Every system has stupid rules. If you put a system together two centuries ago, with rules that make sense for the time period, they will not evolve to fit a new culture without quite a lot of revisions and help. This is, unfortunately, not something everyone's willing to do. Because of this, often there will end up being stupid rules attached to governments of countries and empires.
But, by far, requiring marriage to ascend the throne is the most idiotic rule Edarial has ever heard of. It's certainly a good idea for producing heirs, but actually requiring it beforehand is idiotic. Being married, in itself, does absolutely nothing to help with ruling a country. Nothing at all. Edarial's still stewing in just how stupid the rule is when his brother barges into his room, all barely repressed anger and outrage.
Edarial eyes him, worried. "Please tell me they didn't-" he begins.
"Skip it," orders Zevros, pacing the room.
"Okay," he agrees, remaining seated and watching his twin pace. It doesn't take very long for Zevros to break the silence.
"I think," says Zevros, "that we should grab as many royal jewels as we can carry, flee the country, and go live on an island paradise drinking fruity drinks on a beach for the rest of our lives."
"I'm mentioning it again because this is - fucking terrible!" declares his brother, angry.
"It's a little unfair to tell me to skip something but then base a conversation on what the something was," points out Edarial. "One or the other, please."
"Right. It was the obvious thing," sighs Zevros.
"Of course it was," says Edarial, in the same tone. "Fuck. Because you're firstborn?"
"Because they're dipshits."
"That, too." Pause. "Who'd they pick? Some idiotic countess or -"
"Does it matter?" growls Zevros. "You know exactly how much I don't want to marry a woman. Ever."
"Yes," sighs Edarial. "I know." He is fully aware of his twin's very strict preference for men. Edarial respects it just fine, it's the rest of the court that doesn't.
"So, we ditch, think you can hex things to help us break out? Or get to the treasury, or the map room, so we can get a good route..." says Zevros, laying out various useful places for two princes to get materials to flee the country.
Personally, Edarial doesn't think that fleeing is the best option. They're the only two heirs, their mother's dead and the former king is acting as a regent until they 'come of age' by marrying. The list of people next in the line is contested and hard to prove, once it's out of the royal family proper. Edarial's almost certain that it would result in a civil war, if the two of them just happened to disappear. Not to mention the absolute mess their mother's left of Marlatia, the country's a tinder-box waiting for a spark. It's got so many problems, but the core - the bureaucracy, the system - valuable infrastructure that could be redirected and used. It just needs someone to fix them.
Edarial would work to fix them, if he were king. The stupid rule, the mess of a country, the famine in the south - and a thousand others. He's got ideas, he's got plans, he's even managed to get a few of them implemented without too much fuss, but there's only so much a crown prince can do. The choice is as obvious as it is distasteful. Edarial's been thinking about it quite a lot, realizing with growing horror that there's really only one thing he can do.
"Zev. I... Can just marry someone," he says, softly, interrupting his brother's planning. "Become king, cut you loose, fix things and get rid of the stupid, stupid marriage rule."
Zevros stares at him. "Did you find someone you wanted to get hitched with when I wasn't looking?"
"Then why are you offering? Not an option, you don't want to so we won't -"
"Because," says Edarial, pained, "I can't just - leave a country to get torn apart by civil war!"
"Daisy, c'mon, if the country falls apart because two people don't want to get married, then it's kind of a stupid country anyway. Kind of has it coming."
"Not the people that live in it," argues Edarial.
"That's their problem, this is ours - you're - you're shaking just talking about it, we both know you're not the cold political marriage type."
Edarial glances at his hand. As promised, it's shaking - he tries to hold it still, but can't manage it. He clenches his fist and says, "I'm not. But I can do it anyway."
"Please," begs Zevros, looking pained. "I don't want to watch you do that to yourself -"
"I'll be fine."
"You're such a terrible fucking liar."
"I know," laughs Edarial, but it sounds something like a sob.