"What kind of Queen wears that?" "Her sister was much more poised." "Classless." "Tacky." "She'll be the death of us all." "This is why women should not lead." "We need a king."
Ra kept a tight smile on her face as she made her way to the council building flanked by her guards. She was in a particular foul mood today and the comments made by civilians were hitting her harder than usual. It's a peculiar thing that can be adapted to yet it still never fails to leave cuts, no matter how shallow.
This is the third meeting that the council has called in the past two weeks and Ra had a few choice words ready for them. The council was trying to push her out, she wasn't stupid. Her sister had only met with the council once every other month with the king, then when Ra ascended and took the crown, it had steadily increased. Every month, a few times more and more until she was nearly at their beck and call.
Ra was never royal material. She thought their rules were arbitrary, sexist and only meant to benefit them rather than the citizens of the kingdom. Ra knew that they were trying to drive her out, force her to denounce the crown rather than have another horrid incident where yet another royal died.
"Your Majesty, thanks for joining us." A balding man greeted, one of the only few to stand and bow, Marcus, whatever his agenda was, at least wasn't malicious outwardly towards her. A queen is not a queen without her king and to the council she may carry the title but not the power. They were going to push for her to step down or marry, again. She only took the throne less than six months ago after the King and Queen had died gruesome deaths in the war.
She simply nodded in acknowledgement not missing the way a few of their eyes lingered her on in ways that wanted her to break their jaws, both lustful and disapproving. Ra was covered in tattoos, carried more muscle than what most would think as feminine, and refused to straighten her hair. Her artwork ran down her left shoulder to wrist, a complete sleeve with a few more gracing her body in several other places. Ra loved to lift and while she was no means a body builder but slinging weights in the gym lifted some places and reduced others. She also trained in multiple fighting styles and was the acting general in times of conflict. Ra had trained to become a weapon, not a lady of the court.
"We met not even a full week ago. What now?" She snapped not in the mood to deal with their antics.
"Well, Your Grace, it seems that our profits have decreased. We took a look at the royal portfolios and all ratios are accurate however, our income this past month was a quarter less than what it used to be. It's a cause for concern." One of them, she could never concern herself with learning a majority of their names, informed her.
"Yeah, I did that. A half a million for you each alone is absolutely ridiculous. The kitchen staff barely make minimum wage and the maids make less than that yet here you guys are going home with half a million every month. There are people who are homeless, starving, without education, sick as hell because they can't afford treatment yet the council makes that much per person for what? Sitting in a dingy room to make the rules that can only make them richer. I don't think so." Ra looked them down, daring any one of them to have the gall to contest her.
"You can more than live with a quarter less. I'll half it if necessary." He shut up immediately. "We don't have money for education, healthcare, housing and a bunch more shit yet somehow money is never an issue for an increased pay for you, for increasing the warrior budgets, for covering dirty tracks but our citizens are always left out. That's changing immediately."
"Ra, with all due respect, it just blindsided us." Myers said. She hated that snake with an ungodly passion. Myers, while admittedly handsome, was ambitious to a fault that he'd literally kill anyone who stood in his way.
"With all due respect, I don't give a shit." She seethed. "Downgrade to cars that still cost a midsize house instead of an island, learn to live modestly a bit. I find it hard to sympathize with the potential loss of a Royce to only have to drive an Aston, forgive me if I'm not concerned for your welfare. Now if you excuse me, I have actual matters to attend to. Don't call within the next week if it's not a life threating emergency or I'll have somebody's balls. Understood?"
She didn't wait for an answer and stalked out the room. Her silent shadows falling in line with her effortlessly. Ra understood that the ways in which she operated could definitely backfire on her, it could easily become the fuel needed for the council to plot on creative ways to remove her from the throne but she would be damned if she let them conduct her moves. After all, the queen is the strongest chess piece on the board.