When Nenvari opened the door to the Queen’s room, he expected many things. To see his father sick, to see his stepmother poisoning him, to see her holding a knife to his throat. What he didn’t expect to see was what he did.
The queen sat on a bed with the king’s head in her lap. It wasn’t attached to his body and blood flowed down her legs to pool on the floor.
And he knew. He knew she’d paid off the reaper that had protected their family for years. He knew she’d convinced Seirei Vohinthaslan to send an initial war party to the palace so she would have an excuse to kill his father. He knew she had the Light Fae enter the mines to kill him, leaving her in charge until his half-sister came of age.
The mine dwellers were probably supposed to murder Princess Yoishay as well, letting both sides get rid of undesirable heirs. And the reaper that appeared was likely going to let her die, but she was captured instead.
An unbelievable rage burned in his heart. He screamed and let out a torrent of the most potent attacks he used on human-sized opponents. He didn’t even remember which ones those were and used them by instinct.
When the dust and debris cleared there was a hole through the palace, but the queen sat untouched.
She smiled. “I’m not here.” Her body and the bed flickered in and out of existence.
“You did all of this.”
“Figured it out did you?” She laughed. “I’m so weary, my son.”
“I’m not your son!”
“No, you’re not anymore. I also see you brought a little backup. It’s too bad it’s useless.”
Miss Knight stomped towards her hologram as if she were going to fight it, but Nenvari put a staying hand on her shoulder.
“When I saw how the battle was going I realized the light Fae had betrayed me. Good thing I’d planned for this and had pixie dust on hand to bring me and my retinue back to my real country. With my husband dead, and my children away at the Collegium, why should I stay here?”
The head in her lap dropped to the floor and flickered out. “Good luck saving your kingdom from the Light Fae, King Nenvari Esreth.”
Her form disappeared along with her cruel laughter.
His legs were stiff, and he was too furious and bereft to even think of what he needed to do.
A small gentle hand touched his. He nearly jumped but comported himself.
“I guess. I should give this to you.” When the hand disappeared, it left an inventory filled with a dozen metal dragon eggs and a cage with Princess Yoishay and several of her retainers.
He tightened his fist as his determination grew.
“I have to stop this war!”
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Bio: Artist and a retired game industry professional.