“You’ve only yourself to blame! You knew I vehemently opposed his beliefs—that fool of a man. You’ve known how much I’ve despised him. Yet all this time, you’ve kept me so close, closer even than him, your own husband and king. And you’ve always regarded my advice like word from the Gods!” A lady with frightfully dark eyes and a split tongue spat back at the High Ruler. “He had too much power. Power that is rightfully yours, My Queen. He would have destroyed this country!”
“That was not your call to make, Veda!” Screamed the High Ruler.
“Do not call me by my first name, you traitor!”
“Ranee! It is my call to make.” Veda stared her queen in the eyes. Queen Ranee’s eyes were as light as Veda’s were dark. They were like honey glistening in the light of a cloudless summer morning. “I foresaw the destruction he would have hailed upon this kingdom. And as my duties entail, I ensured the survival of this land and its people. And most importantly, your safety and your happiness.”
Ranee suddenly felt as though she had been plunged into icy water. A shiver ran up her spine, her teeth chattered, and her head cooled. It grew even colder and colder as she stared into Veda’s eyes—Veda’s dark, cool, ever-loving eyes. She had trusted them so much. Trusted? Now, why was that past tense? Had something happened? Ranee envisioned the face of a lovely looking man—a crowned prince, ever so handsome, somehow familiar, but without a clue as to his identity. Who’s he? She continued to gaze into Veda’s eyes. Veda had always been by her side, always protected her and been there when she needed her. Veda… Veda… Veda… Why are you doing this?
“For you, My Queen.”
Veda’s image remained gentle as the iciness numbed Ranee’s fingers, toes, and chilled her to the bone. “Ranee… Ranee…” Veda’s voice called out softly and faintly.
“Ranee…” Ranee shot straight up. She was in her bed, comfortable and warm beneath her covers. Her High Priestess—a messenger of the Gods, clairvoyant and all-knowing, and Head Consultant of the High Ruler—sat calmly on her bedside, smiling brightly at her. Her dark eyes were so wise Ranee could almost see the universe within them. “There you are, my Queen. Did you sleep well?”
“Y-yes.” Ranee stammered out confusedly. She put her hand over her heart; it was beating fast, almost anxiously. Ranee tried for a moment to remember a dream she had had. It had terrified her, but she couldn’t recall anything of it.
“Are you feeling alright, my Queen?” Veda put a hand to her forehead. Ranee flinched for a moment, but couldn’t understand why. However, Veda hadn’t missed it and withdrew her hand, her mouth pulling down gloomily at the corners. “Maybe a little more rest would suit you well.” Cooed Veda. “Don’t sleep for too long though. We have plenty of work to do!”
A sudden though tickled Ranee into a smile. “If I had a king, the agenda might move along a little faster.” She joked at Veda, suddenly feeling much more herself.
“A king, my Queen? Why would such a strong and brilliant High Ruler such as yourself ever need one of those silly things?” Veda teased at her.
Ranee laughed. “Why are you so good, Veda?”
“For you, My Queen.”