I was seething. Absolutely infuriated. The kind of angry where one could rip apart an entire room, but I knew I shouldn’t do that. More importantly, I couldn’t. Being Queen had its pros, but the list of cons was slowly getting longer as the Revolution became more and more violent.
So, I had to keep my face as blank as possible and give nothing of what I was truly thinking away to the peevish and perverted Council of the Realm that were currently occupying one of my castle’s meeting rooms.
All the members were leaders and dignitaries from close planets, and sadly, only a handful, including myself, were female – even fewer were close to my young age. “She’s just a girl, nothing like the goddess they all proclaim,” I heard them whisper, as they leered and openly ogled. “She and her silly kingdom will fall,” was something of a common phrase when it came to these summits.
Over half in attendance were under the control of the Reign, an uprising of horrendous, monopolist creatures from one of the farthest galaxies. When my kingdom was just starting to make a name for itself and recovering from its civil wars, the Reign was nothing but a bedtime story to most planets. Within the past couple of years, the Reign’s reach was leeching any good left within the galaxies.
As a new queen of an even newer kingdom, I was brought into the folds of the Council only to find that the Reign had already started to turn planets against each other. Thankfully, not every civilization cowed so quickly, thus the Underground was born; a counter group comprised of everyone who actually gave a damn about the Universe’s well-being.
Currently, that was what the Council was talking, rather screaming, about. Shifting my gaze to the left, I saw the oversized and over-jeweled male from Crouturn waving his hands about as all three of his eyes glared at me. Spit spewing from his green mouth, the man smugly proclaimed that I was working against the interest of the Realm due to my “interactions with those rebellious heathens,” that I shared company with.
The man clearly forgot that the only way I had earned my crown was being one of the so-called rebellious heathens when my planet was at war. Suppressing a sigh and the urge to punch my painted fist into one of his eyes, I calmly replied that my planet was not aligned with the Underground, just as his was not with the Reign.
Giving him a pointed look, he suddenly stopped talking as two of his eyes grew wide, while the center one glared at me; an uncomfortable silence grew within the room as the people shifted in their seats and looked anywhere except at anyone else. Crouturn was known as one the more willing partners of the Reign, just no one wanted to really say anything about it.
I won’t be able to punch him, but I will be able to make him choke on his own words, I said to myself.
Before he could come back with what I would assume was something he thought was clever, one of my guards stepped out of line, and walked over to me. One of my most trusted companions, and the captain of my personal guard, came forward, and I looked at his armor.
On the front was a symbol of hope to my people, and a pair of shackles to me; a golden circle with a long sword and a battle axe crossed in the middle. They were my trusted weapons that had both started and finished the civil war and lead me to the golden crown on my head. They never left my side.
As Aleri bent down to whisper in my ear, I sincerely hoped that it was some sort of excuse to get the Council out of my castle; after three long and grueling days, I was so close to running at least six of the Council members through with one of my weapons.
“You have a guest, my Queen,” Aleri whispered. “He’s waiting for you in your solar.” And with a small smirk and a quirk of a painted brow, Aleri stood back in place, waiting for a command. Repressing the urge to jump from chair, hike up the skirts of the silken peach and gold dress, and run directly to my solar, I calmly stood up and looked down at my fellow leaders.
Tilting my face into the dying sunlight, I allowed them to see the scars that marred my tanned face, especially the one running through a brow, cutting across a golden eye, and down to below my jaw.
These blubbering fools have never stepped foot in a war, so let them see what one looks like.
Calling an end to the meeting, I waited until the last of them left before allowing my shoulders to sag and to race towards the archway that would lead to my private wing of the castle.
Aleri fell into step behind me, just as the three others did; the personal guard was more for show than anything, but it was nice to know that the people who fought beside me to win the War of the Lands, would fight beside me in the war to come. And if he was here, that meant we were one step closer to finally getting the upper hand.