Terriana looked once more out the window of the king’s chamber. Her gaze was fixed upon the sun as it set just above the wooded horizon. Bigger than Terriana could remember, It took on a dark orange tone. The sky that surrounded it was doused in dark red, nearly resembling the color of blood. Terriana knew that it was no coincidence. She just didn’t know what the sign meant. Both side would bleed that night.
Terriana sighed and turned from the window. Her servants scurried about packing up whatever goods that could be found. For retreat was a high possibility. Terriana herself did not plan on retreating. She was going to stay. no matter what. she would not leave her throne. though death was not truly her desire or plan, retreat wasn’t either. She was determined to see it through, for the sake of her own honor.
“Ladies stop what you are doing and gather around me.” Terriana finally said.
All of her servants including the castle servants given to her by Rukan, stopped what they were doing and made their way to Terriana.
“What is it, Terri?” Sara asked as she came forth carrying a crate of clothes. Her eyes showed of uneasy fear.
Terriana looked at Sara and said, “you won’t be needing all of those clothes. Before Sara could reply Terriana looked to everyone there and said, “It is time for you all to take your shelter.”
“And where exactly are we going?” Sara demanded.
Terriana looked at Sara and then at the rest of her servant girls, “ There is a secret passage within the dungeons that leads outside the city. You will take refuge near the dungeon. If the battle takes a turn for the worst–”
“If the battle takes a turn for the worst? Surely you are coming with us, right?”
Terriana looked to the floor and sighed and looked back at Sara, “I mean to stay here, to help out in whatever way I can.”
“what are you talking about? I am certain that your men will have everything perfectly under control. These aren’t even your people.”
Terriana looked at Sara and said, “They are my people by oath. I will stay here because honor demands it. I am your queen, you would do good not to question my decisions.”
Sara tightened her grip on the crate she held and said, “My Father was right you know. We should have left this city as soon as King Rukan died.” Sara looked at Terriana in pleading fashioned. “We can still leave for the capital, Terri. There’s no shame in it.”
“My decision stands!” Terriana said as she raised her voice. “You, Till, Katti and the rest of the women here, will leave for the capital if the city falls and I will remain here.”
Sara’s worried expression turned into a glare. She dropped the crate she held. As it hit the floor with a violent thud, she marched to Terriana and grabbed her by the arm. Caught by complete surprise Terriana moved along with her friend towards the window.
Terriana yanked her hand free from Sara’s grip and whispered, “queens have cut of the hands of servants who have done what you had just did.”
Sara raised one of her eyebrows and whispered, “you’re not just any queen, you’re my best friend.”
Terriana began to speak but Sara cut her off saying as she continued to whisper, “You do not care for these people, you do not care for honor. You have told me as much. You only care for one thing and that is avenging your brothers killer. is it not?”
Terriana would not answer. she crossed hers and looked to the setting sun.
“If you stay here, You will die. Meaning that you will have failed to bring Pytor peace. I will not let that happen and I will not allow my best friend to commit suicide.”
Terriana turned her head slightly as she considered her friends words. She looked back to the sun and said, “If this city falls, there will be no one to protect my Fathers flank. If that happens the whole empire will bleed” She looked back at Sara, “Too much is at stake. We may be friends, but that does not mean that you have bearing on my true motives.”
Terriana turned to her servants behind her, “Gather all the things that you need and head for the dungeon gate, where you will wait. If the city does in deed fall, I will send ten soldiers who will be your escorts.”
“Royifor escorts?” Sara objected. “My father would not approve of such.” she crossed her arms and said, ‘I am going no where.”
Terriana looked at Sara and said, “do as I have commanded or I will have you put in chains?”
Sara huffed, went over to pick up her basket of clothes and stormed out of the room. The other servants followed.
After all of Terriana’s servant girls were gone, the chamber was left in a eerie silence. she moved to look out the window once more. As she did, Her throat began to tighten as she grew anxious. She was about to fight a battle. A real battle, against a non-human foe. She had not a single understanding of siege tactics. worse, the men and women fighting for her were a gang of drunkards and thieves. Griped by the reality of her situation, she let out a loud gasp. Her eyes filled with water. what was she to do. she was not ready to die.
“Royan Queen?” asked a familiar voice.
Terriana quickly wiped her face and looked at Felob who stood at the door. He cocked his head forward. “Is everything alright?”He asked.
Terriana nodded her head as she made her way across the room. “I’m fine, what do you want?”
Felob stared at her for a moment and then said, “everything is ready. It is time.”
Terriana sighed and said, “Very well. Let’s get this over with.” Terriana passed Felob as she exited the room.
“You sound like a criminal on their way to the executioner.” Felob said as he followed her.
That was exactly how she felt. “If we lose, we die. I see no difference.”
Felob chuckled and replied, “we? I assure you Royan queen, once those walls are breached I am leaving.”
“Of course, bravery isn’t expected of your kind is it?” Terriana replied as she hurried down the steps. She could almost see the fools smile with his golden tooth.
“You are right Royan. I am a man primarily of vice, not virtue.”
“Yet here you are. Why is that?”
“I will put it this way Royan Queen, when a man is faced with nothingness and a fight for his life. He tends towards life. Well, unless he is so much in despair that he jumps into the eternal pit on his own. I am not that kind of man. I like living.”
“If you like living than I think you should have retreated with Ryahn. A man of honor does not seek to live, but gives his life for that which is greater than himself.”
“Living like rats is not living, beautiful Queen. My place is here, where my wealth is.”