Dawn rose on a new day for the Galdredan Lava Kingdom. Elmar and Calandra yawned as they woke up. They put on bathrobes and shuffled off to the dining room for breakfast. Calandra got a cup of coffee as Elmar got his tea. Bacon and eggs were set in front of them, and they ate in a groggy fashion. “Did you sleep well, Your Majesty?” asked the head maid.
“We slept all right,” mumbled Calandra. “Though the sabotage and death of last week didn’t help matters.”
“Still thinking about what those horrid men did?” asked the head maid.
“We’re having vivid nightmares,” replied Elmar. The head butler then came in with a letter in his hands.
“Excuse me, Your Majesties,” he said, “but I believe this letter is of great importance to you.” Calandra opened the letter, and her eyes and smile became wider as she read it.
“Elmar, look!” she called. Elmar looked at the letter, then grinned when he finished reading it.
“We definitely could do with news like that!” he declared.
“Did you read it yet?” Calandra asked the head butler.
“It was addressed to you, Your Majesty,” he replied. “I’m not in the habit of reading mail that does not have my name to it.”
“Go ahead and read this.” Calandra handed the letter to the head butler and maid. They read the letter and grinned.
“Shall I arrange for the Town Crier to make the announcement?” asked the head maid.
“I’d rather tell the Town Crier myself,” replied Calandra.
“Very good, Your Majesty,” said the head maid.
Arsha and her lovers walked around Castle Town. “Malnar, we’ve been walking around aimlessly!” complained Arsha. “Where’s your surprise?!”
“It should be here any minute now,” replied Malnar patiently. Just then, a Kitsune man dressed in the wildest of outfits came up on his horse, ringing his bell.
“The Town Crier?” muttered Gorfanth.
“HEAR YE! HEAR YE! HEAR YE!” called the Crier, a smile on his face. “LET IT BE KNOWN THAT ON THE FIFTIETH DAY OF THE MONTH OF ERBEE OF THE FIRST YEAR OF THE THREE REALMS’ ETERNAL AGE OF UNITY, KING ORBAK EMBORAMII AND HIS QUEEN SHALL STEP DOWN AND PASS THE CROWN TO THEIR ELDEST DAUGHTER, MALNAR!” Malnar’s lovers goggled at her as she smiled and confirmed what he said was true. The Crier continued. “QUEEN CALANDRA AND HER HUSBAND AND ROYAL GUARD CAPTAIN WILL BE GOING TO THE BELSNATH CITADEL TO JOIN THEIR COLLEAGUES IN PLEDGING THEMSELVES TO HER AND THE UNDER-REALM FIVE DAYS IN ADVANCE AND WILL RETURN TWO DAYS AFTER THE CORONATION! PRIME MINISTER GRUMAR WILL BE RUNNING THE KINGDOM DURING THAT TIME!” He spurred his horse on as he rang his bell and continued his announcement.
“You’ve gotta have a voice like a Troll’s to continue that for so long,” muttered Malnar. Her lovers then hugged.
“So that’s the surprise?!” asked Arsha as she beamed at Malnar. “There’s a coronation date?!”
“There’s a coronation date!” replied Malnar. “Now, I’m allowed to invite who I want to see me rise to the throne. So, you five are cordially invited to witness my coronation as Queen of the Under-realm!”
“We’d be honored, Your High…Your Majesty,” replied Lardeth.
“Princess, please, save that for after I’m crowned Queen.”
“Well, we’re gonna have to practice that,” remarked Foresna.
“Why?” asked Gorfanth. “I mean, we’re all getting married once Arsha and Lardeth are crowned.”
“Yeah, but the public needs to get used to it,” answered Foresna.
“Not until I’m crowned!” insisted Malnar. “Until Erbee 50, I’m still a Princess. I’d like to be that until the crown’s on my head.” Foresna decided to drop it. He wasn’t eager to test Malnar. Arsha then remembered something and looked pained.
“I still have reconstruction assignments!” she said. Her lovers then recalled how damaged the Under-realm was, as it was Dr. Borg’s preferred Realm for her empire’s main base of operations.
“Maybe it’s fixed enough that you can be spared a day or two,” muttered Falnii.
“I doubt it,” replied Arsha.
“I’ll need to talk to Daddy and Rokalla,” said Malnar. “They’re the ones in charge of Under-realm Reconstruction right now. They’ll be the best bet for seeing if you can see my rise to the throne.”
As it happened, Orbak and Rokalla were being given a tour of the Galdredan Lava Kingdom to examine the progress and if a full Realmfleet presence was still needed. Rokalla had his legs and eye replaced with cybernetic prosthesis and was using crutches until he could master his new legs. As such, Orbak’s chair was pushed around by their guide, an Elf man. “So, that’s the last kingdom,” mused Orbak.
“It looks like Reconstruction’s coming along better than anticipated,” replied Rokalla.
“Enough to remove a Realmfleet presence from the Under-realm?” asked the guide.
“…Probably a fraction needs to stay,” answered Orbak.
“One eighth, I’d say,” guessed Rokalla. Just then, Malnar and Arsha approached them.
“Ah! There they are! My Heir and her fellow Conquering Hero!” greeted Orbak.
“Hello, Daddy!” replied Malnar as she bent down and hugged him. Orbak then sensed something, fatherly worry taking over.
“Malnar,” he asked as he broke off the embrace, “is something wrong?” Malnar struggled to find the right words.
“Er…Daddy, there’s…um…” she finally sighed. “I want all my lovers to see my ascension.”
“…Is that all that’s on your mind?” Orbak asked only to make sure.
“Yes.” Orbak smiled.
“For a minute, I thought it was something hard.”
“Your father and I,” explained Rokalla, “were just talking about that. We’re gonna leave an eighth of the ships here in the Under-realm, but not all ships need to leave at once. Once the coronation is over, Arsha, you’re needed at the Drelda forest to help repair the Capital Tree. Until then, please, enjoy yourself when Malnar becomes Queen.”
“Then, I can stay?” asked Arsha as hope filled her and Malnar’s eyes.
“Of course!” confirmed Orbak. “We don’t want to separate you and Malnar so soon!”
“Thank you, you two! You have no idea how much that was weighing on us!”
“Then there’s something I need to ask you and Arsha,” said Malnar.
“Ask me? What is it?” quizzed Arsha.
“Is it all right if I bum a ride to the Belsnath Citadel from you?”
“I’m all right with it if Orbak is.”
Of course, I am!” assured Orbak. “Just meet me in the throne room when you get there, all right?”
“Sure thing, Daddy!” promised Malnar.