At the Cold Palace
Empress Evelyn sat quietly by the fire, rocking her precious cargo to sleep. As soon as Raina had entered her home, Evelyn had scooped her up and cradled her close. She acknowledged her son but was slightly surprised to see the Empress Dowager, but welcomed them all inside happily.
Having Adie set out a few more bowls, Empress Evelyn offered them food and coaxed Raina to eat. Her little cherry blossom ate obediently and snuggled into her grandmother's warmth. This was a small consolation to how horridly the day had gone. She quickly fell asleep to the gentle rocking.
"You have done well for yourself, Mother.this place truly feels like a cozy home." Clovis commented looking st the drapes of warm colored cloth, and the way things had been cleaned and arranged to seem more cozy and homely. The table and four beautiful chairs from the garden had been brought in to replace the sad wooden ones that had been here before. Evelyn smiled a touch of pride in her expression.
"Between Adie and my loyal Guard we were able to dress it up enough to be comfortable. The Garden still needs work." Empress Evelyn praised her dear servants. Adie smiled and blushed slightly as Clovis and The Empress Dowager nodded at her.
"It is wonderful. You seem to be doing well enough here. I must say i'm impressed Evelyn." The Empress Dowager admitted smiling approvingly at her. Ever since Evelyn had married her son, The Empress Dowager had always favored her. As a sweet obedient girl, she was quiet the appealing Daughter in Law, but once she showed her abilities in the court, she had become the clear cut Empress.
"Thank you, Mother." Evelyn replied respectfully still rocking her Granddaughter. "So what happened with Raina? Where was she?" The Empress asked, unable to wait for someone else to bring up the true reason they hadn't left when the baby fell asleep.
"Well, She apparently lost in the woods. A fairy Spirited her away to the Phoenix Falls. Though how exactly she ended up at the Empress Dowager's palace… I'm not quite sure." clovis admitted still concerned. His gaze settled on his grandmother's face to find she was slightly contemplative herself. She moved so her forearms rested on the table, her hands peeking out from under the long, draping sleeves.
"I suppose it is my turn to explain what I saw. You see I found out she was missing around high sun. I had just received word she hadn't been found when I heard a chuffing sound, similar to my Shi when she is trying to get my attention. When I looked up a white tigress with silver stripes had collapsed in my garden with Raina on her back." The Empress Dowager explained rather absently, her mind still lost on the details of that meeting.
The Empress had known the Empress Dowager since she was little, and grew up at the Dowager's side. She could sense the older woman had more on her mind and waited a few long moments for her to continue. When she did not, Clovis spoke up.
"Why did she save the princess and then disappear?" Clovis asked, not quite sure what to think of all this. Tigers were intelligent, he acknowledged that just as he acknowledged the lions and the bears had instinct and free thinking but this was not something he had heard of before. Vigilante tigers? Whats next, a banking Bear?
"I honestly don't think she intended to leave Raina's side. The Tigress was pretty badly wounded. Her shoulder was rather mangled. However, as soon as Shi came out to greet her guest, the Tigress freaked out. She fled, I guess she didn't think she could take her injured." The Empress Dowager explained with a bit of a shrug, but her eyes bore into her companions, waiting to see if either would respond. So much of that moment didn't make sense, but neither of them had seen it. The complex emotions and then Shi speaking to the tigress. It was rare even for the Empress Dowager who had allowed Shi to follow her for 12 long years to hear the great cat's voice.
Tears raised her head and waited for a moment, her eyes seemed curious as she tilted her head to the side. Standing, she walked over and nuzzled the Princess, taking in her sent. Her ears perked up as the Empress absently reached down and ran her fingers over the top of the leopard's head. After she quit petting, Tears slipped away into the night as the conversation continued without missing a beat.
Here is tonight's update. I hope its been a good day for all of you.
Thanks for reading,
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