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prejackpot t1_izyopt6 wrote

“There is no question of succession,” Princess Ireni said smoothly. “With the death of his father the king, Prince Reynaud is now King Reynaud the Seventh. We only await his coronation.”

“Your highness-” the archbishop began softly. “The prince has not been seen these twenty years.”

“For heavens’ sake, princess,” Chancellor Mors cut in. “You can’t truly believe that Prince Reynaud is still alive.”

Princess Ireni turned slowly to fix her gaze on the chancellor. “If I did not believe it, my lord, would I continue to stand at the Lake of Longing every evening, day after day and year after year? The prince is now your king. And he will return.”

“The prince is dead, Ireni!” Mors snapped. “He’s been dead twenty years, and your longing is a woman’s madness. I’m sorry,” he said to the rest of the royal councilors. “But someone has to tell her.”

“You poor man,” Princess Ireni shook her head. “Your poor wife, to have been married to you for your family name, her father’s lands. You know nothing of love. Love is not madness. Love is clarity. When two souls are joined as one, when one soul can look out of another’s eyes, yes, that is clarity. Reynaud and I have that love. I have that clarity. Reynaud is our king. And he is returning.”

The rest of the councilors shifted in their seats, glancing to the door as if expecting Reynaud to enter it there and then. Chancellor Mors hesitated, looking around for support. Finding none, he banged his fist on the table. “This is delusion!” he shouted. “The prince is dead!”

“Careful, my lord chancellor,” Princess Ireni warned. “To envision the death of your king is treason.”

“Envision? Treason?” Mors sputtered. “King Reynaud has died, and has been reunited with his son in the halls of heaven! These are not visions, these are facts this council must deal with!”

“Guards,” Princess Ireni said serenely. “Take Lord Mors into custody.”

“You will do no such thing!” Mors turned to the guards, but they seized his arms.

“My husband, when he returns, will judge your crime,” Princess Ireni said as he was taken from the room. “But I know he will show mercy.”

The doors closed. The room was silent. Sir Archambault, the Master Treasurer, was the first to kneel. “Long live Reynaud the Seventh!” he declared.

Next came young Lord De Rihe. “Long live Reynaud the Seventh! Long live Queen Ireni, the Queen Regent!”

The rest followed.

“It is done,” said Ireni softly to her attendant, Leyda, when she returned to her chambers.

Leyda lowered herself as gracefully as she could on her aging knees, until her forehead touched the floor. “My queen.” And, in a lower voice once Ireni told her to rise: “Your vengeance is complete at last.”

“He took all I had,” Ireni said softly. “Twenty years ago I took his life, but today I take his birthright.”

“Must we still go to the Lake of Longing, your highness?”

“Of course,” Queen Ireni gestured for Leyda to fetch her cloak. The weather was starting to turn, and the winds across the lake were cold. “My husband will return. I can feel it in my heart.”

(Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this story, I have more collected at


MindOverMoxie t1_izz2c38 wrote

Oooohhh… she never would have gained regency without her husband’s name.