My Ranking Points
Hey everyone! It’s that time again!
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Not because of my disposition, but because of self-restraint, it takes a lot to make me mad. Alina betraying my trust and fainting is one of the few things that can.
It was enough having her faint on me, right there, with no one else to help.
It was another when my instincts to heal her kicked in and it wasn’t possible. My magic being gone wasn’t something I noticed until I needed to use it. And it not being there wasn’t good.
The saving grace of it being late was that no one realized Lina was gone until morning, upon which all heck broke loose. It started with Arden.
“She came into my room around midnight, looking like a dead girl walking, murmured ‘My bones…’ and fainted. There’s not much else to say about the matter, ‘Ms. Bodyguard.’ I thought you were supposed to guard her body, not let her body get destroyed.”
“I didn’t know she was going that far!”
“Maybe you should have checked?”
“She would have gotten mad, I’m not you Mikah!”
“You could have told me!”
“That would be a violation of privacy!”
I sighed. “Lina wouldn’t mind you telling me. Someone else, maybe. But never… Me.”
“She told me not to tell you, specifically. She said you’d get worried and never let her.”
“She’s not wrong there.” I replied, smirking.
“So what are you going to do?”
“Oh, just scold her when she wakes up and run Veritaria in the meantime.”
Not having Lina around was consistently very annoying.
“Well, clearly the new Queen can’t lead if she’s out of commission early on.”
“That girl’s going to die young and leave Veritaria in shambles.”
“She should just run off with that ******* consort of hers and let us run the place. She’s done enough damage already.”
Oh, how I was glad Lina wasn’t awake to hear these things. I might not be able to heal her, but at least that prevented her from waking up to a whole different kind of pain.
Within the first day I had to shut down too many nobles to count, many of whom I had never even seen before.
Each time it was the same.
“No, you can’t see the Queen, but you can issue complaints to me, where depending on whether or not they’re actually vital to the running of this operation they’ll either be considered or promptly thrown out the window. Thank you very much.”
It’s the late morning on day 2 when Arden comes to me, exhausted. The fire that previously burned in her eyes without question was near gone.
“We need to get you some help with this, Arden.”
“No, I’m the Queen’s Shadow, this is my job.”
“And you’re on the brink of failing it. Heck, you might as well have already failed it with Lina’s condition, but I’m willing to forgive you for that this time – that’s her fault for now.”
“I just need a minute, I’ll be fine.”
She clearly wasn’t fine. I had seen more of Arden in the past 2 and a half months than I had ever before, and never was she resting. She was in a perpetual on-alert state, which served well for keeping Alina alive, but now that she was in the hospital ward… There wasn’t much Arden could do.
“Just… Watch yourself, Elbourne. I don’t want two girls in the medical ward to deal with.”
It took thought to determine who would be a good fit to bring into the inner workings of the operation, especially without Lina there. There were only so many Rogue Nobles in Medias itself, and even more Resistance members. Even fewer of them were young enough to properly understand the situation and stick around long enough to properly help.
Until I remembered Rory Fensid.
Rory had been in our classes at SoCS, was a well-rounded warrior and politician, and though House Fensid was in a difficult position at the moment, he vowed he could improve life for its people. He was as worried as the next person about the inability of its people outside the House to get home, but at the same time he quickly realized that getting close to the Queen might be the best way to ensure the problems he cared about were dealt with fast.
When I asked him to assist Arden and help run things behind the scenes, he accepted without a second thought – even if the glint in his eyes he got from being offered higher power in the Noble hierarchy was somewhat unsettling. He was a good person, and in times like these, that was all that mattered.
In the end, the people didn’t panic, because I didn’t allow it. Through a quite simple set of half-truths, they never found out the Queen was anything other than perfectly fine, if not taking a little bit of a break. After all, they could go for months without hearing from the previous King. Surely, the Queen being gone for less than a week couldn’t be that bad, right? They seemed to think so.
On the other hand, I knew that it definitely was that bad. The castle doctors hadn’t been able to do much in terms of finding problems, so we called in Lillian Maeve, the court mage. Lina’s youngest sister had told us, disturbingly, that while Lina would be able to heal normally, at the moment she’d caused significant magical strain to her body, prompting much of her to have trouble operating. Until she got a proper amount of rest, her heartbeat would be slower than normal, she’d have trouble breathing, she would vary between being tense as a stone and limp as a corpse, and certainly wouldn’t be able to wake up, let alone walk or handle her duties as Queen.
As for when she woke up, that was another story entirely. She might have still been on reprieve from being Queen, but she certainly wasn’t safe from me.
“I have no idea what you were thinking, Lina! You – you almost died last time, I almost died last time! We’ve learned that our magic – well, your magic now – isn’t something to be trifled with if we want to stay alive to run this country! You can’t just do this be safe in case something does happen. You need to recognise that you have a larger support network now, that you have legions of people you can trust to protect not just your life, but who you are, and I need to you promise me that you won’t break the trust I’ve placed in you, by saving your life once, that you’ll stay with me until the end, whenever the end is.”
Lina sat there, just looking at me, for a long time, before, ever so slowly, taking my hand.
Her voice was just as weak as I’d thought.
“I promise, Mikah.”
I smiled. “I’m gonna have to let Arden yell at you now, okay?”
“I know, Lina. I’ll stay with you. I promise. Trust?”
With that, I stepped aside, to let the Queen’s Shadow lecture her Queen.
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It’s a little wonky timeline wise but I love it and we’ll make it work.
(Reina’s just gonna tackle everyone in a huge bear hug.)
RORY IS A BEAN and I WANT TO HUG HIM EVEN THOUGH I BARELY KNOW HIM