Auguste was the former heir to the throne of Vere and Laurent's older brother. Six years prior, he was killed by Damen in a single combat, alongside his father; their deaths ended the war between Akielos and Vere. It was discovered that Laurent idolized him.
Thorough the Books, Laurent is constantly compared to his brother Auguste, as though still living in his shadow. The Regent especially uses their differences, which are largely caused by the unfortunate events Laurent had to live through by his own uncle's hand, to discredit his nephew. Where Auguste was a brave, galvanizing leader who excelled at swordsmanship, the Regent paints Laurent to be a spineless, spoiled young prince wasting his skills, and using his looks and treacherous words to get his way. Although most of it is untrue, as Laurent hardly sleep with anyone or enjoys the lustful distractions of the court and excels at swordsmanship, his own men notes their differences.
Damen, who has fought and won against Auguste at Marlas, also frequently compares the two at Laurent's expense. To him, Laurent and his plots, sheltered life and petulant temper are no contender to the exemplary prince that was Auguste, he even wonder how such a petty man might share the same blood as Auguste and the peace loving Regent.
In the Prince's Gambit, Jord tells Damen Laurent is not as good as his brother with the sword, but also notes that one only needs to be half as good as Auguste to be better than everyone else. Hearing this, Damen compares Laurent's quicksilver, his wits and grace in swordfighting to Auguste's gold, discounting the idea that his skills might be purely inherited.