The wedding loomed closer and all Tay could do was think of storm clouds. She did love Silas, after a fashion, but while their marriage would join their two Kingdoms into a formidable and wealthy Empire, Udristan to the east and Mutriuka and Kozanar to the south would likely become fearful. Previously, neither her beloved Sasmen or Silas’s nation of Crenia to the west were considered a threat, but this wedding and all of its implications could be interpreted as a prelude to war.
“A penny, Tay.”
She had been staring out her private tower’s western window at the city skyline and the farm lands beyond, and hadn’t noticed that her mother had come in.
Turning, she walked over to her, knelt, and kissed her hand in greeting. Then she rose and faced the Queen. “You would be short-changed, I’m afraid.”
“Oh, that again.” Her friendly demeanor instantly soured, and she adopted an expression of displeasure. “I’m only thinking of our people. This alliance will strengthen both of our nations. You know that.”
“And quite possibly plunge us into a bloody war, Mother.” She spun and walked to the window, and then turned back to her progenitor and the most powerful woman in their nation. “I’ve explained the dynamics of it again and again…”
“Yet you fail to convince me, little one.”