Jarl could see that his mother would never recover from the death of Nikko. She had lost interest in everything, and barely cracked a smile when meeting Luther. Normally she would have greeted him warmly. She had even feigned illness when Haldus called round, leaving Jarl to talk to him.
He worried, but knew also that it was time to prepare for his succession.
Valenzuela did spend some time with little Samira. Val knew her time had come and tried to instil love and bravery into the girl.
She gazed on her granddaughter for some time,
then put her down and stood there, as if waiting.
She knew, and welcomed it. “I’ll be with you soon, my love.”
The queen was dead. She was 72.
Knowing it was coming didn’t make it any easier for Jarl.
Sir Maynard did wonder what would happen next. Would Hivera’s plans stall because a king would now sit on the throne? Somehow he doubted it.