I endured half a dozen miscarriages trying to ensure that my Regina was not solely responsible for carrying on my legacy. When I finally accepted that I would only be blessed with one female, I did everything in my power to make sure that she would become the absolute best Queen this world has ever witnessed. For eighteen long years, I have schemed, bartered, and spent every single political favor I possessed to ensure that this Matching was absolutely perfect. I knew that this one event would affect how the rest of the world’s royals interacted with my child. Regina needed to present a first impression comprised of strength, power, and commanding leadership.
Eighteen years in the making, and now that the event has finally come - everything is falling apart at the seams. And it is all Delia’s fault.
Not only did Delia find it necessary to pop up out of nowhere just weeks before my Regina would be formally presented to Valkyrie society, but she has repeatedly defied long-lasting traditions making me look the fool for not being able to control the wild child. Then she has the gall to publicly flaunt her power level, thus casting a shadow over my princess during the most important time of her life.
There was a right way to act. Certain protocols should have been followed to integrate Delia into our power base. The moment that child was discovered, she should have been brought to my doorstep so that I could have groomed her to fulfill a role that I deemed best for this Kingdom. I am Queen. Thus, it is my right to direct my people. I was robbed of that right.
If everyone had done what they should have in the first place, Delia would be Regina’s most powerful tool in ensuring that she is always proffered the respect that a daughter of mine deserves. Delia would have been integrated into our Royal Line while remaining separate. A beautiful jewel that Regina could use to accessorize her presence during her Matching. Instead, that rotten street rat was stealing my daughter’s spotlight and even starting to encroach on mine.
The show Delia put on at the airfield was the last straw in my patience with the dirty child. Hernan told me that I couldn’t publicly punish her because after how everything already played out, we looked weak and she looked like a freaking hero. Lashing out at Delia now would only serve to make me look petty and jealous. So even though I wanted nothing more than to tie that obstinate teenager to a post and whip her bloody, I was forced to hold my tongue and continue to play nice. My brother seemed to think that we could still get Delia to work with us. That we had to find a way to make her feel welcome, or she was going to join another Royal Line and become our enemy instead of our ally.
I had finally agreed with my overbearing brother because I didn’t want to draw even more attention away from my Regina. This was her moment. A week that she will remember for the rest of her life. Her last days where she could party with as many male Valkyries as she wanted before the official engagement with Prince Christian Vera. I had been stern with my daughter about her not having any affairs until she produced a child with Energy. That was the whole reason why we had picked Christian in the first place. The Collins’ Royal Line would always have at least one person in every generation with Energy.
My newly refreshed patience with Deila nearly snapped at Tobias Eldridge’s funeral.
No one had laid eyes on Delia or the nothing of a clan that she has been living with since she very theatrically cut the head off of the most hated and infamous Valkyrie at the airfield. I was completely okay with this. The longer that she stayed away, the weaker she appeared to the dozens of Royals that had gathered for Regina’s Matching. A leader needed to be able to stand behind her decisions and stomach the less pretty parts of being Queen. It was just possible that Delia would lose her newly garnered respect if she continued to hide like a scared and petulant child.
The Blade Hunter Clan is my most prestigious team of Hunters, and I rely heavily on them. I knew I had to give proper homage to their fallen if I wanted young Valkyrie boys to dream of one day joining their ranks. I needed my Hunter Clans to always be willing to go that extra mile for me. Also, I had the eyes of the entire international Royal community on me at this point in time. So, I pulled out all of the stops for Hunter Tobias Eldridge’s funeral. The palace’s private beach was lined with torches and the water was decorated with thousands of orchid blossoms. Tobias’s body was gracefully laid on top of a pyre that each member of the Blade Clan would decorate with mementos before he was released to the sea.
The sun had just set and I was just about to start our funeral ceremonies when out of nowhere, Deila blinked into existence along with the entire Oakland Clan and her two blood relatives. Delia was standing side by side with the leader of the Blade Clan, Edison Greer, and looked striking in an all-white pantsuit that fluttered in the sea breeze. I had hoped that she would have shown up in black, as was the human funeral custom thus making a fool of herself. White was the color of rebirth and peace.
A crescendo of whispers played out when Deila made her entrance, but the child refused to look away from Tobias’ raised body. Her face looked as if it had been cut from stone and portrayed a deep sadness that I knew my subjects would relate to. Worst of all, Deila had King Alexei’s long sword strapped across her back, thus displaying not only her ability to hold other Valkyrie’s Weapons but also reminding everyone here that she was the one to kill Tobias’ murderer.
I could feel a shift in the energy of the crowd as they took in everything Deila was effortlessly embodying, and my blood started to boil. This was my moment. Regina’s moment. Not hers. How dare she.
I was so lost in my rage that I actually missed the vast majority of the funeral proceedings. All I can really remember is Delia approaching Tobias’ pyre and bowing her head in prayer. Then she unsheathed Alexei’s sword and carefully laid it to rest within Tobias’ cold grip. That sword represented a completely priceless object of power and the silly child was just going to let it burn.
When I looked over the faces of those gathered, I saw deep respect and awe. I wanted nothing more than to surge forward and claim the sword as my own. However, I knew that the Weapon would turn to dust in my grasp. That fact just served to piss me off even further.
Delia Ray Olsen needed to learn that I was the Queen of this Kingdom and she was my subject. And she needed to learn it the hard way.
-Queen Florence Collins. Queen of the Americas West Kingdom