She escorts us to the back of the tavern, and as we disappear into shadows, the laughter and banter starts up again. We end up at a booth removed from the main dining area, tucked into a corner with candlelight and nothing else. I slide into one side and Fen sits opposite me. Baron crawls under the table and lies on top of our feet.
Elora sighed. I assume this is about Finn.You had no right to fire him! He did nothing wrong!
It doesn’t matter if he did anything wrong, I can ‘fire’ anyone for any reason. I am the Queen. Slowly she turned to me, her face stunningly emotionless. It is not the act of disagreeing that I had a problem with; it was why.This is about my stupid name? I spouted incredulously.There is much you still have to learn. Please, sit. Elora gestured to one of the couches, and she lay back on the chaise lounge. There’s no need to get huffy with me, Princess. We need to talk.
I don’t want to change my name, I said as I sat down on the couch across from her. I don’t know why it’s such a big deal to you. Names can’t be that important.It’s not about the name. Elora waved it off. Her hair flowed out like silk around her, and she played with it absently. I know that you think I’m cruel and heartless, but I’m not. I care very deeply for Finn, more than a Queen should care for a servant, and I am sorry that I have been so negligent in the examples that I have set for you. It pains me to see Finn go, but I can assure you that I did it for you.
You did not! I yelled. You did it because you were jealous!
My emotions played no part in this decision. Not even the way I feel about you factored into this. Her lips tightened, and she stared emptily at me. I did what I had to do because it was best for the kingdom.The wolf sits by Fen's feet, ears alert, teeth bared at the dungeon.
It's hot, the stone walls are stained red, and I don't even want to think of what caused those marks. I cough. "Is that sulfur?""How disappointingly predictable. A demon dungeon that smells of sulfur."
"It has its uses," he says, but I can tell he's bothered by being called disappointing and predictable. He is the Prince of Pride after all.There is a sound of clanking chains as we approach a corner, and the largest man I've ever seen appears before us. He's not really a man though. He's at least nine feet tall, bulging with muscle everywhere. His head is bald and his body covered in tribal tattoos. Large black horns protrude from his skull. His pupils are too narrow like a reptile's. His teeth are sharpened to deadly points and when he speaks, his voice sounds like gravel. "My Prince, how can I serve you?"