harshly. Though I must say, perhaps she was somewhat accurate; Dalek did have quite a hot-temper. When it came to running a kingdom I wouldn't be one to nominate my delightfully irascible older brother. Of course, especially not when I could have the throne.

And that started tonight, when we were to be at a rather…important party.

I sighed and started walking through the halls, towards my brother Gail's bedroom.

In a few hours, an aristocrat of the kingdom would be holding a celebration of sorts for our father's passing. Let him rest in peace—once the ruler of the kingdom was decided. That would, most likely, be me. Though tonight would be the starting point for our challenge to prove just who has the right—and potential—to the crown. Not that it was a very large challenge—though I'm sure to Dalek it will be absolutely horrible. The day after this party is when our test officially starts.

From then on, we would be under constant surveillance; and, when they've gathered enough information—personality and manner-wise, I'd assume—the decision for who will be made king is announced. All the details of the surveillance were quite vague to me; just who would be deciding who has the right to the throne?

Hopefully, they had enough sense to see just who was worthy of such an honor.

Not that both Gail and Dalek wouldn't try—they would both be on their best behaviors possible. Especially tonight, which was a rather vital part in the race to win the crown. It wasn't just a party celebrating our dear father's death, but rather a public event—to the nobles or somewhat rich, at least—that was based mostly on first impressions.

Dalek didn't stand a chance at such a party; he hated social events and was completely and utterly lost in conversation. It was quite funny, actually, to see him awkwardly try to interact with others. Gail, on the other hand, was rather smooth with people, and, as much as I hate to admit, he was somewhat more comfortable in social events, than I; though his chatter is usually quite pointless and rather silly.

I laughed again, and the sound rebounded around the empty halls, which wasn't a very big surprise.

Most of the time, the halls didn't have many people in them to begin with, but never have I seen a single soul—besides myself and Dalek's—pass through this way. It was quite odd, by my terms.

Gail's door was already half-open, probably from Dalek storming through and forgetting to shut it. Shaking my head in disapproval, I slipped into the room, promptly closing the door behind me. I slipped into the room. Sitting on the bed was Gail, one knee pulled up to his chest as he smiled complacently. Dalek sat in an armchair, arms crossed and leaning back, as he muttered to himself. The two had both been watching the door, waiting for my arrival.

"Ah, Krys," Gail greeted, "I heard you were coming."

"Of course, Gail," I said, nodding my brother's way. "Anyway, how are your preparations going? Are you ready to depart soon?"

Dalek looked at me in disgust, but Gail tipped his head back slightly, as if in thought—though I doubt he was. Turning his head to face me, he responded airily, "I think so, at least, I've got everything together." He motioned to a carelessly made pile of clothing near the foot of his bed. I blinked, staring at him and his calm manner as a smile made its way to his face.

"'I think so' is a rather vague answer, Gail," I said. "And your perception of 'ready' doesn't seem fit with mine either. Straighten your clothes out."

"Nobody's perception of anything fits with yours," Dalek snorted. I chose to ignore him, rather turning my attention to Gail.

He made a childlike face at me before starting to lay the material out flat on the bed, managing to carefully avoid it as he resumed his lax position. "You know," he said, raising his eyebrow, "I am older than you and I have the power to boss you around. More so than you me. Plus, you sound as if you're our mother."

I almost laughed at the comment—having seen Dalek's scowl, that is—but responded instead with nothing but a subtle roll of the eyes.

"He's nothing like our mother," spat Dalek. "He's just so arrogant, always acting as if he's on top. You should really act your age, Krys," he snarled, resembling a rabid dog. "You're the youngest, are you not? It's not as if you're better than us."

I regarded him with a cold, unsympathetic stare, not bothering to voice the thought that lingered in my mind. I am better than you. You just can't acknowledge that.

And those two didn't exactly act their ages either; always fooling around childishly.

Gail tilted his head, a mock sympathetic frown on his face. "Aw, let's not bully our little brother," he said cheerfully. "He doesn't appreciate it, and, as you know, it's only his opinion that counts." A ridiculously juvenile grin spread across his face, unmatching the horribly sardonic tone he had used. Despite my calm, I felt the need to slap his smile straight off his face. I turned my attention elsewhere instead.

Dalek was laughing, his scowl having completely melted from his face at my expense. Swiftly, I walked over to the bed, and threw a pillow at Dalek, hitting him square in the face. "Very funny," I said flatly, crossing my arms.

He tossed the pillow to the floor. "Isn't it?" he cackled.

"Don't worry little brother—" The tone in which Gail addressed me was condescending, and I shifted my glare back to him. "—we're just joking." The bright smile remained on his face as he patted my head, making me feel as if I were only a pet in this ridiculous game. Brushing his hand from my head and ducking away from him, I stepped to the opposite wall, near the doors.

"I don't really care about your ridiculous teasing," I said, trying for a disinterested tone as I tugged at the collar of my shirt.

"Aw, look at that, Dalek, he's trying to play the brave boy," Gail said, speaking as if talking about an infant.

Dalek snorted, much like a pig. He always seems to resemble some sort of animal when conversing. "He just can't take a joke, is all. He's so uptight and superior anyway."

"Well, I don't think joking around is going to get you very far in this race," I snapped. "And I don't wish to spend a minute here longer than necessary. I was just wondering if either of you were prepared for the night. It's important. You'd know that if you had been paying attention rather than joking around.

"We already know that," Dalek muttered. His voice rose as he continued on. "It's not only a stupid party we're attending; it's a day of first impressions for this stupid committee or whoever is watching us daily! And this innocent-looking-to-the-public party could decide who exactly gets the throne! Stupid father," he said, scorn in his eyes. "Why couldn't he just make this a normal inheritance? The oldest gets the throne!" He kicked violently at the pillow on the ground until it was sent flying towards the left of the bed, hitting a painting on the wall. Gail steadied it before shooting a disapproving look his way.

"Because you deserve the throne so much, Dalek," he said, nodding in mock sympathy. Dalek growled in response.

He could be such a kid. I raised my eyebrow in mock surprise. "Oh, you're right," I said, phrasing it as if I had come to a realization. "I'd forgotten! You are the oldest. It's hard to remember when you act like a child all the time."

He was always complaining about things that wouldn't happen—such as him receiving the rights to the throne. How typical; he believed that the oldest deserved it even when he'd done absolutely nothing to earn the position of king. Ridiculous. It was obvious that out of these two fools, I would be chosen.

I rolled my eyes at the glare Dalek shot me, threatening my disembowelment for about the fifth time today, and decided to ignore the snickers from Gail. "You should shut your mouth, kid," he growled.

Before he could continue, I cut in. "Kid," I asked, eyebrow cocked. "I believe you're only three years older than me; though I believe that the margin may as well be your age."

His eye twitched, and I barked a short laugh at him. "I've had a bad enough day," he snarled, though I felt undaunted by it. "I don't need murder charges for a first impression."

"Really? You don't? How disappointing; I think it's perfect for you. It fits excellently, that title. 'Dalek—eldest Vauz; prince of Cerevian; murderer; child; wannabe king.'" I smiled smugly, finding the name quite appropriate.

He glared and growled at me simultaneously, a feat I never would have thought possible for his dim mind. Then again, when you're on the bottom, all you can do is improve. Until you fall down again.

When I didn't budge, Dalek turned his glare to Gail, who had begun to burst into fit of laughter and rolled onto his back, wrinkling the clothes laid out. I frowned at the sight, but Dalek reacted first.

"Gail!" he shouted, eye twitching. It made me chuckle slightly, but I went unnoticed as Gail sat up, one hand clutching at his stomach while the other covered his mouth, trying to stifle the laughter that would inevitably bring about his death.

"Yes?" he hiccupped after a minute, still snickering quietly.

"Shut up."

"Right."

"And straighten your clothes. Again," I added, shooting him a look. Dalek scoffed at me. It was obvious he didn't know just how important it was for them to be looking nice. I was simply trying to help them—it wasn't like they even had a chance to win anyway. I may as well appear nice.

Gail snickered again; "Yes, boss."

My look converted into a rather annoyed glare as he hummed an innocent tune. From the corner of my eye, I saw Dalek smirking.

"We're not getting anywhere," I finally sighed after a few minutes of nothing but Gail's annoying and tuneless humming. "Dalek," I said sharply. "Make sure your things are ready. We've wasted enough time."

"How do you know I don't already have all my things out?" he asked, an accusatory tone in his voice. "And what about you? You couldn't possibly have had enough time to pick out your clothes. You've got the decisiveness of a girl!" Gail stopped humming again, having become occupied with the task of trying to stifle his laughter again. He was amused by such idiotic things.

My face twitched, though. I stayed calm; but I felt an urge to hit him quite hard. The comment wasn't all that bothersome; just annoying.

"Aw, you hurt his pride," Gail said, snickering.

Ignoring the comment, I coughed, "You obviously don't. After today's events, you were probably storming through the castle, angrily kicking things, and muttering about every little thing that annoyed you—which is everything. But I'm you're your focus was mostly the girl." He opened his mouth to speak, but I cut him off, answering his last question. "And I've had my clothes choice picked out from last night, figuring I wouldn't want to spend too much time on it today from our tiring arrival. It's not very bad to be prepared for once."

I sighed and rolled my eyes, exasperated by his ignorance towards keeping things orderly and also because our arrival was rather tiring. A slight smirk made its way to my face though, as I recalled the memory. Earlier, we had arrived back home after a trip to the east, where we had been stuck visiting some rather annoying allied kingdoms. There was a huge show of our return as we returned to our castle, though, and there were huge crowds as we passed through the towns, poor or not.

From a glance, I could see Dalek was recalling the memory as well, a look of disgust on his face. He hadn't enjoyed our arrival just as much as he had hoped originally, though I found it rather amusing. Any day someone of the lower class insults Dalek turns out to be an interesting one.

"What?" Gail asked incredulously, breaking the silence. "Are you mourning over that insult again, Dalek?"

His gaze shot up to Gail again, scowling. "Why shouldn't I? Did you even hear what she said about you?"

"No, I wasn't listening."

How classic, not that I would expect any more of him than that. "That was because you were busy winking at the crowd of girls," I said. He shrugged and motioned at Dalek to talk, who scowled again before talking.

"'That prince Gail is such an erratic flirt,'" Dalek started, mocking a girl's voice. "'How is he supposed to take charge of Cerevian? Be our king? He'd a have a harem before dealing with our needs.'" Dalek huffed, annoyed, but I couldn't help but see the truth in her words. Gail was a rather unreliable person, what with his random impulses and constant flirting.

"You don't just insult us like that, the imbecile!"

"You know, 'the imbecile' has a name," I said, raising an eyebrow. Dalek just shot me a glare.

"Ah, whatever," Gail said, brushing the comment off and shrugging. He smiled. "I bet the girl is just so charmed by myself that she's saying that to keep me from the 'untouchable king' status." He shrugged, still smiling, and I was unable to tell whether he was joking or not.

Dalek shook his head, disgusted, and I just placed my hand on my forehead, ready to be done with this conversation.

"You're being ridiculous," Dalek sighed. "This girl was blabbing about it to some old lady near her, and she said it so loudly, anyway. It was obvious she disliked us with a passion."

I coughed, but an entertained smirk found its way to my face. "She didn't say it that loudly, Dalek. It was barely audible above the crowd."

"It's because she was trying to yell at the old lady so she would hear it! And it was loud." I just shook my head.

"I hope you won't be acting like this tomorrow," I said, changing topics abruptly. Or maybe I did. It would, of course, give me a lead in the challenge if they were acting inappropriately. I don't believe I'm going to need a lead, though, as, from the three of us, I had the best chances of winning—despite being the youngest.

"I won't be," Dalek muttered, glaring at me from the corner of his eyes. "I'll be winning over the crown."

"Ah, the dreams of the young," Gail sighed, smiling. I had almost forgotten he was there until he sighed, and I glanced over at him quickly.

"I'm still older than you!"

"You still don't act like it," I helped. "Now go! Get your things ready! Do you know how much time we've spent here doing nothing?"

"Nothing but showing you just who here is the most mature of us all," Gail said chirpily.

Dalek stormed from the room with one last glare, his hair still falling into his face, ruining whatever effect there was supposed to be. I turned to Gail, raising an eyebrow as his last statement. "If you're speaking in reference to yourself…," I trailed off, shaking my head.

Gail? Mature? Better than Dalek, yes, but I wouldn't believe it any day.

He just smiled wider before I exited the room. I caught his last words as I shut the door. "You guys will learn." I could hear the trademark smile in his voice, irking me further, but I dismissed the statement as I made for my room. It was of no matter to me; I had other things to do.

—End Chapter