Lenoa stood face to face with Amir’s ghost. He remained thin and sickly, though not as much as she’d remembered. Certainly well enough to wrest a knife from her. Then she noticed the opaline pendant around his neck.
“Lord-butcher, what are you doing? And where did you get that?” she asked, motioning to his neck.
“Defending myself. I won’t let you or yours kill me. And this?” he held up his pendant. “A gift from my brother, you know, Amir? The helpless, innocent farmer your father and friend behind you slaughtered?
Lenoa raised her hands in surrender. “Wren, stop this. Like you said, We lost your brother, and our father. Let that be enough.”
Wren waved the dagger to the lynx-armored guard standing behind her. “And him? You want peace with him too?”
Lenoa glanced back over her shoulder, the lynx guard standing idly by, watching. “He freed us. He is an asset that owes us a debt he cannot repay. We need him to cure the Sick.”
Wren stared back in disbelief, long enough for to Lenoa to disarm him. No longer having a weapon, he surrendered. Raising his arms, he asked, “You can cure the caustics?” “Let us see,” she replied, motioning for the lynx guard to take him into custody. “Both of you, understand one thing: we are in charge. In the absence of our orders, the bogling is in command as the Captain of the Guard.”
She marched about the castle, her prisoner and subordinate following in league. The guards and other nobility watched on, some confused, some in awe, as they made their way for the throne room. Lenoa burst through the doors of the throne room, disrupting the court as all eyes moved to her.
On the throne sat a wild-eyed barbarian, clearly battle-scarred and afraid of little. He rose, his guard watching on. He examined the entourage, taking particular note of Lenoa. Her heartbeat quickened, her veins pulsing. “Not now, dammit!” she muttered to herself. Her biceps tensed as she slowed her breath, concentrating on her pendant, the bogling, Amir, and the situation at hand. The wave passed, her remaining in control.
“A girl adorned in feathers and thorns, rumored to have visions. That would make you the late king’s daughter, Lenoa Furiae of House Deas. Am I right?” the viceroy asked.
She watched on, unable to place something peculiar about him. His mere presence tugged at her insides, like the warrior woman of the Elohim. But weaker, yet darker. Corrupted. Familiar. Almost like…
“You’re Nephilim…!” she exclaimed.
“I’m Ederic, viceroy of Emarosa, the Dominion of Dragonfire,” he nodded respectfully.
“We must change that name…” Lenoa muttered under her breath. She spoke aloud, “You know us viceroy. Then you know that throne is ours by birthright.”
“I know you walked away when this kingdom needed you most, and now it looks like you’re causing a ruckus by freeing a man we’ve sought for some time. The man who killed our king, your father. I know not a damn thing here makes sense, but it’s my job ta’ fix it,” the viceroy explained.
“The way I see it, you have two options. The first, you’re welcome to rejoin the royal court. Not so keen on marrying someone I just met, so let’s not rush to the whole queen thing. You were a strong guard captain right? Maybe you’d be well-suited as a Chamberlain or Duchess.”
Lenoa spat before the viceroy.
“Alright. Second option is banishment. I’m not about to murder the late king’s daughter unless I have to, but I can’t have you showing up causing a ruckus every time you get bored.”
Lenoa spat once again.
“You’re starting to piss me off. Guards!”
The room stood idly by, nothing but the breeze passing through the air. The viceroy looked to his guards, before looking back to Lenoa. She smirked.
“They remember what happened last time they crossed us. They’re ally at our side is a reminder of that. Beside, you have no concept of what you are, the nature of dragonfire, or how to rule. Though it brings us no great pleasure, our father taught us well the way of dominion, and this insult cannot go unsuffered. Usurper, in the name of the dominion and the lands she safeguards, I sentence you to death.”