Sir Maynard had heard rumours in the town, that the matriarchy was turning into a patriarchy and therefore Lukan’s heirs should be the rightful kings. He passed this onto the queen and prince.
“What do they mean?” asked Jarl.
“Well, you will be king, and your son, since you don’t have a daughter, will also be king. If there are to be kings, then…”
“Who is spreading these rumours?… or let me guess” asked the queen.
Alfred entered, late to the meeting. He had been wondering what to do. His first allegiance was to the queen who financed his education and trusted him, rather than to his mad sister. He told them of his meeting with Hivera.
They were silent. The death of Winter had not ended this madness.
Sir Maynard broke the silence, suggesting they make preparations.
“If it comes to that, but also to spread the truth…”
“And I need a daughter” interrupted Jarl.
“Should the lady Hivera be imprisoned?”
Much as they all liked the idea (except Alfred), they agreed there had to be absolute proof of treason. Alfred’s word against hers was not enough.
Discussions continued until Alfred had to leave. Valenzuela devoutly hoped that Alfred could be trusted when it came to his sister’s welfare.
Jarl shared that hope.
“You don’t think he will tell Hivera of any of this, do you? Can we trust him?”
“I think we can. After all, he came to us about her plans. I imagine she swore him to secrecy.”
“Perhaps we can test him.” suggested Jarl. “Tell him some false plans…”
“Not yet. We need to see what lies ahead. For now, I trust him.”
Prince Yohn, meanwhile, was enjoying a peaceful life overlooking the harbour that his ancestor had arrived at. His wife had no desire to be a mother, and for his part he didn’t yet care to be a father. What would the future hold?