From that day, Edmerka rejoined the daily life of the Keep. She walked more often in the garden, ate in the Great Hall, and dressed in colors, if drab ones, but she rebuffed every attempt Warin made to engage her in conversation. "I am not inclined to speak privately with you, Your Majesty," was all she would say, until finally Hendas of Holset came to her in frustration.
"Lady, I am here to tell you that you will either marry King Warin, or you will marry the Leutan lord of your choosing," he said, settling his thick frame into an equally thick chair in her bower.
"And if I choose none?" she said.
"Then you bring civil war to your kingdom, or worse. The lords ruling in your name will only do it for so long before their ambition overtakes them. And if you reject him, the King may decide to take Leute by force in his anger. Either way, you will destroy your people. Thousands will die, either by the sword or from the starvation and sickness that always follow war."Read the rest of this post