August 9, 2015

In Which Dea Steps Outside Her Realm of Expertise

November 30, 1193

Dea usually rose at what she considered a reasonable time, and had been consistent about doing so since she'd been crowned. The graduation ceremony, however, was scheduled to begin early enough that spending the night before at the castle would have required waking well before she cared to. So, the plan had always been to spend her last night as a student at her room in Scorpio House, celebrating with her friends and former roommates.

Many of those friends and former roommates were still downstairs, with no intention of turning in any time soon, but having completed the last two years of her studies via correspondence, Dea had grown unused to campus life. Somehow, she'd thought she'd be back often enough that that wouldn't happen.

Being a queen was not a job that could be left in the late afternoon.

That said, exhausting as it had been, she didn't doubt that completing her studies had been the right choice. She'd always had enough interest in politics that she'd been able to make quick sense of what her father or grandfather had been up to (or, in many cases, why they shouldn't have been up to it), but studying so many scenarios and historical rulers certainly couldn't have hurt! There were many she could emulate, many she could take inspiration from... and many she could use as proven examples of what not to do.

And, for sure, she'd be a better queen for it.

But now that her studies were over... well, she'd have to make more of an effort cementing her friendships, and not just because a ruler had to be trustworthy. It had been a lonely few years, especially with all her family but Gennie living at her mother's new cottage. She'd had the lords and the servants and almost no one else. She'd never been the most social of people, but she didn't know how long she could keep on living like that without going mad.

She'd long thought her grandmother might not have lost her mind had she managed to keep more friends.

Dea fished her book out from under her pillow, figuring a few minutes of bedtime reading would be more productive than worrying about her sanity. Riona Sadiel, at least, would be graduating with her tomorrow. Dea didn't know her too well, since she'd been at Virgo House, but she would be marrying the half-brother of her Uncle Lorn; certainly not a bad place to form a new connection. She'd be sure to be friendly after the ceremony.

Or, she would, if that resolve didn't leave her when the moment came. Making friends had always been more her sister's realm of expertise.


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