The previous Sassy Saturday post can be read here: Tiza the Tank
The context for this post: Being queen is difficult and tricky so Kasile regularly vents her frustrations to the one person she feels comfortable doing so, Eric. This is one of those times.
After Tiza's action hero exploits last week...huh? You say that was three weeks ago? My, how time flies...Anyway, I felt that Kasile's "fighting" in her government was a tempting contrast.
Kasile's guards opened the door for him and Kasile herself welcomed him with poise and grace. She dismissed the guards. It was only when he sat down across from her that he saw her legs jittering underneath her heavy skirts.
“The Knight of Education is an insufferable ass,” she said while pouring tea.
Eric sipped it. “You don't say...”
Kasile made an unqueen-like groan. “Yes! She created a new scholarship centered on a trading card game just so her grandchildren can attend a private high school at taxpayer expense.”
“A trading card game? That’s ridiculous.”
“I know! My auditor protested that she had the gall to play the ‘diversity’ card and accuse him of discrimination against the non-athletic.”
“Are we talking about a political maneuver or the card game?”
Kasile rose without elegance and hiked up her skirts so she could round the table and smack him on the head. Then she slumped back into her chair.
“She’s the kind of smug, entitled, and entrenched bitch that my dad warned me about before he was possessed by an enforcer. That condescending tone she took when I summoned her…! ‘You’ll understand when you’re a grandmother, my little queen’ GRRRR! She makes me want to splash this tea in her face!”
Eric munched a biscuit. “What are you going to do about it?”
“I’m going to host this card game tournament of hers and personally invite the best players I can find. The prize will be the scholarship. If her smothered brats want it, then they have to earn it!”
Eric drank more tea and poured himself some more. “Why don’t you just say ‘no’?”
Kasile threw her fan at his forehead and, after it impacted, she held out her hand in a silent command for him to return it. He pushed it back into her reach without a thought.
“If I did that then I’d open myself up to ‘the queen is anti-education’ propaganda and I don’t need that kind of press right now. Besides, Ataidar is not an autocracy and my status as a demi-goddess does not entitle me to ignore the free will of others. Indeed, my divine ancestor is the Goddess of Desire and as such –”
This was followed by a summation of over two thousand years of political philosophy mixed with fire-themed theology. It went all the way back to the founder of Ataidar and earlier. Eric involuntarily tuned it out. It was a habit from listening to Dengel all day and all night. Because of this, he didn't realize she asked him a question until she smacked him again.
“Are you listening?”
“You lost me around King Steiner IX and Queen Fran the XII. Why do all your ancestors copy each other’s names?”
“Irrelevant. Besides, the card game is trendy right now, and so I can use it as a fundraiser for mana mutation projects.”
“Like me going to the Mana-less Abysshole to look for Dengel-era research.”
“I don’t expect you to find anything. The point is that I’m making an effort.”
“You are making an effort?”
“Yes, me. As queen, I am an administrator. If a god wants to get something done, they don’t descend from the Celestial Realm to do it themselves. They tell a monk or a nun to do it. I work through agents like you and Gruffle. I stay here in my heaven while you go out into the world to put my plans in motion and watch my enemies.”
“So that’s why Gruffle is following Nulso.”
“Of course. Arresting a mana mutation pioneer who turned to ordercraft is also bad press I can’t handle right now, so I assigned someone to watch his movements.”
“You trust him to do that?”
“Of course not. That’s why I placed a Fire Blood spell on him. If he breaks his parole, then his blood will turn into fire. This means he can’t leave Nulso behind or work against my interests.”
“Couldn’t Nulso negate it with his own power?”
She tried to smack him a fourth time, but Eric caught her wrist. Then, noticing that the biscuits were gone, he moved her fingers into his mouth and mimed chewing them. She made a face and pulled her hand back, wiping it on a napkin.
“I am a divine being. I have divine blood, which means I use divine magic. Furthermore, I am the lawfully designated authority in this country and I administer punishment for crimes occurring within my own home. Put these two facts together and Nulso cannot touch my spell.”
Until the meeting of the Noble Council, they spoke of other things. There were other knight departments giving her grief, nobles that hounded her with proposals, the Summit projects, and the soon in-coming suitor line. This led to talking about Siron and his honoring ceremony that very night. He was a brilliant hero during Tasio’s prank and she wanted to make sure everyone knew it.
“Thus my excuse for why I summoned you: I need your opinion on the Tazul attack.”
_________________________________________________________________________Looming Shadow, and the rest of the Journey to Chaos series, is available for purchase at Amazon
To learn more about the heroines of Journey to Chaos, visit the Tvtropes character sheet.
The next Sassy Saturday post is Plundering Dengel's Treasury
Brian Wilkerson is a freelance book reviewer, writing advice blogger and independent novelist. He studied at the University of Minnesota and came away with bachelor degrees in English Literature and History (Classical Mediterranean Period concentration).