In This Nightmare

I looked at her with an raised eyebrow.
"And if I don't let you go?" She starred back, furious.
"You will die." I laughed, before my eyes became serious.
"No. You will." I was glad I just had the knife sharpened. It would have been a lot messier to cut her throat with a dull one.


3. Chapter two (Cairistìne)

Nervousity was not a familiar word to a queen. Nevertheless the current queen was very well aware, that she had something to work on in this matter. But this was the first time she attended a public avent as a ruling queen, her palms were sweaty, she was nervous, and she kept going through multiple things that could go wrong, while making sure that there was not a single fold on her absolutely perfectly straight dress.

Well my palms were sweaty. It was my dress that was annoyingly perfect, because I could not possible distract myself from the incredible pressure put on my shoulders the day our father died by straigthening the silky fabric.
On the outside of course, I was handling the grief well. My mourning period was over, a new era had come to the castle, and times were about to change because for the first time inhundreds of years it was not a king, but a queen that took the place on the throne. I had to rebuild my nation after failure on failure from my fathers mad attemps to make things work, with rebellions rising everywhere among us. Enemies lured around every corner, and I was in no position to lead my country into war. My whole reign depended on my personal strength, loyal men, mages and the bare hope that I would survive long enough to make alies and win the heart of my people. Right now nobles as well as commoners watched my every move for one fatal mistake to send my realm crumbling to dust between my fingers. 
And in reality all I wanted to do was cry. 

"Your Majesty," said Antonio, one of my personal guards, as he bowed before me. "Are you ready?" I smiled at him and cast all my thoughts aside. Tonight was a night of feast. That was why it was not at the castle, but here at the barony. I needed to get away from it all, even if it was only for a short amount of time. I was looking forward to seeing Laelynn again. 
"Have you had any messages?" I asked, my griding my palms against one another, eager to have news, terrified of the outcome. 
"Not since this morning, your Majesty.." He caught the look on my face. "Should I have men send out, Majesty? Is there something I can help with?" I shook my head smiling weakly.
"No need. It's probably better this way." I smiled, but in my heart this was just another betrayal to add to the list. I didn't know why I kept hoping things would become better. Not in any near future - if ever.
"As you wish, your Majesty." He bowed again and took his place behind me, but not before giving the men at the doors a sign to play the royal anthem. Once again I put on a mask and a smile and made my way to through the doors. 

It took me quite a while to find her. First there was all the problems with the lightning, and when calm was finally restored, people circled around me, all wanting to greet their new queen. I tried being polite and kind, answer the questions, remember all their names and ask how certain things in their life was going. It was exhauting and gave me a terrible headache, cause never had I imagined how hard this job would be in action. I had learnt from the beginning how to rule and survive at court, but the stress and the intrigues were more than one person could possible manage on their own. I caught myself thinking that it was no wonder kings and queens through history had gone mad.

When I finally eyed her, I started laughing when I saw her haircolour. Never would I stop worshipping her bravery and defianse and her incredible talent of making everything seem so easy and joyful. Unfortunately the lady I was talking to didn't find it amusing at all. I then realized the poor woman had just told a heartbreaking story, about how her most beloved parrot had fought a long and brave war against being suffocated in a seed, and had almost died. The womans oldest son had then pitied the poor bird and had opened the cage to stroke it, when the battle was finally won, and the bird had esccaped into freedom. The womans men had searced for days, but the bird was nowhere to be found. Quickly I forced my face into a empathetic expression and told her how sorry I was, and that I would pray for the birds return home safely.
The woman looked at me suspisciously for a while before lowering her head in respect and grattitude. I excused myself and sighed tired as soon as I was long enough away for her not to catch up the sound. But my luck seemed to have comepletely left me this day. Out of nowhere popped now the crownprince of one of our neighbouring contries. He'd been here since the coronation and was officially trying to make an aliance with us by courting various different nobleladies. In fact Laelynn should praise herself lucky he hadn't eyed her yet. As the queens best friend and the daughter of a baron, who was also a Circle Leader, she'd be a good match. 
"Evening, Caristíne," he said and sent me a dazzling smile that annoyed me a bit. "Would you mind if I walked with you for a while?" My own smile was forced. I was just trying to get to my friend! 
"Not at all, your Royal Highness," I said sharply, in reality trying to remind him to adress me formaly. He did not seem to care, and I did not see the point of procecuting people for formalities only a few weeks into my reign. 
"Splendid," he smiled and took my arm while I discrete rolled my eyes. "And may I tell you how absolutely stunning you look tonight?" I raised an eyebrow.
"Do you flirt with everyone, or are you trying to impress me?" 
"Absolutely everyone." He winked. "Oh, it seems like dinner is served. May I escort you to your seat, Majesty?" I caught Laelynns eyes from across the room and we shared an equal pained expression.
"I would be honored." 

"Laelynn!!" After hours of absolute boredom and smiling a sickning smile I gave up on courtesy and attacked my dearest friend in a hug, that mildly spoken took her by surprise. 
"Woaw, don't choke me," she said smiling, and I let go of her slowly. 
"I'm sorry, I've just tried to get away for so long now. It is so good to see you." I leaned in and whispered in her ear. "I like the hair." 
"Aww, thank you. I like your dress, it almost makes you look like a humanbeing. That other one made you look like a-" 
"My, my, my Lady," said a voice that was unmistakable. "Art Thou comparing thy queen to a marsmallow?"

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