Glad you could join us for the next revealing episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
“You’re the friend who told King Arnie that Lady Persephone had gone to the Deep Woods?” Elliot asked Queen Lilian with quiet respect.
“I am. We’ve been friends all our lives. When the Prince and I were children, we often played together while our parents talked about Kingdom business. As youths, we sat in their meetings to learn about being rulers. But I didn’t tell him everything — Persephone asked me not to tell him she was pregnant.”
Silence filled the bower.
Cassandra’s question grew slowly from her hopes and fears. “Who went with Persephone to the Deep Woods?”
Sighing off the weight of an unavoidable decision, Her Magnificence stroked Cassandra’s cheek. “My child, I think you already know the answer. Her name is Quintessa. She had been our sister in the Suns of Glory and a good friend to both of us. When Persephone said she had to leave, Quin wouldn’t hear of her going by herself, so they left together.”
“Cassandra’s adopted mother?” Elliot asked.
Tears ran down Cassandra’s face.
Elliot pressed his neck against hers. “What happened to Persephone, Queen Lilian?”
“After Benito died in the first failed Wasp Rebellion, we heard stories that some of the surviving rebels followed their outlaw leader, Spike, to search for her. They blamed Persephone not only for Benito’s death, but also for their exile. They found her, but Quintessa was able to save only you.”
“They killed my mother?”
“Yes,” the Queen responded. “The rebel leader confessed, and justice was swift.”
“If there was Justice,” Elliot demanded, “why is Spike still alive?”
Queen Lilian sighed. “We don’t practice capital punishment in Fen, but sometimes I wonder if the punishment I chose was even crueler than death.” She paused and searched the sky. “I shredded his wings.”
To be continued. . .