Pelith sat on a soft plush bench to wait for her mother for the second time that day. Looking out the window at the end of the hall, she could see the sun was just barely visible. The past half hour had gone by in such a blur that it felt like jumping on the back of a wild deer in an attempt to kill it felt like eons ago. Definitely not that morning. Yet, right before her eyes, folded in her lap, was her freshly bandaged wound.
Calioniel burst from her room suddenly, disturbing the silence. She looked relieved to see pelith waiting for her, but quickly began to pull her with her to the stairs. “Quickly now, we’re already late. When we get there, I don’t want you asking questions. If you feel faint, let me know and we will find you a seat. But, no matter what happens, you are NOT to make a seen. Am I understood?”
They were at the foot of the stairs and heading towards the entryway. “Yes, Mama, but what going on?” Pelith knew she sounded like a child whining like that, but she just had to know what was happening.
“I said no questions!” A sharp, worried voice. They were at the front door and finally paused. “Now. Put on a smile,” and Calioniel forced a smile on her own face, though Pelith could still see anxiety in her eyes. They stepped through the door.
People. Many, many people were out there. Not hundreds, but somewhere from fifty to eighty people were in front of their house. Horen stood in front of them, next to a man who Pelith recognized to be her distant cousin, Niolas, who was heir to the throne of Qigondra. Calioniel led Pelith over and they stood beside Horen, and looked out to the crowd. Pelith was so confused, but she kept her smile like she was told.
Niolas began to speak. “This evening, developers and founders of towns Moredian have gather together and recognize Horen Gowyr as a great and worthy leader and founder, and not just for this section of our new country, but for all of Moredian. As previously stated, our country is new and still forming. We are in need of a leader, a king. The best choice is, by far, Horen, as agreed on by the representatives shown here,” Niolas waved his hand out to the crowd in front of them. Pelith listened, but she wasn't sure she could hear. It didn't make sense, didn't sound reasonable. She was seeing thing, hearing nothing more than her imagination. Was she hallucinating? She forgot to smile and just stared ahead blankly, looking at nothing at all.
”And as allies and friends of Moredian, I, Niolas Afeliri, heir to the thrown of Qigondra, agreed to come and anoint him as the new king. In addition to accepting this seat of power, Qigondra presents a gift to you of fifty guards, and will always be willing to share more with you when needed. Also, we will fund construction for the needed buildings for your rulings. Are there any objections?” Niolas spoke to all of the gathered people. Pelith tried to whimper a protestation, but was so shocked, she couldn't hardly breathe, let alone make any noise.
“Then I, Niolas Afeliri, Heir to the throne of Qigondra, present to you, the representatives of the people of Moridian, your new king, Horen Gowyr!” Niolas was handed a bottle of oil and poured it over Horen’s head, who was kneeling in front of him. When Niolas was handed a crown-which had probably been made in Moredian as another gift-Pelith broke. She couldn't watch that. Couldn't see her father that way, with thick, shiny fragranced oil dripping from his hair and a new golden crown on his head. She couldn't possibly accept this as her new life. Her entire body felt like lead, but somehow she lifted a foot, set it down behind her, and did so with the other foot. She continued this and got faster and faster, and her body lighter and lighter, until she was able to run. She couldn't feel the cool air around her, couldn't see the torches in the stable that she was nearing, and couldn't hear the shouts of her Mother and Niolas behind her or of those who hadn't noticed her absence who cheered on her father newly crowned as their king. She just ran.