Find Part 1 here.
When they arrived at the palace, Mage Kaepli took down the protective spell and they all entered.
Delia went to her rooms over the objection of Master Kaepli. “But Majesty, you belong in the King’s rooms.”
“Not until I talk to my mother. That will be the end of it.” She went in and closed the door. Outside she could hear two guards take their positions on either side, and sighed. They were just as tired as she was but there they were, standing guard. All she wanted was a proper bath and a huge dinner. But the few cooks the army had with them wouldn’t have had time to heat water, let alone cook anything. She remembered the state of the kitchen. Totally cleaned out. Someone would have to go hunting or something before anyone had anything other than camp rations to eat. She hoped her mother had supplies.
It was a week before her mother arrived.
Delia was in the courtyard to meet her. She gave her mother a hug and a kiss on the cheek after she’d dismounted. “Mother. I’m so sorry.” Her mother looked pale and thin in her white mourning dress.
Raele patted her daughter on the cheek. “I’m so proud of you. You defeated our enemy. There is much to be happy for.”
Delia walked with her to Raele’s rooms. “Rest, mother. May I get you anything?”
“Later, daughter. We’ll go see your father before the burial.”
Delia nodded. “Let me know when you’re ready. I’ll escort you.”
Raele nodded. “Thank you.”
That evening they went to the throne room together. Now Ucheni was in his finest robes, his crown upon his head. Candles surrounded the body and an honor guard of twelve surrounded him. Raele, put her hand on his. “He loved you. Very much.”
“I know. He showed it in every way.”
Raele sniffed and used a delicate handkerchief to wipe her eyes. “He died too young.”
“Iyuno paid for that.”
Raele turned to her daughter. “I heard stories.”
Delia shrugged. “He treated with orcs, Mother.”
Raele sighed. “True.”
They had a quiet supper in the Queen Mother’s rooms and Delia took her leave early.
Three months later, the coronation was held. Raele was still in her rooms but Delia had moved into her father’s apartment. It seemed weird, to her. She stood in front of a floor length mirror as Alia stood by and servants fussed with the coronation gown. It had been less than a year since Corpet the caravan master had given her that blue gown to wear. Slave to Queen in that short amount of time. It didn’t seem real.
Alia nodded. “You look beautiful.”
Delia studied her reflection. Her hair had been just lightly dressed, so that the crown could go on her head. Her hair mostly flowed down her back. A black river reaching to her waist. She teleported a mug of tea to her hand from a nearby table. It was a trick she’d developed one day by accident when a quill was just out of reach. Alia’s eyebrow rose. “Just in private, Ali. It seems silly to have you fetch it when I can just call it.”
Alia shook her head. “As you will, Majesty.”
Delia rolled her eyes. Alia was a stickler. Fortunately, Kaya still had a sense of humor, as did Couran, Relan and Sisruo. She needed friends and confidantes, not masters. “I’ll not do it in public. I promise.”
The ceremony lasted too long, Delia thought, but her mother looked pleased and that’s all she could hope for.
She thought about Captain Catari and poor little Gallett. Both had died in the sick tent, some poison they’d gotten from orc darts. Her thoughts turned to her mother. One day, her mother would move out of the next door apartments, replaced by a husband. That might be Sisruo. He’d passed his exams after he’d healed and was now a Master Mage himself. They would be a powerful couple, if it all worked out. She was still too young to marry, though. Another hundred years or so to get to know him, and her people, and her culture. It would pass in no time.
Thank You for Reading this Serial
I hope you’ve enjoyed this story. It was supposed to be a simple flash fiction of 1000 words or less. It ran long the first day and I thought it’d finish up in four or five parts. Hah! Little did I know. The story took off with me and here we are, over 50,000 words later, finally come to an end.
I don’t like the title, Slave Elf, but it was all right for a working name. Here’s the thing, I’d like a new title. So I’m going to hold a contest. I’m going to get this story edited and put into novel form. Whoever suggests the winning title, will get the story as a signed paperback. Make your suggestions in the comments. I give this contest a month, closing May 18th. Get your suggestions in before then. Yes, you may make multiple suggestions. US residents only for the paperback. Overseas readers, I’ll send you an ebook if you win.