Vandresa looked at her new hair. She finally looked a Landen. For a moment she couldn't believe that she was going to return to Sunspear to finish the deed. After he first attempt of killing her aunt, she had lost hope and just wanted to retreat back to King's Point where she could rule and Maven would help fund her. She had four days until the new year, time was running out.
"Bring me a gown. I do not care which one it is, I just need one." Vandresa said, sitting down in a chair.
One person stayed with Vandresa, walking over to her. "Vandresa, what troubles you?" She asked.
Vandresa sighed and then looked at her servant. "I just feel as if this isn't worth it anymore. Maven told me that she would allow me to return to King's Point where I could rule there and every year she would send a large sum of gold to help fund us."
Her servant looked at her, slightly shocked. "Then why do you need a gown?"
"I am going to make amends with my aunt and take her up on her offer. Our portion of the rebellion is over. It is rumored that her powers grow every day now that Jareed is in jail. She would burn us, just like she did to her sister." Vandresa said, playing with her hair.
"But Princess Elena died..." The servant started to say.
"It was entirely an accident, believe me. I was still part of the Landen Court. The two were playing and an assassin was sent to kill Maven, but grabbed Elena at first. Maven tried to save her sister, but accidentally caused her body to overheat..." Vandresa said, trailing off.
"Which is why her hair turned black." The servant replied.
"And which is why Maven now has black hair." Vandresa paused for a moment, "It makes sense now!"
"What does?" The servant asked.
"Her hair was always black. The servants knew her secret, they dyed her hair to keep her secret safe." Vandresa said.
"So Maven has always been a descendant of Esses?" The servant asked.
"Yes. So she always had been the true Queen of the Southern Kingdom. I am the one that is the traitor. What have I done?" Vandresa asked in horror.
Tywin stood over Maven's bed, watching her, hoping she would awake soon. Tywin turned just as the door opened. It was just Jareed. He looked better than when they had saved him. His hair was now washed and he had shaved.
"How is she?" Jareed asked.
"Still asleep." Tywin replied.
"You shouldn't fear. She is fine. During the reign of Esses, she had these too. It's just the body's way of keeping her safe." Jareed replied.
"What do you mean?" Tywin asked.
"With dragon's blood, Maven's body is prone to overheating which could lead to death. So as a sort of safety mechanism, the body gives out before they can overheat. Tywin, the last Dragon Queen that overheated..." Jareed said, looking down.
"What?" Tywin asked.
"During the reign of Queen Myra, she overheated and well... her true form was shown. Like I said, overheating leads to death." Jareed said again.
"But...?" Tywin asked softly.
"She is fine! She should awake soon." Jareed said quickly and then stormed out of the room.
Maven looked around. Where was she? She had no recollection of the place she was in. It was a large marble hall with pillars and torches. The marble was dyed a red color, and there was a throne at the end of the hall. Above the throne was a large circular window that had a dragon in the middle.
"Come closer child." A deep, yet womanly voice boomed.
Maven looked around, trying to find where the voice was coming from.
"Come to the throne child." The voice boomed again.
Maven slowly and hesitantly walked closer to the throne. As she got closer to the throne, she noticed a tall and slender woman standing before it. "Who are you?" Maven asked.
"Your predecessor." The woman replied.
The woman's voice was hushed yet strangely soothing.
"You're..." Maven said, thinking.
"I am Queen Esses, the last of the Dragon Queens until now." She replied.
Just as she said that, four more women appeared almost out of no where. They all bowed before Maven.
"This is Queen Myra, the Dragon Queen before me. The lady next to her is Queen Elisif, her predecessor. The woman next to Elisif is Queen Reina. Lastly, the first of the Dragon Queens, Queen Ulma." Esses said, pointing to each of the women.
Queen Ulma bowed before Maven. "Welcome to the Palace of Dragons."
Maven looked around, it all made sense now. "But, I was just at Sunspear Keep."
Myra laughed for a moment and then regained her composure. "Yes, about that. You see, the moment you passed out, your spirit was sent here to us. You are fine, do not worry. You will awake when we're done helping you."
"Helping me?" Maven asked.
Esses stepped forward and smiled at Maven. "I know this whole Dragon Queen thing is new to you. We are here to help you channel your powers so it doesn't get out of control. Like it did fifteen years ago."
Maven gave Esses a strange look. "What are you talking about?"
Before Esses could speak, Elisif stepped forward. "Fifteen years ago, in an attempt to save your sister you accidentally killed her using your powers. Your parents had the Grand Sage take those memories. They and everyone on the Landen Court knew what you were. That's why your coronation was such a public display."
Esses nodded at Elisif and then walked over to Maven. "Maven, you are not a monster. You are a savior."