Snippet from “Blessing of the Elements”

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Nevin shook his head slightly. “I cannot believe you will be seventeen. One more year and you will take the throne in Tonkipe,” he observed.

Her face changed, insecurity filling her eyes. “I am afraid to be queen,” she sighed. “I still don’t understand all of the politics. And I haven’t been allowed to sit in on any of the council meetings.”

“Your father will surely help you. Eventually, he will let you come into the assembly. Maybe he just wants you to enjoy yourself for now. Training you to rule Tonkipe will give you what you need to rule this land. He won’t keep you in the dark forever.”

“I know nothing about commanding armies and people. I teach children and write stories. That is who I am.”

“You can do those things as a queen, I’m sure,” Likra said. “I have always loved your stories. No one would dare command that you stop writing.”

Ziltra sat up and shook her head in protest. “No, I can’t keep doing the things I love. Once I am sitting on the throne at Tonkipe, I will have no time to write and teach. I’ll be busy worrying about the people and playing politics. Tonkipe is very prosperous, thanks to the help Kaycon gives to them. What will happen when I take the throne? I haven’t the slightest idea what I’m doing.”

Nevin sat up and smiled. “You mustn’t worry. You will make an excellent queen. You’re kind and generous, and you embrace peace. And you know your aunt and uncle will help you.”

“I do embrace peace. But, the peace in this land is always very short-lived. There is always war; there’s always some other kingdom looking to take over, vying for leadership. There have been constant battles and wars. I have no idea how to command a Royal Army and a Navy.”

“That is what your staff is for,” Likra said. “Your father only commands because he was a soldier. Otherwise, he would rely completely on my father and the military advisors.”

With a groan, Ziltra leaned against the tree once more. “I don’t want to grow up,” she said as her lower lip protruded slightly.

“You worry for nothing,” Likra added.

“I’ll have to leave here, you know,” she said looking at the two of them. “I’ll have to live in Tonkipe. I won’t be able to see either of you because I will be so dreadfully busy. I don’t want to leave here. Kaycon is my home. You are my friends.”

Nevin smiled and stood. He walked to Ziltra, taking her hand into his.

“But, this isn’t your homeland, Ziltra. It is a part of you and always will be, but your real home is in Tonkipe. Still, you will rule both kingdoms. That is something that has never happened before.”
Placing his arm around her shoulders, he grinned. “Now, let’s not worry about this. We have a puppet show to plan and you know we will need mother’s help to sew the puppets. First, we must come up with a plot.”

“Perhaps a puppet show about a princess and how perfectly she rules her subjects,” Likra joked.

“I do not want the puppet show to be about ruling or castles or government,” Ziltra objected. “I want it to be a love story,” she continued dreamily. “A story about a gallant knight who rescues a maiden.”

Nevin shrugged. “You win. You’re the writer.”

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