As though trying to convince her subjects that flame had taken on human form, Illian Shamir clad herself in silks of red, blue, and silver. Her eyes, a navy and violet eyes smoldered more with every glance of her subjects.  The worthless slimes knew they had failed her and anxiously awaited their cue to grovel. Illian’s throne room was thick with fear. Shamir closed her eyes for an instant, allowing the lurking vision to pulse into her conscious mind.
She could see all and nothing.
The wave and the flame dancing in strife... or dueling in bed.
The young and old friends... or inevitable enemies.
The sapling grown into an ancient oak... or devoured in the fire’s hunger and drowned by the ocean’s blind fury.
There were innumerable potentials but only one that seemed to matter:
A void where a single flame was all to see
And a flourish in which the Lost One tamed an ocean and fostered a tree.
As her nobles watched, the corners of Illian’s mouth turned up in a devilish smile. With her nearly black eyes, the Empress scoured each of the subjects who had come to court; all withered beneath her gaze. Satisfied, the Empress addressed her crowd with a firm voice that carried easily throughout the room, “The Academy has yet to reach completion. Students who were promised a shining future are delayed their indoctrination. Would you have the Empire burn?” a murmur of protest broke out, many unsure if the question was rhetorical. Tenaciously, she assured her people, “Burn we shall not! I am a strong leader and I will harness the flames that would destroy this great people or douse them with our strength; but I must have your support! If I do not receive it, truthfully and joyously,  a greater threat than any our people have faced before will strike our hearts and destroy the souls and minds of our youth!”
Outside, servants and common folk froze at the sound of cheers within the Empress’s Court. Years had passed since anything more than Shamir’s voice could be heard outside the court’s walls. Hope spread to all who heard the adulation. Even if some of their praise came from fear of retaliation... they had been given reason to cheer.
Inside, Shamir slowly rose to her full stature. 6’4”, the Empress was of impressive height even for a male. Her slender body, voluptuous bosom, and shimmery bronze skin had long since lost its affect on those prone to ogling. The fourth castration had taught her people that she was not to be a source of their pleasure. Still, her dress seemed to ask them to seek solace in her image.
Calling court to an end, she cast her gaze once more upon the people responsible for her projects’ successes; in their weak, malleable minds, it brought forth imaginings of things done wrong and things that could go wrong in the future. A few bodies shuddered and guards took note. Those who shuddered were always punished at a later date.
With a lofty gait, the young tyrant made her way to her private quarters, hoping for news that would save her dwindling number of buffoons from suffering the gallows.

The End

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