Belgarion was yelling at Ce'Nedra and she was yelling right back - again. Brand supressed the urge to shake some sense into them - a deed he would have done long ago had they been anyone else but the king and queen of Riva. Brand could not rightfully blame Belgarion to be unforgiving, not after what Olban had told him in Thull Mardu. The boy had confessed having attempted to kill Belgarion, his attempt to hide that it had been he who did it, that Belgarion had discovered the matter anyway (he had powers to know what no man could possibly know, Olban had said) and then, just like that, Belgarion had forgiven Olban. Brand would never forget Olban's plea: "Please, father, Belgarion forgave me. Can't you find it in your heart to forgive me too?", as well as his own reply: "No, I cannot". Each time Brand a thought on how neither of those two was mature enough to just forgive and let go, Olban's confession came in the way to remind him that king Belgarion had forgiven a thing most people, Brand himself included, could not. Brand sighed. If Belgarion, after the matter with Olban, considered this matter as unforgivable, who was he to argue with him? So he just kept silent.

As much as it pained Brand to see Belgarion and Ce'Nedra so hurt, he had to accept the matter as Belgarion's decision - made, perhaps, due to things Brand did not know, things that no man but Belgarion could know. Brand did consider what to do about that matter between Belgarion and his wife, but he kept silent until one day he decided to bring it out, unable to bear it no longer..Brand did not need Belgarion's speech when revoking Queen Ce'Nedra's decree on how offended he was when things were done behind his back, nor death-bed words: "But he has powers, Father. He has ways of knowing things no man could possibly know" to know that it would not do to act behind Belgarion's back. So, he had only one option: Talk to Belgarion. So he went to see his young king. Trouble was to figure out how to say it.

"Sometime ago, you asked me how you were doing as king", Brand recalled, "Do you still wish to hear what I think of that, king Belgarion?"

"Yes. Now, what is it?" Belgarion asked.

"Well... two of your main duties you do well – better than I have, I might add," Brand said, "but it seems that the third duty - one that all kings share with their wives - you seem to have forgotten. You need an Heir, king Belgarion, and you obviously don't care of that".

"I think it's too early to worry about that" Belgarion said. "Belgarath was three or four thousand when his twin-daughters were born, and since I am a sorcecer too, as well as his grandson... I am only eighteen, Brand. No need to worry about that yet".

"Belgarion, you may be somewhat immune to old age and diseases, it still doesn't count out the fact that you might be asassinated or die by an accident".

"And just who would want to kill me?" Belgarion asked.

"Well... Olban did" Brand said, shifting his weight. "What if there are other attempts... You can't blame me for worrying." Then an idea presented itself in his mind. "Lady Polgara might be the better person than I to deal with this one. I shall send a letter to Polgara then. We'll see if the Lady Polgara can find a way to fix things between you two."

"In other words, unless I do things your way, you send for Polgara so she can make me, is that it?" Belgarion demanded of him in a hurt tone.

"Of course not," Brand assured him. "My loyalty lies with the Rivan line as always. I'm concerned that you do not have an heir as of yet, and act against having one."

"I told you I think the matter is pretty premature, Brand," Belgarion repeated. "I'm hardly eightteen and she's still seventeen. We have plenty of time. Besides, I don't think I'm ready to be a father just yet."

"Very well, but that is not the only reason why your marriage is a state matter," Brand said. "The joint throne you yourself declared might lead to civil war if you two keep quarrelling in public."

Belgarion was silent for a moment. "In Arendia it would." he finally admitted, but added: "This is Riva."

Brand blinked at that. "If I may ask, what protects Rivan throne?" he said, not at all convinced.

"Do you know of a Rivan who would choose to follow a Tolnedran over me?" Belgarion asked him with some amusement in his voice.

Brand bent his head. "She did make a good impression during the war, and some might follow her even against you."

"I have the Orb, and she doesn't, though." Belgarion said calmly. "What happened to your certainty of how we Rivans exist to serve the Orb?"

"Olban," Brand breathed, as if struck. "He told me of his attempted regicide".

"Oh, that little misunderstanding" Belgarion waved it off. "Did he also tell you I had a chat with him and... told him it never happened?"

"Yes," Brand said, "and that's where I'm lost, Belgarion. You wave off an attempt on your life as a misunderstanding, but..."

"Enough of that" Belgarion interrupted. "Now, tell me all about what Olban told you".

Brand's face went stiff. "I have not forgotten a word of it, my king" he said gravely and began to tell. He told all of what Olban had said and how he had reacted.

"You may have forgiven him, but I can't," Brand said finally, finishing the story that was still paining him.

"You know what, Brand?" Belgarion said conversationally. "I never really thought of myself as a king until he threw that dagger".

"Could we please drop this subject, Your Majesty?" Brand asked heavily.

"Just one more thing, Brand" Belgarion said. "It was about you and me. I believe that if ever a Rivan - like Olban - would choose another over me, the one they would choose would be you, Brand. You and certainly not my wife".

"I guess so." Brand said quietly, "I certainly hope none other than Olban has any - misunderstandings - about my loyalties".

Belgarion was silent, as if listening to a voice only he could hear. "You will not write to Polgara, Brand," Belgarion said firmly. "I forbid it."

Brand swallowed hard. This certainly had not gone as he would have thought of it. Disobeying Belgarion's command was out of the question, of course, and while he thought it would be best if Polgara came over and settled the matters between Belgarion and Ce'Nedra, he knew Belgarion had spoken the truth of how Rivans percieved matters.