BOOK II. - SEVEN GODS
CHAPTER V. – THE DAY WHEN ONE FLOWER WITHERED, ANOTHER ONE BLOOMED
After the wedding, Jhaandar and Loreleia went to the king's chamber. Leaving the hall, people were cheering for them, throwing rice as they walked through the crowd. It was unusual to do. Most people would throw flower petals at royal weddings and rice was used only for the town people, but this time, they had no flowers. People thought it was the king's idea, showing people that they are close to the town, using the customs of the lower people. But the truth was hidden inside the walls of the palace. While preparing for the wedding, maids were supposed to gather flowers but a strange thing happened in the whole kingdom. Those that were supposed to bloom in the next few days didn't, and those that had already bloomed, dried up. Slowly withering, the royal garden lost its colors. Chasianna was sitting near the window looking outside. The chamber was dark, only a few candles were lit. Time was going slow, the candles were almost gone and the night has turned into day with Chasianna still sitting near the window. As the days went by, Chasianna hasn't left the palace at all. She didn't even visit the garden like she used to. The time in the garden looked like it stopped. Plants and flowers grew but they never bloomed.
Loreleia left her chambers and decided to walk through the palace. As she was walking around the library her path crossed with Chasianna. The first queen greeted the new queen but Loreleia didn't greet her back. She rolled her eyes as she walked past Chasianna who was standing still and looking down at her feet. Loreleia stopped right next to Chasianna and was going to say something to her but she got interrupted by the queen dowager. Vailmoira cleared her throat and walked to Loreleia. Her cold expression hasn't changed, it got even colder when she turned her head to look at Chasianna. The queen dowager looked back at Loreileia who greeted her with a curtsy. Valmoira lifted her head a little bit higher, looking above the second queen. She asked her to accompany her to a tea party with a few noblewomen. Chasianna stood there listening to their conversation. Loreleia asked the queen dowager if she could join them, but Valmoira refused, saying that she only prepared the party for the new queen. Valmoira then left and the two queens were standing alone again. After hearing that the party and meeting noblewomen from the main kingdom is only for her, she smirked. "I guess we will have to meet some other day, first queen." Loreleia teased Chasianna. Then she left and followed the queen dowager. Chasianna looked outside the window while she was being filled with sadness.
"Is this your new daughter, Valmoira?" One of the noblewomen said when Valmoira came to the garden and sat down at the prepared table. Loreleia smiled and greeted the guests. "Yes. Isn't she pretty? I hope we will develop a great relationship." Valmoira says and then signals Loreleia to sit down with them. Even though she didn't have much experience with the adult world, Loreleia quickly adjusted with the court's gossip. "I've heard that the old hag Elathana fell ill." One woman said laughing. "Oh my, oh my. What sad news you bring. Good for you, Your Majesty." Another one added. Loreleia looked at her puzzled, not knowing what she meant. "If the Farnala queen dies, that other girl will have to go back for days." She explained after she saw that the young queen didn't know what she was talking about. "Oh yes. You will have the king only for you. Better to use it for conceiving a first heir." Another lady chuckled. Then they looked at each other and laughed. Loreleia only looked down into her cup of tea. Valmoira saw her expression but she let it go for now. When the sun started to set behind the horizon, the ladies said their goodbyes and left the palace. Valmoira called upon the second queen's maids and ordered them to clear the table. She left with her maids and asked Loreleia to join her for a quick talk. When they arrived in the queen dowager's chambers, Valmoira sat down at the small table. One maid lighted the candles meanwhile Loreleia was standing next to the table. "Were you with my son at the wedding night?" Valmoira asked bluntly after the maid left and closed the door. "Eh, I don't know what you mean, queen dowager." Loreleia almost stuttered as she replied to the question. It wasn't like her to act like this. She was her own persona and could take on everyone with her ego, but she needed to befriend the mother queen. Valmoira raised her voice and asked her again. "Don't be so humble. I hate such people." Valmoira looked up at Loreleia. She then broke the good princess character and replied with a fiercely. "The king hasn't touched me yet. He is in love with the Farnala girl." Valmoira scoffed upon hearing these ridiculous words. "I like you, my child. You are of a strong character. Listen, I don't care how you do it, but you need to get close to my son and bear him a child." It sounded more like an order than advice. "Yes, queen dowager. I will have a king's child by any means." Loreleia smirked. "That's not enough!" Valmoira raised her voice again. She grabbed Loreleia's hand and squeezed it hard. "You need to give birth to a firstborn. In that way, your position will get above that Farnala's witch." Loreleia didn't need to hear that. It was her plan all along. She bowed to the queen dowager and left her chambers.
It tore Jhaandar's heart apart not being able to be with Chasianna. He wanted to give her time to adjust to this new situation but he couldn't bear it anymore. As he was going through the letters sent from army patrols at every border, he stopped reading it and threw the one he was currently holding in his hands on the table with the others. Storming out of the room, he walked through the castle right to the Chasianna's chamber. Knocking on the door, there is no response. He leans closer to the door and hears Chasianna crying. With the sound of her cry, he enters the chamber and goes straight to Chasianna who is sitting next to the the window and hugs her. "I am so sorry my love for causing you pain. But I needed to do-" He gets cut by Chasianna. "It is alright. I know you did what you had to do, without spilling any blood." She holds back her tears for a while. "Here." She looks down on the table with a lotus flower on it. At first, it was floating but then it sank at the bottom of the crystal bowl, slowly losing it's red color and turning into snow white. Jhaandar didn't know what was going on. He looked at the flower and then back at Chasianna. She started crying again as he was holding her cheeks in his both hand, lightly caressing her face and drying her tears. "It's my mother's flower," Chasianna said. Jhaandar still didn't know what was so important about that lotus flower. But the next thing Chasianna said shocked him. "She passed away." Jhaandar didn't want any more explanations. He hugged Chasianna as tightly as he could. Not want to part with her they stayed like this for a while. Then he convinced her to go to bed and get some sleep. Chasianna laid in her bed as Jhaandar was covering her with a golden satin blanket, he sat for a while next to her. Then he kissed her slightly on her lips and brushed her hair. He stood up and tried to walk away but Chasianna grabbed his arm, stopping him. Jhaandar turned around and looked at her for a little bit. Holding her hand, he slowly makes her let go and he walked around the bed, laying right next to Chasiana. They faced each other and stayed like that for a few moments. After she got calm and stopped her tears, Chasianna moved closer to the king and kissed him. Jhaandar looked at her surprised but then he smiled and kissed her too. The two of them became inseparable again, kissing each other passionately. "You should rest," Jhaandar told Chasianna between the kisses as they were catching up their breaths. "I need to think about something else, my king." She replied and kissed him again. Losing her mother at this time wasn't a good thing, but at least she had another person by her side, loving her truly. Spending the night with the king made Chasianna a little bit happier. Jhaandar was leaning against the board behind them, hugging Chasianna's naked body tightly against his chest. She was starting to feel drowsy, slowly closing her eyes but Jhaandar wanted to ask. "How do you know? About queen Elathana?" Chasianna took a deep breath and opened her eyes. "Her flower. She gave it to me so that I stay connected with her. As the person lives and goes through different emotions, so does the flower and it changes its colors as it floats. Blue means fear, pink is love, red is pain, purple is anger, green is envy..." She explains. "And white means death." Jhaandar finishes her sentence. "As the person dies, the flower sinks to the bottom and loses all of its colors." A few tears came out, falling down on her cheeks but she dried them with her palm. Hugging her husband again, the two of them fall asleep.
Waking up the next morning, the king and the two queens are called into the main hall. The messenger from Farnala walks up before the reigning trio and passed on the message. "With our deepest sadness, we must inform you about the passing of Elathana, the queen of Farnala." Everyone in the hall gasped. Loreleia wasn't even bothered by it, moreover, it looked like she was happy about it. The only thing she was bothered by was Jhaandar reaching and holding hands with Chasianna.
By the rules of the royal blood, Chasianna needed to return to her kingdom for the funeral of her mother. As got everything ready for her road, she was standing in front of the palace waiting for her carriage. Jhaandar was standing next to her. When the carriage came, he turned her around, holding her shoulders he pulled Chasianna closer to him and hugged her. When they parted, the king slowly moves his hands along her neck to her face and pulls her closer again, this time to kiss the first queen. Chasianna smiles at the king and then walks to her carriage. Jhaandar helps her to get inside and then tells them to depart for Farnala. The ride was long but Chasianna stayed up the whole night. The following day they arrived at the border of the Farnala kingdom. Royal guards were already there, waiting for their princess to come. Joining their princess on the way, they guarded her safe arrival to the Elvendaer. After they reached the castle, the carriage stopped and Chasianna got out. Her father waiting for her in front of the castle with sadness all over his face. But after seeing his precious daughter again, he couldn't help but smile a little bit. He reaches out both of his hands and welcomes Chasianna. The first day Chasianna rested after the long ride. Walking in the garden that was full of color, Chasianna forgot about her worries for a little bit. The next day, the Farnala kingdom started to prepare for the Sorlas ceremony. Elathana's body was prepared in a glass coffin, laying for 3 days in the main hall. People were allowed to go into the castle and pay their respects for the late queen. With the respects and blessing for her peaceful afterlife were given, the Sorlas took place in the Valley of Lakes. Walking through the kingdom to the Valley, carrying the queen's body, people who couldn't attend the blessings, paid their respects here. When they reached the Baldow lake, the elven council was already there. Putting down the queen, Chasianna and her two little brothers took baskets full of flowers and made a bed out of them, placing them around their mother. Everyone dressed in white, watched as her children prepared her body for the journey. After the last flower was put down by the king Arbaine, the eldest council member nodded. Arbaine with his children stepped away from the queen and elven council members took her flower bed. With her bed, they moved their queen onto the boat and set her sailing on the lake. The sun was setting down as the boat slowly reached the middle of the lake. Beautiful sunset played with colors as the queen's body got into the middle. The eldest council member then looked at Chasianna and nodded. She walked to the edge of the lake and closed her eyes. She took a deep breath and then let it out, whispering a few words. A wind grew stronger, making Chasianna's hair flow into her face. She brushed her hair out of her face and watched her mother sink to the bottom of the lake.
When the Sorlas ended, Chasianna stayed a few more days with her father and brothers at the castle before returning to the Phaendar. She couldn't stay long. As a reigning queen, she needed to go back to the main kingdom. Saying goodbye to her family, she departed for her ride back to Phaendar. When she arrived, Jhaandar was already waiting for her in front of the palace. Loreleia was waiting there too. She greeted her with a fake smile and they watched the two of them walk inside the palace. Jhaandar took Chasianna into the garden. She hasn't been there for a while. It was a place that brought her peace and happiness, so he took her there to gather energy. As they walked through the garden, hand in hand they looked at each other and smiled. Looking around the garden, slowly waking up and getting brighter, small white snowdrops caught her eyes. She smiled after she saw them. Jhaandar looked at her smiling. "What made you so happy, my love?" He asked. "There is a saying when someone passes away in Farnala: Your flower withers so that other one can bloom. The snowdrops bloomed in the garden." Chasianna pointed at the white flowers in the grass. "What do they mean?" Jhaandar asked. He knew by now, that almost every flower has a meaning in for Farnala people.
"We are going to be parents, my king."
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