The throne room was amazing. My breath caught in my throat as my eyes widened to take in the sight. As the outside, everything , wall floors and ceiling were made of bright white marble that shimmered and sparkled with no sunlight to reflect it. Everything was entrusted with gold, the tapestries with their colors and symbol, the grand statues depicting brave warriors shooting arrows and summoning water, which was made of the brightest of sapphires. Tamwyn looked as if he was ready to move in. A young girl in my group, an archer, laughed gleefully, giddily. Then a man stepped toward us, and there was no doubt he was the king. His long sweeping robes were a million different shades of blue and purple, with gold woven into the fine, intricate swirls. He carried a staff of the deepest, most royal purple in existence, topped with the biggest sapphire I had ever seen. I kneeled, along with the rest of my part, and the our followers, including the women in front and the little girl holding my hand, walked away and stood against the walls, giving us the spotlight.
“Stand, please,” said the Water King. His voice was authoritative but kind. His skin was darkened and weathered by the sun, and there were lines on his face that told me he smiled quite a lot. His hair, which was black like all Water’s, had fine streaks of silver worked in. We stood, and he watched us curiously, perhaps slightly suspiciously, but I had a feeling this man would hear us out. Before Tamwyn could open his mouth, the small girl who had held my hand cried out “Daddy!” and ran to the king, wrapping herself around his legs. He laughed and lifted her up in the air and held her in his arms. She pointed to me a whispered audibly “That girl’s really nice.” He laughed and smiled at her, but looked questioningly at me. He knew who I was, and if the legends and stories and rumors were true, then I was anything but nice. I suddenly became determined to prove his assumptions about me wrong. I looked at the princess and asked “What’s your name sweetie?”
“Lily,” she replied softly. I grinned at her.
“That’s a very pretty name.”
“Thank you,” she whispered, smiling a cute dimpled smile.
“Lily, why don’t you go play with your dolls up in your room?” said her father, and she ran out, her feet pitter-pattering on the floor. He waited till her footsteps faded, and then turned back to us.
“What brings you here?”
His question was directed at me, so Tamwyn nudged me gently, knowing I should be the one to answer.
“We come with a request of you, sir.” I said.
He raised his eyebrows. “What could Starfire the Invincible, the greatest warrior on the planet, possibly want with me?”
I cringed at the name, but chose to ignore it. “We come with a request for peace.”
He smiled warmly, and opened his arms as if to embrace us all.
“I was waiting for you to say that.”
The celebration lasted three whole days, with feasts and parties and drinking and dancing and singing and rejoicing. Many people would approach me and embrace me, or shake my hand, and say “Thank you, for now we are one step closer!” The first time it happened, I shook my head confusedly and asked “One step closer to what?”
The woman who had originally said it tilted her head back and laughed joyfully. “One step closer to the end of this dammed war!” She practically skipped away from me, she was so happy.
Their happiness was contagious. Don’t misunderstand, I was very happy and relieved at this new alliance, but I generally never join into festivities. But I smiled and laughed and drank with everyone else, and twice I even danced with Tamwyn. And I even liked it. But I think it was mostly just being close to Tamwyn that I enjoyed, which was more likely as I hate dancing. A lot.
Our happiness lasted on the trip home, which was punctuated with cheers and woops and tears of joy, of jubilation, because we were one step closer.
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