Sage sat there half in shock half in anger, letting Drakmor's words echo in her head. Her good mood was spoiled, she knew he was right. She couldn't have it both ways, she couldn't be a fighter and a leader. She'd have to give up one thing, and right now her people needed a leader.

She didn't move from her spot on the floor. She was concentrating with simple breathing techniques trying to get a harness on her new powers. She groaned, she no doubt had a bruise on her tailbone. She was working up the ambition to get up on her feet, but Calla entered the room a moment too soon.

“Empress, what are you doing on the floor?”

“That's a good question.” She said pushing herself onto her feet. “Calla pray, go fetch me my bow.”

Calla shook her head. “ I'm afraid I can't do that.”

Sage fixed the women with a stare. “And why exactly is that?”

“Master Drakmor ordered that I hand it over to him.”

Sage narrowed her eyes. “ He is not your Master Calla, he's simply an overgrown spoiled child.”

Calla ignored the remark. “More importantly the Marquess of Sandstone had sent a letter requesting your presence at an elitist ball and conference tonight.”

Sage grimaced. She didn't have time for a ball, dancing and socializing was the furthest thing from her mind. Calla frowned at Sage's lack on enthusiasm. “If I may say so myself Empress, this is the perfect opportunity to make alliances with other Empires.”

A heavy feeling settled in Sage's chest. It would also be the perfect opportunity for others to mock her. Drakmor was right, she didn't act the part of a leader. Surely she didn't dress like one, however they needed alliances one way or another. The kind maid set the invitation on the dressing table and curtsied before exiting the room.

In frustration Sage went to search for Drakmor and her bow. She'd be damned if she left Galvenston without it. Just outside of the castle, Drakmor and his men were stationed in a canvas tent. Sage heard laughter and light conversation. She peaked through the crack of the partially open flap. Drakmor, it seemed was engaged in a card game with one of his men. His back was turn towards her, giving Sage the perfect view of his hand of cards. She smiled ruefully and observed the game for a moment before barging into the tent. Drakmor turned his attention to her, a dangerous glint seemed to dance in his eyes. She ignored it, refusing to be intimidated by the man. In a quick gesture she stole the cards out of Drakmor's hand and slapped them face up onto the card table. “He's bluffing,” She told Drakmor's acquaintance.

Drakmor stood up, and grabbed her by the arm. The laughter and conversation in the tent immediately died down, all eyes turned towards them. “You bastard. You took my bow,” she shouted prying his fingers off of her arm.

Drakmor simply stared at her. He was challenging her, “Why should you need a bow?”

Sage stood on her tiptoes and delivered an identical glare. “I'm going hunting, before attending a conference of royalists,” she said mostly in truth.

The answer seemed to satisfy him enough to return her bow. She walked out of the tent without another word to the man. She didn't understand him. At times he bowed down to her promising to obey her every command, and at times he was rough and cruel to her.

She returned to her room, to be made up for the elitist ball, in doing so she became excited to meet new people and for once actually feel like a royalist herself.


The End

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