"A bird?" said Edmerka to her maidservant the next morning. "He sent me a bird?" She peered into the cage in the maid's hands.
"A nightingale, Your Majesty," beamed the maid. She hung the cage near a window. "They sing, oh, it's so beautiful! It'll break your heart, it will. They say they sing for their lost loves."
"We have nightingales in Leute," Edmerka snapped. She stomped out of her bower, down the stairs to the upper hall where the King met with his counselors, and demanded entrance.
Inside, Warin and several Tremontine lords bent low over a map. "Should civil war come to Leute," the King was saying, "we must be on guard against attempts to take these castles along our borders--" He straightened as Edmerka burst through the door, a protesting servant at her heels. Her eyes were bright with anger; he might have expected this.
"Explain yourself, sir!" she said, stuttering on the words.Read the rest of this post