Kingdom Rivalry


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5. V

“Good Evening, King Robin.” My father’s voice rumbled deeply. He bowed his head and I quickly bowed mine. “As to you King Jay, Princess Phoebe.” I noticed the straining in his voice and made note to ask my father about it later. “I hear Princess Phoebe has protected one of my young citizens.” His voice rumbled, almost a growl. My fur rose along my spine. I soon noticed a dark figure behind King Robin that caught my attention. It’s blue looked directly at me. Robin noticed my staring and glanced at the figure. “Blueblood, come ahead and listen.” The figure blinked looking at his father and soon stepped forward. He was nearly as big as Robin “King Jay, Princess Phoebe.” He nodded his head and my father cleared his throat as he brushed his tail against my side. I glanced down at the pup; she sat under me. I could feel her against my stomach, but she seemed to have moved back every time Robin spoke. Almost like she was afraid of him. “Yes, she was protecting the little one from some of your other citizens.” My father stood, pulling his tail up, for the tip to hang just over his back. “Protecting?” Robin chuckled “From what exactly?” My father looked at me and sighed. I stood and stepped toward the edge, before I knew it I was telling the story all over again. As I did the pup held onto my hind leg. “Do you remember the three wolves who were involved, “Princess?” I nodded and gave a throughout characterization of what they looked like. Blueblood snickered “Father are we really going to stand here and believe her word against the word of our own? I mean how do we know she didn’t just attempt to abduct the pup and they tried to stop her.” My father growled “That’s ridiculous. What would we do with a pup? And from Jacaranda?” Robin looked to his son then back to us. “Do you have proof princess?” I thought for a second and shook my head “Only my word.” “She didn’t steal me sir!” The pup leapt onto the edge, balancing herself quickly. I quickly caught her tail to keep her from falling over. “She saved me from those wolves. They took me from my home that night and I didn’t know where else to go so I stopped running and that’s when she came out of the sky and saved me.” Robin chuckled “There’s your proof son.” Blueblood glared at the three of us. After a while the doors opened. The Jacarandian guards walked in with four wolves. “That’s my mother, right there!” The pup shouted, I grabbed her by the scruff and lifted us both into the air and met the mother who squealed happily once she saw her pup. “Aloe! Oh my god!” She nuzzled her pup once I put her down. “Oh thank you so much Princess. I can’t thank you enough for finding and saving my pup.” She pulled me to her and hugged me. I returned her hug quickly “It’s what I do miss.” I lifted myself into the air and flew back to stand next to my father. He smiled at me as I landed. The three males looked terrified, their fur puffed out. “Would you like to explain why you three attacked the princess of Autopia?” King Robin walked around his stand, toward them. The three wolves looked at each other in shock. None of them knew who I was, it was obvious. I glanced at my father who shook his head. “There’s no helping them.” I looked back to King Robin “Have you no respect?” he growled. Again, I looked back at my father “Father?” I urged “Phoebe. This is their punishment for endangering one of the Royal families.” I looked back to Robin again. He now stood in front of them. He easily towered over them. “Your highness we-.” Robin swatted the wolf, sending him skipping like a rock on water across the room. I gasped, one of the other wolves ran toward the wolf, helping him up. He lifted his paw to strike the other. I leapt over the edge and opened my wings to glide toward them both. I felt the hard impact against the side of my face. I rolled across the floor and slid to a stop. “Phoebe!” My father shouted “Princess.” Robin called. Robin and my father were quickly to my side. I still felt the stinging on my face. “Nurse!” Robin called and a wolf quickly rushed in and to my side. I picked up my head and promptly pulled myself up. “King Robin, hold your paw.” I looked up at him, pulling my wings to my side. He looked at my father who now glared at him. My face stung and I flinched away from the nurse’s paw. “My apologies Princess.” “That’s a strong lass there.” He chuckled uncomfortably “You protect the ones who attack you?” I glanced at the wolves. “I protect whoever and whatever I think is endangered. Such as the pup.” I noticed he was slightly taller than my father. “Do not strike them King Robin, they didn’t know who I was.” Robins look softened slightly. “That still gives them no reason to nearly rape you.” He turned to glare at the males. “It is unacceptable.” He growled “You don’t strike your citizens.” I lifted myself from the floor with my wings, flapping to look on level with him. He stared at me. “What do you say I do then, princess? What would you do if a citizen of Autopia attacked a citizen of Jacaranda?” He turned and walked back toward the male and I landed “What she would do father?” Blueblood growled sarcastically “Why don’t we just give them the kingdom then?” Robin peered at his son “Blueblood if you cannot keep your comments to yourself then you will go back. Do you understand?” Blueblood grumbled something under his breath. “I-.” I watched him as he stopped in front of the wolf that still stood nearest to us. “By all means, give them a slap on the paw.” He pushed the wolf directly in front of me. “King Robin, enough of this.” You can’t push such a responsibility on to her in such a way. You will punish your own subjects.” Robin looked to my father. “So be it, King Jay.” His eyes darkened “Guards!” He shouted and quickly five wolves ran into the room. They stopped in a straight line, side by side. “Get rid of these three males.” He turned away from them and us. The guards began to lead the males out of the room. “Oh no guards, here.” I felt my father lean close to me. “Do not react. He wants to see how you react. Do nothing, say nothing. Just stay quiet.” I glanced up at him. I whipped my head around to a snarl and a yelp of pain. I turned my head quickly to see one of the males’ throat. The male didn’t fight back, he showed no fear. He accepted it. The other guards broke into groups of two and quickly killed the others. They were dead quickly. I looked up to Robin and he stared at me. The guard who killed the wolf nearest to us lifted his head and walked toward the other guards, licking his mouth clean of the blood. I could smell the blood clearly and my stomach churned, I swallowed to settle it. I looked to the male again then at the other two, their eyes dull. Then it hit me, all at once. They all accepted their deaths, none of them fought back, they just gave in. How bad are things really? My stomach told me something bigger was really happening. “Now you know what you may have to do. You must always know what’s best for your kingdom. It is the key essential of a great and successful King or Queen.” He walked and stood in front of me. He used his paw to lift my face to look directly at him. I heard my fathers’ low growl. And a ghost of a smile rested on his face. I saw a gentleness that wasn’t there before. The fur on my back finally flattened. “Like you would know.” I turned to look at the mother of the pup. She sat glaring at Robin and her pup behind her. “Know what ma’am?” my father spoke up. I stared at her; her fur was a dark but she didn’t look clean. There were obvious places where there was dirt. Her fur stuck out in some places. Her eyes were dull, the only emotion I could make out was the near scowl. Her hair was short, just to her neck. “You wouldn’t know what’s best for your kingdom if it came up and bit your tail.” She stood “Your kingdom is starving, there is little food.” She looked to me and my father shaking her head then back to Robin. I heard a growl from behind her. Aloe yelped and quickly hid under her mother. “Maybe we should kill her as well, she is speaking of such blaspheme.” She turned to Blueblood “It’s not blaspheme my lord, it’s true.” Blueblood snarled “Lies!” He barked in her face. She flattened her ears to her head. I noticed her fur standing on end. “Blueblood!” Robin snarled, stomping his way to stand between the mother and his son. “Go.” He growled. Blueblood stood in his place for a moment then looked at his father in dismay before turning away. Once he left the room, the door slammed behind him. As if she stood behind the door, Queen Anastasia walked through the very same door. Her black fur was sleek but you could nearly see her ribs. “What on earth is going on in here?” She looked around the room. “I let you go to one meeting alone and you already kill three wolves dear?” She looked at the bodies “Honestly guards, rid the room of the corpses.” The guards began to pick up the bodies and drag them out of the room. “And who’s this?” She eyed the pup from under her mother. “Dear, what are you doing out of bed? You should be resting.” Anastasia shook her head “I’m feeling better.” I noticed my father tensing beside me. “I would feel better if you were in bed.” He called one of the guards back “Make sure she gets back to our room.” The guard nodded before walking to stand next to Anastasia. She sighed then turned away. “Be sure to fill me in later dear.” She called over her shoulder. Once the door closed the mother looked back to Robin. “We are dying, my King.” Robin looked back to her “There is food Jamee, and plenty of it.” She stamped her paw on the floor. “Then why did you send those wolves to collect the pups?” Her voice strained “Take them away?” There was no mistaking it, Robin was genuinely confused “Yes.” She soon reached around grabbing something from the bag, I just noticed she had. She pulled out a paper and placed it at his paws. My father and I glanced to read it and looked to Robin in great astonishment. “King Robin, you can’t take the pups from their parents.” Robin glared at my father. “Are you blind Jay? I didn’t write or sign this. Look for yourself.” He pushed the paper closer to my father and we both scanned it. My father barely looked at it before he pulled his head back from it. “Father?” he glanced at me “He is right. This is not his signature. It’s been forged.” I looked at Robin who looked around. “Who would do that?” He turned to me and shrugged. I looked to the female who still looked unhappy to say the least. “Ma’am, could you explain to us how Jacaranda is going hungry.” She looked to me, her eyes still hard. “He’s rationed the food. We’ve only two rations a day, the pups themselves don’t get their own so even the mothers with more pups still only have two rations.” She turned to Robin “We are starving.” I looked to Robin “Why make such a rule?” Robin grumbled “For the last time Princess. I didn’t.”

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