DISCLAIMER : The characters of Xena and Gabrielle and some others belong in their entirety to Universal/MCA, Renaissance Pictures, and all the other powers that be. No copyright infringement is intended. I wrote this story at the urging of my muse; it should never be used for profit.
This story is a sequel to the stories “Lord Conqueror of the Realm” and "Queen of the Realm." I strongly recommend you read them first because in this story there are references to events that took place in them. Here is where you can find them:
LOVE/SEX WARNING/DISCLAIMER : This story involves both love and sex (at times some rough/raw play with very mild BDSM elements – all consensual - nothing severe) between two adult women. If you're under 18 or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it.
SPECIAL THANKS : My humble most ardent gratitude to the excellent, most brilliant Beta readers Nancyjean and Alexandriaruth whom I can't thank enough.
Comments, thoughts, questions & feedback : MOST WELCOMED – The more you write me, the quicker I post – I mean it!
Go To Part 1
The days grew shorter, darker and colder as time sluggishly passed within the palace walls. The household staff could sense the Conqueror's ever growing agitation as she bustled through halls and corridors, body tensed with amassed vigor force as if about to erupt at any given moment. Trained by experience, all without exception tiptoed their way around the Sovereign so as not to provide an outlet to fury.
The Conqueror was reclining atop a hip of pillows in her balcony, her eyes resting upon no particular spot in the horizon beyond the outer wall surrounding the palace. She filled her lungs with the familiar scent of the restless, ceaseless sea and became nearly memorized by its darkening water. A mild wind was gently rocking the docking ships of the Imperial fleet. The motion of the bobbing masts, the flaying banners of the Realm and the sounds of the wind pushing small foamy waves against the hulls of the ships carried the Conqueror's mind to Thira . She missed it and the voyage at sea. Most of all she missed being with her wife alone and in happiness and love.
A knock on the doors pulled the Conqueror back from her musing about the sunbathed white beaches of Thira and from her wife's arms to the gloomy present.
It was Thetis' soft, apologetic voice.
"What is it?" the Conqueror asked and averted her gaze from the sea to her attendant.
"The servant whom your Majesty has sent with Lady Lila to inquire after…"
"Has she returned?" the Conqueror asked impatiently. That evening she desired to be left alone to enjoy a quiet respite from matters of the Realm.
"She has, your Majesty," Thetis replied.
"Have you questioned her?"
"I have, your Majesty."
"What have you discovered?"
"She says that Lady Lila met with both Nobleman Drusus and Nobleman Sirus and aside from dreary complaints about the burden of taxes she heard nothing that might suggest any conspiracy against your Majesty."
"Was she with Lady Lila at all times?" the Conqueror asked.
"She claims that Lady Lila was never out of her sight the entire time, not even during the nights."
The Conqueror grunted heavily. "Is there anything else?"
"She made the most curious observation, your Majesty, in regards to Lady Lila's youngest son, Germanicus. She alleged that he had demonstrated loyalty towards your Majesty and had sided with your Majesty's policy against his mother's and the noblemen's grievances and condemnations to the point of a heated argument between them. Moreover, she alleged that he had also expressed his deep fondness and deference towards her Majesty the Queen."
Dispassionately, the Conqueror muttered, "How interesting, indeed," and returned her weary and lamenting gaze back to the sea.
Thetis studied the Conqueror's grave and pensive profile and it pained her. She knelt before the Conqueror, pushed her red tresses backwards, exposing her neck and began to unlace her blouse.
If the Conqueror's movements had seemed languid before - they weren't any longer. The Conqueror turned her head back sharply and beheld her servant. "What is the meaning of this?" Her voice was laden with ire and predominant with disappointment.
"Majesty, I…" Thetis began to explain her actions.
The last thing the Conqueror had patience for was to hear some empty excuses or wanton flattery. "Such behavior finds no favor with me, lass!"
"I beg your forgiveness, Majesty,” Thetis agonized over what became clear to her, her grave lapse in judgment. With hastened fumbling fingers, she tied the laces back. Still on her knees before the Conqueror, she went on to say, “I meant only to ease your Majesty's loneliness.”
"Did I waylay you with lewd intent or order you to yield your body to me?" the Conqueror ask in a tone of voice that sounded more like an interrogation and lurched upwards to sit upright.
"No, your Majesty," Thetis answered with a small voice and with a bit of shame. As she splayed her fingers out in a fan against her breastbone, a thought crossed her mind that her Master wasn't one to simply accept offers of carnal pleasures but rather one to hunt, seduce and conquer women to feed her sexual urges.
“Are you my wife and Queen?!” Another of the Conqueror's firm and sardonic responses came quickly enough.
“Of course I am not, Majesty,” Thetis answered with her head hanging low beneath her drooped shoulders.
“Then what concern is my loneliness to you?!”
With a timid, small voice Thetis replied the only truth she had to offer, “I am your Majesty's loyal servant, as were my father and uncle. I only meant to serve your Majesty. It would have been my honor and pleasure to do so and the act of servitude itself would have been my only reward. I would have kept it a secret upon the pain of death.”
The Conqueror believed Thetis's words that her actions were ingrained in her will to serve and in no other agenda. "Let this be the last time you ever dissatisfy me in such a sordid manner."
"Yes, Majesty," Thetis replied.
The Sovereign gaze drifted back to the sea and her mind back to her memories of happier times. "Leave," an order fell out of her mouth.
"Majesty," Theits mumbled and left.
The following night, as the Conqueror - donned in her long, dark robe and holding a torch in her hand - was walking down the corridor on her way to her mysterious nightly activities, Princess Terreis' nurses in attendance accosted the un-expecting Ruler.
"Majesty," the nurse, who seemed terribly distraught, curtsied in haste and urgency was evident in her voice.
"What is the matter?" the Conqueror asked her, and examined the nurse's features to ascertain just how worried she was.
"Her Grace woke up a few moments ago complaining that she wasn't feeling well and then lost the content of her stomach," the nurse's speech maintained its urgency and concern.
"Fetch the Imperial Healer and inform her Majesty the Queen," the Conqueror ordered and changed direction to her youngest daughter's bedchamber.
The Sovereign pushed the doors open and stormed into the bedchamber.
As soon as she heard the doors being opened and saw her Sire rushing towards her bedside, Princess Terreis, who was lying in her bed beneath the covers, outstretched her arms.
"How are you feeling, little one?" the Conqueror asked, as worried as she had been when last her Queen was with child. The light stench of fresh vomit abused her nostrils; it was then that she caught sight of the wooden bucket containing the foul substance at the foot of Terries' bed. She gently touched her palm to Terreis' forehead and examined the temperature. She wasn't entirely sure whether the child was feverish or not, but was sure enough that the child appeared sickly and flushed.
"Not well, Sire. My belly hurts…" Terreis replied with a grouchy, bemoaning voice.
"The Imperial Healer will be here momentarily. Your mother will be here soon as well…" the Conqueror spoke softly and gently caressed Terries' gilded hair. "Did you know that your mother is a very capable and gifted healer?" the Ruler asked, hoping to distract the child from her malady by engaging her in a conversation.
"She is?" Terreis asked in wonder.
"Indeed," the Conqueror nodded her head. "She cured me more than once."
The young Princess mindlessly twirled the edges of her Sire's dark mane around her wee fingers, contemplating whether she could ask a question that had been troubling her for quite a while.
"What is it, little one?" the Conqueror encouraged her daughter to speak her mind.
"Do you still love mother?"
The Conqueror was rattled, ill at ease by her daughter's question. Discombobulated, she leaned down and looked into her daughter's solicitous green eyes.
"Of course I do. I love your mother with all my heart," the Conqueror answered intently.
At that moment, the Queen, the Imperial Healer and Lady Cyrene entered Terreis' bedchamber. They bowed and curtsied before the Conqueror before approaching the child's bed.
The Conqueror rose from Terreis' bed and allowed the Queen and the Imperial Healer access to examine her.
While the Queen and the Imperial Healer attended to Princess Terreis, making her open her mouth and stick out her tongue, the Conqueror and Lady Cyrene waited anxiously for their conclusion.
"Your child will be well, Majesty…" Lady Cyrene offered, when she noticed the Conqueror nervously tapping the tips of her fingers against her belt buckle.
But the Conqueror appeared to be deaf to unsubstantiated promises by extreme discomfort. "I cannot understand… It cannot be the food she consumed for it is being regularly tasted…" she muttered to herself out loud.
After a few long moments had passed, the Imperial Healer approached the Conqueror. "Majesty, may I have a few private words with you. I do not wish to speak in her Grace's presence."
The Conqueror obliged him and all three stepped out of Princess Terreis' bedchamber, leaving the Queen with her.
"Mend it!" Terreis demanded, widely opening two green reproachful eyes just as soon as the doors were closed behind her Sire, as if she had been waiting for the Conqueror to leave and remain alone with her mother.
"Mend what, sweetheart, your ailment?" The Queen was confused as she searched her daughter's countenance for something that would explain her odd and uncharacteristic behavior.
And before long it came down on her.
"You are making my Sire sad," Terreis angrily accused without reservations.
The Queen was dumbfounded by the shock at her daughter's words. Utterly baffled, rather than scold the child, as perhaps she should have, she answered, "I tried to mend it. I am trying… but it is not simple."
Terreis became frustrated and angry in such a way that it reminded the Queen that her Lord had sired her child.
"You are cruel and selfish," Terreis admonished her mother and two tiny spiteful lines vertically burrowed her little forehead just above her button-like nose.
It was all that the Queen could do to keep herself from shedding tears in front of her youngest. She composed herself with much pains and said to her daughter, "Princess Gabrielle Terreis, you are spoiled as you are insolent."
The Queen understood that these were the rotten fruits of her Lord's excessive spoiling and cosseting. She had half a mind to say so, as well, but thought better of it for she wouldn't pass judgment on her Lord's conduct to the ears of another.
She stood up and looked down at her daughter. "Don't ever let your Sire catch you speaking to me like that, lest you wish to lose your Sire's affections."
It wasn't a warning that the Queen rendered to her youngest, but sound motherly advice.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the closed chamber doors, the Imperial Healer gave his opinion to the Conqueror.
"I could find nothing physically wrong with her Grace. She has no fever. Her throat is clear. I could detect no affliction on her skin and in her ears."
"I saw the vomit with my own eyes, sir," the Conqueror insisted.
"I'm afraid her mind is upset and it makes her stomach upset, as well, Majesty," the healer explained. "Her Grace is troubled up here," he touched his finger to his temple to indicate the mind, "and it manifests itself in her stomach. I've had occasion to see it with young children… even in people of age. Your Majesty needn't worry for her Grace's life for it is under no threat."
Lady Cyrene sighed in relief. "Thank you, sir."
"With your permission, Majesty, I shall examine her Grace first thing tomorrow morning if only to put your Majesty's mind at ease."
"Very good, sir. Does her Majesty know?"
"Her Majesty does, Majesty," the healer replied.
"I will see you tomorrow, then."
"Good night, Majesty," the seasoned healer bowed before the Conqueror and returned back to his bed.
"Majesty, your youngest is not a fool,” said Cyrene . "She may be young and she may not fully comprehend, but she observes and she senses the turmoil in you and in her Majesty the Queen. She can see that matters between you and her Majesty haven't been as before. She feels the distance and the chill and fear that her world is about to crumble."
"This is my family! Do not intervene in matters which do not concern you," the Conqueror raised her voice enough for her mother to take her anger but not enough to be heard from the other side of the doors.
"With respect, Majesty, these matters concern not only me, but the entire Realm," Cyrene argued. "Can you not see? I pray you to soften your heart to her Majesty."
"I will handle my wife as I deem fit and I will hear no more on the subject," the Conqueror stated just as she opened the doors and meeting with her Queen about to leave the chamber. They passed by each other in silence, not exchanging a single word between them.
Princess Terreis began to cry.
Both parents suffered. Their eyes met and unspoken words of a truce passed between them for the sake of their young. They each sat on either side of their daughter and pretended that all between them was well.
A short while later, the doors were opened again, and Princess Sieglinde, dressed in her nightgown and with her cap on her head, peeked inside.
“Majesties,” she greeted as she inserted one foot inside the bedchamber.
“Come in, your Grace,” the Conqueror invited and beckoned with her hand.
“A lady in waiting told me that her Grace fell ill, so I came to offer her comfort,” she explained and entered the chamber.
“That is most kind of you, your Grace,” the Queen offered with a gentle smile.
Princess Sieglinde seated herself next to the Queen on Terreis' bed.
“Are you feeling any better, little sister?” Sieglinde asked and it was as if light and warmth were pouring out of her.
“Much better now that you are here, your Grace,” answered Terreis with a content smile. She then threw a glance over Sieglinde's shoulder as if looking for someone. “Where is Athena?” she inquired.
Princess Sieglinde showed no embarrassment, she simply answered, “Min Herre is outside breaking in a new mare.”
It was not the truth. All in Terreis' bedchamber knew it except for the young Princess herself. Princess Sieglinde was kind enough, generous enough and devoted enough not just towards the child, to dispense a lie.
All three watched over the young Princess as she fell back into sleep and when Terreis' breath became even and deep, the Conqueror got off the bed to the sound of familiar footfalls of heavy boots knocking against the corridor floor outside.
The Ruler opened the doors and sure enough she saw her eldest on her way to her chambers.
“Where were you?” A hissing whisper was sifted through clenched teeth so as not to wake up her youngest. It wasn't that the Conqueror didn't have a decent idea as to her Heir's whereabouts, but she meant to scold her for it.
Princess Athena scowled in return.
“Your sister was feeling ill. At least your wife can be trusted to be found in bed at this time of night.”
Princess Athena directed her gaze at the Conqueror's with defiance. She wouldn't be subjected to the Conqueror's double standards, she thought.
The Conqueror went on to say, “Tomorrow evening you will be joining us at the Dining Hall for supper. It is high time we acted as a family.”
“Yes, Majesty,” Princess Athena replied, resigned to the Conqueror's will.
It happened the next evening, while the Royals were sitting together in the Dining Hall as the Conqueror had ordered the previous night, so to present some semblance of unity, however spurious, for young Terreis' sake.
An Imperial guardsman was shown into the Dining Hall. As he strode towards the table, all around it ceased to eat, except for the Conqueror.
“Majesties, your Graces,” he bowed before them, He seemed too impatient to wait for the Conqueror's invitation to speak.
“What is it?” the Conqueror asked him with a commanding voice, her eyes never leaving her plate.
“The beacons are burning!” he exclaimed with his head down as if he couldn't bear his Master's reaction to the alarming news.
However, the ominous news seemed to pass through the Conqueror without touching her. Her hand was steady on the knife she cut her food with, and the expression about her countenance did not alter, not by a hair. It made the guardsman wonder for a moment whether his Sovereign had heard him or not, and he was not alone, for along with him so did all present in the Dining Hall, those around the table and the servants waiting on them.
Princess Athena moved to jump to her feet, but the Conqueror's firm hand gripped around her Heir's forearm, grounding her down against her seat with the weight of an anchor.
“Leave us,” the Conqueror ordered all in the Dining Hall. Immediately, the guardsman and the servants exited the Dining Hall, leaving the Royal Family behind.
The Conqueror let Athena's forearm go and calmly laid down her knife. “We do not exhibit panic in front of our subjects!” the Conqueror berated her Heir. “Now, finish your supper.”
The Royals resumed eating their meal and what little chatter existing around the table before was no longer. They each ate in silence, and if it hadn't been for the Conqueror's order they would have left the food on their plates untouched, for none any longer had an appetite for it, not with the clouds of war hovering above their heads.
The Conqueror, on the other hand, seemed to find hers and as she vigorously dug into her plate, the Queen beheld her Lord with admiration and fear, admiration that her Lord's nerves of steel were like none other, and fear because of the imminent separation by war.
When the Conqueror finished eating, she stood up.
“Come with me,” the Sovereign ordered her Heir, and then addressed the rest still at the table, “Ladies,” she muttered, and placed a kiss atop Princess Terreis' head.
The Queen, Princess Terreis and Princess Sieglinde stood as well and curtsied before the Conqueror as she vacated the Dining Hall with decisive gaits, accompanied by her Heir.
“Go to the War Hall. I will be along shortly,” the Conqueror instructed her Heir.
“By your will, Majesty,” the Heir replied and bowed. She searched the Conqueror's features for any sliver of emotion, no matter how small, just so that she could guess her Sire's frame of mind, but there was none to find.
As Princess Athena made haste to the War Hall, the Conqueror went upstairs to the Imperial chambers.
The Sovereign cladded herself in full regal attire and wore her crown on her head. She then stepped outside to stand on her vast balcony and saw countless beacons burning against the night sky, illuminating with grand globes of orange lights their surroundings. It was washing her domain in spots of fulgent light, in fragments like a lit up mosaic. There were so many flames blazing that the stars could hardly be seen. The Conqueror thought it was a magnificent sight to behold, for as far as the eye could see there were high hot flames dancing in complete darkness with high columns of thick grey smoke that reached the moon that it almost seemed as if the entire Realm was ablaze with fire. These were some of war's sights, the Conqueror thought.
The Conqueror relished the cold wind brushing against her face, carrying with it the combined odors of smoke and burnt oil. These were some of war's scents, the Conqueror delighted.
From a distance she could hear the clamors and commotion of anxiety and unrest; the horses in the Imperial stables neighing and beating their hooves hard against the ground, the cries of men and woman running aimlessly between houses and on the streets of Corinth carrying torches and lanterns in their shaking hands. These were some of war's sounds, the Conqueror recalled, and her faculties and senses became sharp and attuned.
The Conqueror's blood began to simmer until it reached the point of boiling hotter than the burning beacons. The Conqueror's muscles became tense and prime for brutal assault. The notions of battle and of killing poured life into the Conqueror and gave her peace, focus and clarity. With a chilling smile on her lips, the Conqueror touched the crown on her head and left the Imperial chambers.
The War Hall was as busy and as buzzing as an angry hornet's nest when the Conqueror strode through its thick reinforced heavy doors. Soldiers ran in and out of it, their military boots knocking over the flagstone floor, commanders examining the maps and placing markers on it as quickly as fresh news came streaming into it. All movement halted when they acknowledged their Sovereign's presence. They bowed before the Ruler as she strode to her seat at the head of the capacious desk, where Princess Athena had already been sitting.
“Commander,” the Conqueror addressed the Chief Commander of the Imperial Guard, “I will hear a detailed account of the situation, now.”
The Chief Commander of the Imperial Guard approached to stand near the grand map of the Realm hanging on the wall of the Hall, to better illustrate his report to his Sovereign. “Your Majesty, about a short while ago we received fire signals by the beacons your Majesty had wisely ordered to be built throughout the Realm. There are as many as four epicenters of uprising and rebellion against your Majesty.”
“In which provinces?” the Conqueror asked.
“In the province of Rome , the province of Thessaly , the Province of Epirus and the...” he paused, reluctant to continue.
“Which is the fourth? Speak!”
“The province of the Nordic Lands with Princess Sieglinde's brother, Prince Baldr, leading the charge against your Majesty,” he bleated almost nonplussed.
All in attendance observed the Conqueror's and her Heir's features in anticipation for their reaction to the traitorous act committed by the future Queen of the Realm's own flesh and blood, but the Ruler and her Heir gave them none, as could be expected.
"Go on," the Conqueror ordered him.
The Commander cleared his throat and went on to inform, "It would appear that with the financial support of the province of the Nordic Lands , Noblemen Likos, Drusus and Sirus managed to assemble armed forces.”
“How many men in the neighboring provinces, Thessaly and Epirus ?” the Conqueror asked.
“Over ten thousands, Majesty… We cannot be sure,” the Commander answered.
"And how many men in Rome ?" the Conqueror continued to inquire.
"The reports suggest about six thousand, Majesty."
The Conqueror's eyebrow briefly rose in surprise. "The population in Rome is greater than the population in Thessaly and Epirus combined," the Conqueror folded her arms over her chest. "One would assume that there should be more warriors in Rome than in Thessaly and Epirus . They mean to come to Corinth . That is why they focus their efforts and amass greater forces in Thessaly and Epirus , which are closer to Corinth than Rome . They left some six thousand men behind to coerce me into dividing mine, thus weakening me."
"Yes, Majesty," the Commander nodded his head.
“And who are these men?”
“Mercenaries, former soldiers from the armies that your Majesty had ordered to be dismantled after conquering their nations, disgruntled subjects and suchlike .”
The Conqueror leaned back into her seat with a surly expression. “Thousands of men solicited and drafted into a secret army and none of my spies to whom I pay a pretty fortune found out! Tell me, sirs, how is it possible to arm thousands of warriors without raising an alarm? Such incompetence!”
When the Conqueror admonished them with such wrath, they all knew better than to speak. The silence in the War Hall was so perfect that one could hear the crackling fire from outside despite the fact that the Hall was packed and windows shut.
“To keep such secrecy at such an outrageously large scale requires ample funds and time. Weapons and armors were in all likelihood bought from many merchants and I'd venture to say that the lion's portion was smuggled from the Nordic Lands, which are rich with iron and other metals, by bribed traders and officials. No doubt Likos has been planning and plotting since around the time of the wedding.”
“Likos, Majesty?” Princess Athena asked.
“Of the three Noblemen, he is the proudest and the most ambitious, and we humiliated him and his line.” The Conqueror landed her fist onto the surface of the desk, and glared at the commander. “And what of the Nordic Lands?”
“From what we have gathered at this time, it would seem that Prince Baldr managed to reunite the Norsemen and end the division between them."
"Not so much a weakling as I was made to believe, is he?!" the Conqueror growled discontented.
"Majesty, his own father underestimated him," the Commander argued.
But the Conqueror ignored his argument. "Well, there in nothing better than a threat from without to put an end to a civil dispute," the Conqueror muttered. "And he dared disobey my order to dismantle the armed forces of the Nordic Lands."
"That is correct, Majesty," the Commander replied, "The Nordic army is vast… About thirteen thousand men or so, and the warriors are considered to be well trained, brave and formidable."
"Not as much as mine!" the Conqueror retorted, rising to her feet and approaching the map. “Show me on the map where all three forces are deployed,” the Conqueror ordered.
The Chief Commander of the Imperial Guard demonstrated to his Master by pointing at several locations on the map.
"The Nordic army is about to inroad into the province of northern Gaul , I understand," the Conqueror sought confirmation.
"Indeed, your Majesty."
"This is a well coordinated and well organized treacherous attack. We must assume that the traitors are aware of the beacons, so we must move quickly."
"This is our estimation as well, Majesty," spoke one of the other military advisors.
"The Realm's legion in Rome will fight against the army in the province of Rome . The Realm's legion in the province of Illyria is to set sail at once and join the legion in Rome via the sea, here," the Conqueror pointed to the map. "The head commander on the battlefield in Rome will be the commander of the Realm's legion in Rome . Annihilate them all. Nobleman Drusus and his family are to be captured alive and brought to Corinth ."
The Conqueror then averted her eyes to the Nordic Lands on the map and continued, "The Realm's legions in the provinces of northern and southern Gaul are to move north, engage the Nordic Lands' army and attempt to invade the province if possible. The Realm's legion in Britannia is to reinforce the legions of Gaul by sea, at once, here," the Conqueror showed the route on the map while her firm sonorous voice echoed in the War Hall. "Her Grace, Princess Athena will take half of the Imperial Guard and set sail from the port of Corinth due north across the North Sea, invade the Nordic Lands and flank the Nordic Army from behind, crushing them between the Imperial Guard and the legions from Britannia and Gaul, cutting their path of retreat and the sources of supplies. The head commander on the Nordic battlefield will be her Grace," the Conqueror decreed, then averted her eyes back from the map and to her Heir, ordering her thus: "Annihilate them all. Prince Baldr and his family are to be captured alive and brought to Corinth ."
A few of the Conqueror's audience shot looks back and forth from the Conqueror to Princess Athena. A few lowered their heads when they heard that the Conqueror had assigned the slaughter and the decimation of her wife's homeland.
"By your will, Majesty," Princess Athena bowed her head.
"As for the third front, the provinces of Thessaly and Epirus," the Conqueror declared, "the Realm's legion in Macedonia will come from the north and bite the traitors at their heels, while I will take with me the remaining half of the Imperial Guard and the Realm's legion in Sparta and come to meet the traitors from the south via the Queen's road here," her finger traced the chosen route on the map as she spoke, "thus surrounding Likos' and Sirus' forces, isolating Thessaly and Epirus completely." When the Conqueror finished, she faced her subject once more. The Conqueror's cerulean eyes were scintillating and her lengthy, muscled body was taut and wired and it appeared as though the Lord Conqueror was awakened from hibernation.
"With respect, Majesty," asked one of the commanders, "Why not take the Legion of the Province of Athens not half a day ride away from here, as well, thus outnumber Likos' and Sirus' forces?"
"That Legion is currently engaged in a large scale military exercise with the Legion of the province of Persia . It is too far away. Only three hundred warriors stayed behind in Athens to keep law and order in the province," the Conqueror answered. "Now," the Conqueror continued, "Use the beacons to carry out my orders to all the legions' commanders and relevant seaports and captains by fire-signals. There is no time to lose, sirs."
"Yes, your Majesty," they all said in unison and motion in the War Hall resumed as if defrosted.
The Conqueror and her Heir stoutly exited the War Hall, striding side by side as their subjects bowed before them.
Outside the War Hall, by the doors, Thetis was waiting for her Master.
"Majesty," she curtsied as soon as she caught sight of the Sovereign.
"Tell my grooms to be ready for us at the armory," the Conqueror ordered.
"Right away, Majesty," Thetis, ever the efficient servant, replied. "Would there be anything else, your Majesty?"
"Inform her Majesty the Queen that I shall be leaving for war soon, and summon her Grace Princess Sieglinde to appear before me immediately at the armory as well," the Conqueror ordered.Upon hearing the Conqueror's order to summon Princess Sieglinde to appear in the armory, Princess Athena's heart skipped a beat in fear for her wife's well-being and wholesomeness.
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