Snippet from “Blessing of the Elements”

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It was late in the evening as Likra and Ziltra sat on the beach. The moon shined brightly. The hopelessness consumed Ziltra and meditation was beyond her grasp.

Likra felt the negative energy pouring from Ziltra.

“Why do you doubt your purpose?” she asked.

Surprised by Likra’s question, she turned her head toward her.

“Do you think we can actually recover from this? You know Osatam will reinforce Tonkipe and Kaycon now. We are no match for that.”

“You can’t lose faith. If you do, they have already won.”

“Haven’t they?”

“No, they haven’t.”

“Are you blind?” Ziltra asked cynically.

“I’m not. I see that we have struck a vital blow to the Queen. She has no idea what is going on. I think she finally knows what it means to be afraid and that will be her undoing.”

“How do you figure that?”

“Fear tends to cause panic. And trust me, Ziltra, she is panicking.”

“She is much too vain to succumb to such emotion.”

“You’d be surprised.”

“Why? Why do you think that?”

Likra stood, her feet melting into the sand.

“More troops are coming to us. Nevin has been using the portal to transport foreign aid to us. He has been traveling all over the globe. And he has contacted sympathizers inside Kaycon and Tonkipe.”
“How can we possibly trust anyone inside those cities now? And foreigners? They don’t have any idea what is going on, much less why.”

“You have got to lift that selfish veil of yours! Ziltra, Nevin is a brilliant wizard. He is recruiting foreign aid because it will build an alliance when this is all said and done. This is obviously why he was assigned to be your advisor. You can’t think in the long term, dear friend. It just isn’t who you are. That is something you will have to learn to do as a ruler.”

“So, now you insult me?” Ziltra asked as she looked up at Likra.

“I meant no disrespect. I am merely saying that you are not of the mindset to see ahead of you. You are motivated by the indignation you feel, which is what you need to serve your purpose. It keeps you centered and it gives you power, but once this is over and you sit on the throne, you will have to look ahead and join everyone, even those overseas. Alliances with foreign nations will keep us strong. We need to help each other.”

“If I am to rule, shouldn’t I be meeting these foreign dignitaries?”

“Nevin is acting as your ambassador. This is the way government should work. He is going ahead of you to smooth the path. This war is going to change everything. It’s going to expand your power. It’s going to unite us like nothing ever has. You will need many ambassadors and representatives. Nevin is simply the leader in this process. Right now you are occupied with what you have to do. Once this is over, you will be working on ways to keep us together and focused on peace.”

She nodded. “Things need to change. We need to be empowering people, not keeping them dependent on a single kingdom.”

“You said one of the first laws you’d change is arranged marriage.”

“That is the very first law I will amend. I hate that law.”

“The best way to show that the law is twisted with flaws is to marry the love of your life in front of all of the citizens and the foreign leaders. That is when you and Silwan should celebrate your union.”

“If we make it through all of this, that is exactly what I intend to do.”

“Right now you are focusing on the short-term so you can bring us through all of this darkness. Once it’s over, you’ll be able to concentrate on ruling and governing. All of that hatred will be gone. You’ll be able to look upon all of this with a new vision; an educational time in your life.”

Ziltra stood and walked to Likra. As they gazed out at the sea, waves crashing onto the shore, Ziltra sighed. “I pray you are right,” she concluded.

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