Sarnai: "You don't know my heart, Duchess," "You don't know anything about me."
"So it seems," Malia responded with a tight smile. She hated being surprised and that it was only worse that it was herself more than the young consort who had caught her off guard. She wanted to retreat, consult her book, and think through her next move. The girl could not be crowned Queen until the baby was born, so that meant she had some time - although not much by the look of her…
When the soldiers entered the throne room, Malia's train of thought was still all too present and immediately she assumed that the Royal General and Scholar had made a decision and her mind raced to try to deduce who it would be. If the decision was this early, it favored Elliot, but who would be steward?
But that did not make sense. No announcement would be made during the King's funeral. The interruption would only be made in case of emergency. The soldier who led the way into the throne room approached James, and the one who flanked his right side broke rank to approach Malia and Sarnai.
"My ladies," he said with a respectful bow, "General Kardos requests your presence."
Malia's frown deepened. The acting general was well respected but fundamentally a man of action, and Malia wondered if he would even realize the implications of requesting their presence so publicly during the funeral. And she felt so off-balance after her outburst…
Her eyes darted to James. He had the Francesca Rossi on his arm, and that only soured Malia's mood further. There was something off about her Western counterpart, whose unusual pale beauty tonight reminded Malia of one of Tolkien's elves. With Philip's passing, the power dynamics had changed and that meant Francesca's tactics would, too. Malia did not want the reported witch working any magic on the ally Malia had worked hard to secure.
The soldier offered his arm to escort the young consort, and Malia fell in step beside them.