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Saturday, July 30, 2011
Amadea and the Divinity Blade - Chapter 8
The couple spent a week flying around the Empire, visiting all of the beautiful views, and just enjoying each other's company. They were playfully tickling one another during a picnic when a thought occurred to Zephyr.
"Amadea, my darling Sunny Day, what does an Emperor Consort do?"
"I don't know. There hasn't been an Empress Consort since my mother died when I was young so I have no idea what your duties would be. Whatever you want, I would imagine." Amadea settled into his arms.
"Well, what do you do all day?" Zephyr asked.
"Currently, I'm learning how to... how to... do everything I guess. Make decisions and sign papers mostly. I just want to be the best Empress I can be."
"Before my accident, I was learning how to be King in my father's footsteps. I remember that there were so many demands on my time. I was actually quite relieved when my brother became King instead of me." Zephyr traced her jaw with his finger.
"Well, it's different being the Empress, because in theory, we have the power to do anything but really we have to be very careful not to step on the toes of the Kings who rule the individual Kingdoms lest we start a war. The last Empress was ensorcelled, and allowed the Empire to descend into chaos."
"I remember from my childhood history lessons."
"That's why my father wants me married. To prevent me from being ensorcelled by someone unfit to rule," Amadea informed him.
"Wait, so you mean he's not going to find the right mate for you, but the right man to co-rule at your side?" Zephyr was astonished.
"Correct." Amadea played with his hair. It was made out of another earth element – metal – and stuck straight out from the follicle unless he forcibly bent them to lay flat.
"Then I really don't have a chance. Oh Gods! I've defiled the future Empress!" Zephyr panicked.
"What do you mean you don't have a chance?" Amadea asked.
"When I thought he was looking for the perfect mate for you, I thought I might actually be chosen for the same reason you did; the Gods seemed to have made us for each other. Well, you for me anyway, but I'm not qualified to be a ruler. I'm too much of an idiot at times!"
"Oh Zephyr, don't be silly. You'll make a wonderful Emperor Consort."
"You'll see. I'll make it as easy as I can on us. I'll make certain that my advisors handle the bulk of it, only bringing to our attention that which is beyond them. In these times of peace, it's mostly administrative duties anyway. We'll have a meeting each morning, and free time until dinner is served, and I don't care if I come wearing work clothes, I've never read an actual law that said we had to wear clothes so elaborate they take an hour to don," Amadea giggled.
Zephyr sighed. "Don't you wonder why the Gods chose you especially? What if they plan to throw some challenges your way? Wouldn't it make more sense to choose a mate to help you through whatever they have planned?”
"Then I know they'll choose you, there's no one better." Amadea smiled and kissed him.
Zira appeared just then and sighed in impatience. "I know you have two weeks to return in time for the weighing, but don't you think it might be wise to return ahead of Zephyr by a week?"
Amadea sighed. "I suppose you're right."
"Amadea! How dare you run off like that at such a crucial time?" Her father demanded.
"Oh father, I needed to take a break," Amadea excused.
"A break, there is no such thing as a break! From the moment you were chosen as heir, your path was clear, you-"
"Father, you can't be serious! Haven't you ever taken a vacation, even for a day?"
The Emperor stared at his daughter until she could tell he was serious. "No. Never."
"Oh father," Amadea clucked in sympathy. "No wonder you're-" she covered her mouth with her hand.
"Dying?" He asked. She nodded. He shrugged. "I was told my fate on the day I was crowned, as you will be told yours."
Father and daughter had never been very affectionate, but that did not stop her from throwing her arms around him.
He suffered her embrace in amusement. "So, what did you do on your week off?"
As she was still hugging her father, he could not see her blush. "I helped to defeat a troll."
"I thought as much," the Emperor sighed gravely. "That was unfair to the other contenders, and if your young man had actually been required to pass the tests, I would disqualify him."
"What? He wasn't required?" Amadea gasped.
"No, remember? Zira made me promise that any man you choose would automatically be allowed to stand on the scales. I just had him go through the tests in order to be fair to all of the others."
"Father! Do you have any idea what –? If I hadn't been there, he would have been killed! How dare you send him after such a powerful troll in the first place?!" Amadea demanded angrily.
"I argued against it," the Emperor protested. "He volunteered, and I didn't think to disbelieve him when he said he could handle it."
"He probably could have, if the Troll hadn't been so much more powerful than expected," Zira defended. "He had somehow gotten a hold of the Divinity Blade."
"The Divinity Blade?" Amadea wondered.
"Yes. It's a sword made out of the pure essence of the God who – according to legend – stood alone against the other Gods in a war that lasted centuries, and ultimately sacrificed himself to save the world. The other Gods – shocked by his death – saw the error of their ways, and honored his essence by placing it prominently in the palace of the Gods. It supposedly was granted to a human hero who also found himself fighting alone against overwhelming odds more than a millennia ago. It grants its bearer protection, extra power, a weapon to use against evil, and the knowledge necessary to use it.
"However, as demonstrated by the troll, it can be used by anyone with the will to take it. Even so, I can't imagine how he got his hands on it! Thankfully, it abandoned him just in time for Zephyr to kill him. Unfortunately, I have no idea where it went," Zira finally finished explaining.
Amadea scratched her left palm, which suddenly tingled. "You mean this thing?"
Zira examined the faint glow on Amadea's hand, and swore in awe. "Amadea, you received the Divinity Blade?"
"If that's what this is, then yes. It happened just after I cast the spell of binding. The light flew right into my hand."
"If only you hadn't been invisible at the time; I would have loved to see that," Zira commented.
Amadea's father frowned. "Maybe you should tell me what happened from the beginning."
Amadea complied, leaving out what happened after the battle was over.
The Emperor mulled this over a moment. "Why didn't the Divinity Blade go to Zephyr?"
"I have no idea," Zira stated.
"Maybe it's because I invoked the Goddess of Earth," Amadea suggested.
The Emperor chuckled in amazement. "It's seems to me your mother named you quite aptly. You truly are beloved by the Gods."
"You think so, but why?" Amadea wondered. She received two shrugs in answer.
Go To Chapter 9
Go To Chapter 9