A Silent Game of Spies

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The hour-long castle and city ringing of the bells had been the longest hour of her life. Actually, perhaps not, once she thought of it. The first time he’d fucked her had taken about the same amount of time, and it had been no different than a drunk pig fucking a sow. Wedding nights were to impress guests, not the bride and groom, she mused. Had it been her choice, she would have just taken his cloak, his monstrous ring, repeated the words, and such have been done with it.

But simpering had been required, and an enormous cloth-of-gold gown, jewels woven into her hair and wound around her neck, a tiara…. All of it for the guests to ogle.

Myrischka nearly cut the bell-ringing short so addled had her mind become by the tolling. The people had never even seen him or been spoken to by him, and he didn’t give two shits about anything but that enormous gold throne.

She had ordered Nabol placed into a crow’s cage. The Guards wanted to flay him alive and let him die in a traitor’s cell, which actually she had liked the idea of, but Myrischka wanted to appear both gracious and vengeful, so she ordered them not to flay him, but place him into an old crow’s cage. Not only would he bleed up there, but he would freeze in under an hour.

So in Myrischka’s first act as Queen, she met both the needs for vengeance against a man who had committed regicide, as well as the Guards’ need for blood.

Nabol actually had intrigued her of late. When she allowed him to sleep in her chamber – a rarity – he spoke in his sleep upon occasion – and some very interesting things came forth. Nabol was either a very good liar – or his parentage was partly Ambsell. Or possibly both. But when he was asleep, he suddenly was not the Nabol Myrischka knew, but a man with heavily accented Ambsell speech, who spoke not a child’s “if you please” servant’s demeanor, but instead with a sort of militaristic bluntness.

Bryranth was still not to be found, she was told. Some hazarded that perhaps he had met with a similar end as his father, and all in listening vicinity frowned. Others worried that Bryranth may have left the castle and did not even know of his father’s death, even though numerous birds were sent.

Myrischka listened to all their fears with a patient demeanor, for this time period was crucial. Transitioning from King to Queen would be difficult on this masculine-focused society. And once it was clear that Bryranth was not to be found, they would reach for the remaining bloodline, though she and her pet mercenary had disposed of those individuals months ago, and quietly. Fever, hunting accidents, slips on the ice…. Not one of the original bloodline remained, not even a babe.

Her own bloodline was a match, but many cousins ago. Though that mattered not, for she was Her Royal Majesty, and had been for almost twenty years now. Myrischka liked her chances.

She encouraged the Council members to send more birds, to send men by horse. Eventually, Myrischka knew, they would tire of trying empty options and turn to her to run this castle.

But first, she thought as her black mourning mantle rippled beyond her, they needed to think she cared.

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