“I’m running out of children”, the Queen of Azfurah said over a cup of cold tea and a breakfast of boiled eggs, dropping them all one by one into her mouth from a bowl on her bedroom table.
“It would appear so, Majesty.” Lady Dana replied, gesturing toward the boiled egg bowl before the Queen waved her off, helping herself to an egg as she set the tablet on the Queen’s lap.
Munching on her egg, the Queen slid a finger across the screen with an eye roll.
“So, Rami’s boat just sunk, just like that?”
Dana nodded. “Right in the middle of the ocean.”
“Yes, Queen. I offer my condolensce-“
“No, not with him! I’m glad to have that spoiled drunk out of the way! Sailing all over the world in that monstrosity of a vessel, wasting his allowance on brothels and pseudo-magic, bah!”
Master Dana blink, swallowing down the rest of her egg before continuing. “Well, Prince Rami did garner many a trade agreement! I’ve never seen relations be so good with Nazir-“
“Bah! That’s because the King’s eldest daughter fancied him and his golden boat. Bah it all, Dana, my dear! I need an heir!” The Queen said, tossing the tablet back to Dana who caught it before it hit the floor.
Musing for a moment, Dana said, “What about your daughter?”
The Queen sipped her tea, fixing Dana with a cold stare. “What about my daughter?”
Taking this as a sign for her to press on, Lady Dana said, “Well, she’s received a royal education, despite her circumstance-“
“You mean, because she’s a bastard?” The Queen cut in with a wry smile, making Dana sigh.
“I never said that, Jabeera-“ Dana began, before the Queen cut in again.
“Oh, yes you did. Right after she was born and I had to send her and her mother to that old tower in the first place.”
Dana sighed again. “Regardless, I think she would be a viable option. She has veritable ties to the bloodline and would at least make a suitable heir. We’ll talk more about making her a suitable successor after she gets to the Palace.”
The Queen sucked her teeth. “Very well, make an announcement to the knights, and whoever else you think would be up for a quest. The summer is ending soon, and if I don’t have an heir by the time my birthday comes around-“
“I understand, my Queen” Dana said, giving her Queen a solemn bow.
“Good. Thank you, Dana. And by the way, how are your little magicians coming along?”
Dana rolled her eyes. “Adequately. All of them are fine, but nothing special. They should all pass their exams this week. Well, all except one, though goddess knows I’ve been trying.”
“Really, “ the Queen replied, grinning at her head Lady-in-Waiting’s apparent annoyance as she grabbed another egg from her bowl. Stuffing it her mouth, she asked “With who?”
Mya was on her balcony, making medicine and moonshine.
“For the urchins, “ was what she told Von when he came to visit that morning, surprised to see his friend still in her sleep-clothes and hunched over a boiling cauldron, using her satchel as an impromptu chair to prop herself up against the midsummer heat of the balcony floor.
But if Mya was any sort of honest with herself, she would have said that she’d spent the hours watching her wall-clock for the hours she had killed on the balcony, conjuring an excuse for her roommates and her Master to why she missed her lessons. Again.