Dance of Flames

“The Dance of Flames!” Queen Milauris laughed.  “You ask me to abandon my throne to fables?”

“There is no reason to think that the Dance of Flames is not a legitimate source,”  the scholar huffed.

“The name itself says it all,” Milauris smiled. “Stories to be told around the dancing flames of a campfire.”

“All of the events described in the Dance have been corroborated by historical artifacts,” the scholar’s voice became impassioned.

“And numerous contemporary works of art, religious ideology, and royal mandates,” the queen added. “But nothing in this world will get me to believe that my ancestors were plucked from a tree that dripped blood or that a girl barely old enough to walk defeated an army of mythical beasts with only her thoughts.”

“Two tales out of thirteen,” the scholar countered. “The rest have some type of support in this era.  Which can only give some weight to the other two.”

The queen smiled again. It was a cold, threatening smile that did not reach her eyes.

“Please,” the man whispered, suddenly aware of his peril. “Your grace.”

“You will remain as my guest until we get a response from Light’s Grace and the Grand Library confirms your credentials,”  the queen gestured to her steward. “Please make sure our guest is comfortable.”

“Yes, my queen” the steward bowed and shot the scholar a dirty look.

“Feel free to continue your studies in the palace library,”  Milauris smirked. “There are several copies of the Dance of Flames available for your review.”

The scholar nodded, dumbly then allowed himself to be led away.

Milauris turned to the six advisers seated around her on the dais. The hard faces staring back at her shared the queen’s wide almond-shaped eyes, golden brown skin, and sprinkle of star tattoos across the brow. The women mirrored the cloud of curls fluffed above the queen’s head.

“What shall we do, cousin?” the man to her left asked.

“Send a courier to the Grand Library and request the Master’s presence,” Milauris answered. “Ask him to bring any book this scholar referenced. Tell him it is urgent and beg that he set out as soon as possible.”

“And the Abbot?” her aunt asked.

“Send your fiercest mercenary to drag him out Light’s Grace and into my dungeons. Cut down anyone who stands in the way.”

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