James: "You wish to talk at this summit, but I tell you now... Peacekeepers... that you fear a war, but it is already here. You must cut out Francesca's reign of madness and perhaps Eventyr will again find balance. And what of the city, your own resources must be limited?"
"Our resources are just fine, Your Majesty," Rafael said as a mild aside, picking up his silverware and cutting into the meat. He lifted an eyebrow, "Though your concern is noted." And utter horseshit.
James wasn't wrong though. War was here, maybe not specifically in the Northeast yet but the West had been positively torn apart by it. No one knew exactly what had spurred the vehement animosity between Francesca and Zaire but it had resulted in a staggering amount of violence and bloodshed. They'd all heard tales of the troops Francesca had sent to the coast to establish order and how their corpses had ended up decorating the masts of Zaire's fleet of ships. It had made a rather unambiguous point.
It did leave Rafael wondering if Zaire would be much of a step up from Francesca, should her reign end and his remain. He'd been rather amenable thus far, once he'd been allowed to deal with those he was comfortable with anyway, though Rafael wasn't sure how much could one really expect from a pirate?
Kyky: "Queen Rossi's reign is a problem, and the Peacekeepers do not deny that." Expound: "Granting citizenship to creatures presents an unprecedented threat to the safety of all Eventyrians." … "However, Queen Rossi's claim to rule cannot be disputed - not even in light of its problematic nature. Keeping peace requires the acknowledgement of legitimate rule..."
Malia: "You mean to say, young lady, that we - King and Queen of the NorthEast - ought not wish to see rightful rulers displaced, lest such sentiment end up on our own doorsteps sooner or later," … "On this, they are right, my lord. Eventyr risks anarchy without clearly-defined lines of succession."
Kyky: "Yes, Queen Von Oehsen," ... "We… do find ourselves with the unique benefit of having not one, but two of the Western Queen's once-bethrothed. This may be an opportunity to gather any insights we may use to address the obvious problems with her reign..?"
Rafael's eyes snapped to Kyky, his mask slipping for a heartbeat as he wondered whether he'd heard her correctly. Did she truly expect him and James to sit and discuss their shared past with Francesca in hopes of it possibly leading to some sort of insight? Surely if he'd had insight, then he'd have shared it by now.
Rafael's eyes went to James, to Malia, finally to Kyky again. "Francesca is not in control," he admitted, grudgingly. "At least, she wasn't five years ago." Had that changed since she'd become Queen? He couldn't really say, but maybe it was worth exploring. "The vampire who is always with her, Seo-Jun; he doesn't answer to her."