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The WeatherMaker - Prince of Light By Lady Lilium Characters: 4360

Updated: 2018-07-11 12:02


'Can't someone else marry us?' Valery asked tentatively.

'Unfortunately' Miranda said speaking to her, 'all of the other holy figures that have the power to do so have conveniently left the city on other business.' She sighed. 'No doubt the council's doing also.'

'When did this man die?' Cam asked his mother quietly.

'Last night.' Miranda ground her teeth. 'The council are sloppy. Their lies are weak and their trail is more than easy to follow. My mercenaries found the poison in minutes.'

'What do you mean his lifestyle killed him?' Valery asked. 'You said…that the council told you that's what actually happened.'

'He was a fat man' Miranda said bluntly. 'He liked to eat, liked to drink.' Miranda raised an eyebrow. 'He liked his women, despite being…hmmm…an older gentleman. Not an old man by any means, but certainly not in the prime of his life anymore. They said he lived too luxuriously, and that was his eventual end.'

'What are we going to do?' Plum spoke up suddenly. Until that point she had been near enough invisible, hanging in the shadows and as silent as the grave. 'Is Valery's life in danger?'

'All our lives are in danger' Miranda turned to her. 'Everyday…until we die.'

'You know that's not what I mean!' Plum sobbed, becoming hysterical now. 'I can't face it if something happened to Valery' she cried. 'She is too dear to me!'

Miranda stormed up to her in a few short strides and slapped her hard. Plum stumbled, holding her cheek and turning back to the queen in shock.

'Act this way and you will be the first to die' Miranda said coldly to her. 'Only the strong make it in this world.'

'Are we…still to be married?' Cam asked his mother, as Plum took a step back, bowing her head to hide her tears. 'Is Valery really safe?'

'I don't know' Miranda said turning to him, 'I don't know what's going to happen anymore.'

'Can I ask you a question?' Valery spoke up later that day.

Cam raised his head slightly. They were lying on the bed together, relaxing in the hot room. Cam lay on his front hugging a pillow, and Valery lay on her side, fanning herself.

'What is it?' Cam asked her.

'I don't really know

how to phrase this' Valery said, 'but you're a king aren't you?'

Cam rolled over, resting on his side to see her better.

'Yes' he said, his tone confused.

'I've not seen you…well…' Valery began to fidget uncomfortably. 'You've spent this whole time with me, which is nice and all but…who is ruling the kingdom for you? I've not seen you…you know…do any of the things my father, the king in my old kingdom did when I lived there.'

Cam watched her closely as she spoke, waiting for her to finish.

'Don't you have any meetings, important people to see, places to visit, paperwork and taxes and organising your army and foreign affairs and so forth?'

'Oh' Cam mumbled, moving to lie on his front again, chin resting on the pillow he clutched to him. 'The council does a lot of the work for me.'

'What do you mean?'

'They rule this kingdom for me' Cam explained. 'I don't have to do much at all.'

'But….' Valery began, 'it's your kingdom…'

'Did your father not have help in running his kingdom?' Cam asked Valery, glancing back at her.

'A little…I think but…' Valery began to fidget. 'He was always busy. Nothing happened without his knowing, and if it did, then people were punished.' She paused then. 'My father could be ruthless. If anyone betrayed him…well……it didn't happen too often, put it like that.'

Cam blinked slowly.

'How do you know what happens in your own kingdom?' Valery asked him.

'I have meetings sometimes with the council' Cam said.

'Are those meetings held on their terms or yours?'

He hesitated.

'Do you believe everything they tell you?' Valery asked him. 'How do you know anything they say is true? They could be lying.'

Cam chewed his lip uncertainly, feeling a stirring of emotions within that he had not felt before.

'Have you ever spoken to your own people?' Valery asked. 'Have you ever had an audience with a citizen, and asked them directly what they think about your rule?'

'And what should I ask them?'

'Anything. There is a lot involved in ruling a kingdom, and there is a thing called the law of unintended consequences, which is the actions of people having unanticipated results.'

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