I shuffled silently into the much smaller and less grand deciding room. Taking our positions around the rough oak round table everyone was still whispering to each other in disbelief or to themselves. I hoped this wouldn’t happen, once again, from somewhere, she had managed to pull up immense courage and power like she had displayed in the testing. After a minute or so the room went silent and Helena stood. “It seems we have been sheltering in our world for too long, so focused on ourselves we have let ourselves become surrounded while we turned a blind eye to the rest of the planet.”

 Nobody spoke, not even I.  The occasional ashamed look was exchanged around the table. Honestly though I hated to admit it to myself I was also lost for words.  Not because of a fluke of convincing words from my failure of a half-breed granddaughter, but in disbelief the enemy they talked of was the Van Helsings, strong allies to our world for years. If nobody else was going to make a stand it looked like I dammed well had to.

“My Queen, I must protest. Are we so quick to believe that the noble Van Helsing line has turned for evil? We could be making fools of ourselves, do we even have the funds for a war? I say it is nothing more than hearsay and slander designed to turn us against our own allies! What interest of theirs is it that our race thrives? Both have chosen lives outside our domain. We could be willingly walking into a trap.”  I sat down and smiled as my words started another swarm of conversation around the table.

“There was not a word of lie in Morgan’s speech, no deceit in her eyes. You know that as well as I do Cecil , they are opening our eyes to what we have refused to watch for far too long. We have little choice but to accept war, we are too late to have any other option left.  The elves cannot fight alone, perhaps this is another chance to fix the rift between our two races, at least improve relations.” This received several enthusiastic nods.

I knew I had lost when the entire room dropped silent as soon as Helena had begun her first word. She was clearly already decided and the admiration the rest of the council had for Helena’s judgement in situations like this would never be swayed.   It seemed we were at a decision, Morgan had passed, we were going to war.

“I believe Morgan has said all that needs discussing, unless anyone else has a question or protest?” The room stayed silent as every member gave quick glances to the others in case they stood to speak. The short moment felt like an hour as everyone’s gaze settled on the still standing Helena. “It seems to be an almost unanimous decision then.” She gave me a quick glance as she put emphasis on the ‘almost.’ “I shall present them with the news, the rest of you send out a message, and ready the armies. I shall make my public speech tonight.

Helena swiftly made her way to the door and everyone else dissipated to their various roles as soon as she was out of sight. Everyone except I. Our world was about to change, and change quickly, I wanted to remember the last few moments of peace before my treasured family name would doubtless be dragged backwards through the mud. I sighed before slowly standing, I still had duties to do as a member of the court, I still had orders to follow, even if I would never agree with what I now had no control over.  “Damn that child” I muttered as I paced towards my office.

The End

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