Table of Contents
Chapter One, Scene 1,
Chapter One, Scene 2
Chapter One, Scene 3
Chapter One, Scene 4

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Are you really going to let them go to the human realm alone?” Ambassador Eli asked Madoc once Chalcedony and Coal had left.
“She may only be sixteen, but she’s smart and one of the strongest in her line. I doubt anyone can hurt her except for a queen.”
“Are you sure you’re not overestimating her?” Ambassador Eli asked.
“I may be, but there is only so much I can do.” Madoc faced the dwarf. Many dwarven ambassadors had passed through Legacy, and every one had hated the bureaucratic process except for Ambassador Eli. To Madoc’s surprise, the dwarf seemed just as concerned for Everleaf as he was for protecting his people’s fortunes and trade routes.
Ambassador Eli stroked his chin with a short hairy finger. The dwarf had never worked in the mines so he was slim instead of bulky and muscular. “I’ve been hesitant to bring this up, but you should know that most fey in Everleaf have begun to talk about the queenling and her human boy. There are rumors he is destined to become her lover and rule beside her.”
“I am well aware of the rumors, but that will never happen.”
“Then what are your plans for him? I expected you to have gotten rid of him long before now.”
“Chalcedony is supposed to leave the boy in the human realm while they’re there.”
Ambassador Eli exhaled. “That’s a relief.”
Madoc turned back towards the window. Chalcedony and the boy were on horseback, leaving through the gates. “But she lied to me. She is not going to leave him there. She is still too attached to him.”
“Then you need to get rid of him,” Ambassador Eli said, his voice lifting.
Madoc watched them until they disappeared from sight. “I can’t. The boy will play a significant role in Princess Chalcedony becoming a formidable queen.”
“How can you be so sure?” Ambassador Eli asked, his tone full of doubt.
“I had a few truthsayers look into it. They all said the same thing. He’s meant to stay until he decides to leave on his own.”
The dwarf scowled. “Isn’t it your job to make her a great queen?”
“Like I said, I can only do so much. I’ve shown her the best and the worst duties of being a queen, yet she remains a child. Her mother and grandmother …” Madoc hesitated, searching for the correct phrase, “had lost their innocence by her age. She is too happy, and it’s all tied to the boy. Once he’s gone, she’ll lose her innocence. Besides, I can’t kill him without her suspecting. She is young but intuitive. Out of resentment, she may hurt Everleaf. But if the thing she loves leaves on its own, then that is a different game altogether.”
“The boy obviously worships her. He’ll never leave without coercion.”
“Ambassador Eli, I’ve been doing this for centuries. You have my word. The prophets have reassured me that he won’t be around much longer.”

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