Every so often, there are moments when you just sit, sometimes with a cup of tea, and think about … things—not always bad things, nor always good things. Sometimes, your mind just wanders about and comes to a stop on a subject and you think about it … a lot. This results in …
Tera was looking at a sheet of parchment and thinking. The first thing she thought about was that she was holding parchment, and not a sheet of paper or a tablet. The second was the message written upon it, which could have been just as easily been sent along by phone, email, text, or some other, more modern, means. The last thing she was thinking about was the message itself, which consisted of just three words.
The words summarized the thoughts of a citizen of the Realm, one who didn’t quite see things as Tera did, not that she expected anything different. Her Majesty wasn’t one to press her opinions on others; anyone didn’t exactly like her choices, either for herself or for the Realm as a whole, was free to say so. She would even accept someone holding differing beliefs, differing truths, from her, for to force a change, for whatever reason, wasn’t her way. That did not mean, however, that she accepted others trying to change her or the Realm or otherwise alter the choices she had made.
Getting back to the three words in the message: the Queen came to the decision that, at least this once, she would say something, if not do something. She wouldn’t do so for the good of the Realm, nor for herself—as really she never did so. No, in this case, what she needed to do was for the good of someone who needed a good tail pull.
Turning the parchment over, she wrote three words in reply, and then sent the message back the way it had arrived: casting a spell and watching the message vanish into thin air. After it had disappeared, Tera waited, quite patiently, reading a book, having some tea and, on occasion, looking towards the pathway which led to the Realm retreat where she and her Eternal were spending some time together. Normally, she would never carry out Realm business at the retreat, but, in this case, given how the message had arrived, some exceptions had to be made, and this brought Tera to contemplate things.
Sipping her tea, she finished musing and, picking up her particular shade of red iPhone, sent a message away. A few moments later, she heard the sound of footsteps—very precise footsteps—along the path. Setting down her phone once more, she picked up her cup and took another sip, waiting for her guest to come into view.
They each looked towards the other for a long moment, Tera awaiting for her guest to say something or do something, the visitor, in turn, waiting for permission to do so. It was a sort of standoff, at least for a long moment before she sighed lightly as her tail motioned for her caller to approach.
Once the new arrival had done so, Her Majesty contemplated the visitor for a long moment, her tea cup in her hands. Noting the formal dress and the earnest look, she explained: “At the moment, we are not at the Palace, nor are we in the Throne Room.”
“You are the Queen.”
Tera sighed lightly: “I am myself first, the Queen much further along. In fact, if you would like, I can list the many things I am before being Queen.”
The silence was telling as a reply, but the red-tailed brunette continued: “If it helps, I give you leave to use my name and not my title.”
“That would not be honourable.”
Setting her cup on the table, the hostess replied: “Actually, it would be. You have been given permission by your superior—at least, as I understand things. Therefore, in order not to do harm to my honour, you should obey … shouldn’t you?”
Again, there was no reply, and so Her Majesty went on: “Having examined your request, and given my reply, is there something more that you wished to discuss with me?”
“Why am I refused?”
Tera stood up and walked towards her company. As she approached, she explained: “I refused your request because allowing it would be … unwise.”
The succubi soldier looked up now: “I am not meant for this world. I am uneasy, unneeded. I have no purpose if I am not in battle, fighting for the Qu– … for you.”
Touching her cheek and looking into her eyes, Tera explained: “I know you love the old ways. I know you desire them: the thrill of battle, of overcoming others. I know you still have the lusts within you.”
“Then allow my request.”
Her hostess smiled, a bit wanly: “And what of those that come after you? That your teaching would have helped? Are you so certain that your choice would be the best for them, for the Realm?”
Again, no reply, and so Tera elaborated upon her contemplations: “Are you so certain that what you ask for is wise, good, and for the best? Are you acting out of a sense of duty, or are you more concerned about yourself?”
The look given in response might have caused anyone else to cringe, but Tera did not. Instead she pressed onward: “The past is past. The present leads towards the future. Can you try to accept that the future is worth more than you think it is?”
“There is always a purpose to everything. It may not have made itself known to you … yet. But, in time, I believe it will.
“I will … consider it.”
Tera smiled and nodded: “I hope so. I know of one succubi who would be lost without your guidance.”
The commander allowed a small smile: “Do I know her?”
The Queen smiled in return: “Oh … I think you do … In fact, I know you do.”
The soldier bowed and walked away to contemplate Tera’s words.
As her visitor left, Tera contemplated her before walking around to the side of the Retreat where, hidden out of sight, was one of succubi about whom they have been speaking.
The answer was a hug, a smile, and a simple message: “She’s thinking about it.”
Turning away, the red-tail then paused: “Oh, please, do me a favour? See to it that she learns how to use something a little more modern than parchment and spells, will you?”
She laughed lightly: “Never will happen.”
Tera’s so-green eyes sparkled: “I think you’ll be surprised what happens when one contemplates for long enough.”