"Yes, My mother. She was a fierce Tigress, wife of death so they say. She bore five lovely children. Four strong, gentle sons and a little girl. She raised us to be fierce and kind. We were a family, though we had no father. Mother was proud, and she raised us to be as well. I was already in training to be princess when I took my first steps. Zither songs by my cradle taught me what was expected of me and my brothers learned at my uncle's side. We were the future of our people." Kyera began to recall. There was a soft smile on her lips as she did so. They were much simpler times. She missed them quite a bit. Those days at her brother's side, and on their knees as she listened to her mother play the songs she taught little Raina.
"I am going to assume something changed, Kyera. Though I will admit it sounds pretty nice. I never got to know my folks myself." Lazren replied with a soft sigh. She nodded and folded her arms across her chest, taking a deep breath.
"My Mother was out hunting one day, she met with a human who use to sell us cloth, things we couldn't just make or find in our section of the forest. They say she came to like being around the humans. She made friends and would disappear fairly often to gather supplies. That's when things fell apart." There was a sadness to her voice now. "She would disappear more and more often. As time went off us children were left alone more and more often. The boys had to raise me, and teach me the things they barely knew themselves. Then one day… she came home and insisted on playing a game with us. We spent hours playing and then had a fantastic dinner. She put each one of us to bed in our warm little home. When I woke up the next morning I expected to see her making breakfast at the hearth, but I never would see her there again." Kyera finished her story, still rubbing her arms genly for comfort. Lazren frowned.
"She could have died." He tried to think about this logically but Kyera laughed.
"We considered that, we also considered she might have been captured by the Slavers and forced to stay away. There was no sign of a struggle and she was so cozy with the humans we weren't sure how that would be possible. Yet, after my brother's lost their lives, there was nothing I could do. I couldn't argue her innocents because honestly, I believe to this day she had intended to leave. When she tucked us in, she was saying goodbye." Kyera explained shaking her head. There were no tears in her eyes. She had shed all there was to cry for the past, at least that part of it.
"I see… did you ever find out what happened to her?" Lazren asked, there was a ill feeling in his gut as he thought about what she was saying.
"Yes, and so do you. The Empress's familiar is My Mother." Kyera replied and he froze staring at her in shock. He had never dreamed that tigress who care for the Empress Dowager so well was the same woman who left her children without anyone to protect them.
"I.. wow I didn't see that coming." He shook his head and then glanced back at her. "No wonder you were so shy of her when you first got here."
"I still don't like her. I may never trust her again, but I am doing my best to forgive the past. I needed her help when you were injured. She gave me what I needed then. At the same time, she tried to calm me when… I found out. So honestly, I don't know how I feel about her now. I can't let go of my brother's death. I can't forgive her choice." Kyera fumbled to explain. Her heart was still in too many tatters to try and examine yet another complicated relationship in her life.
"I wish something could go easier on you. It doesn't seem to be the in the cards at the moment, Princess but you have a few good men at your back." He assured her with a soft smile. "Your brothers must have put in a good word when they passed. I don't see you standing alone. Between Clovis and myself." He added as they approached the Dancing Wind's palace. A familiar form walking toward them on the other path, leading away from the Treasury. "Speak of the Devil, Little Lady that seems to be your future husband." He pointed up the road. Kyera smiled seeing him in the sunlight.
He was right. At least two men had her back. It wasn't much, but it was something. There was still one more person she needed before she could take a deep breath. HOwever, the problem was, would he accept her choice?
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