The mansion of Helena had architecture like no other in the district.
The architect is someone named Araphel, who is an adventurer from the south, a talented architect and a prodigious talent in art
She knew his ideas, although perhaps common where he came from, would be sufficiently exotic in her kingdom to inspire awe in the populous.
The towers are golden an open porch with detailed pillars with intricate carvings, painted in brilliant white.
Inside there were no doors on the ground floor, only arches. It is winding like a spiraling staircase.
The flagstone floor had been shipped in also and was made with a stone of soft blue hues that had never before been seen in the district.
It is big as two mansions in one place, some might even have called it a Palace, and she employed a great deal of the townsfolk as servants.
There is also stables for the horses, and massive kitchen that can hold a feast for festive occasion, the beautiful gardens where she would always go to relax her mind from the squabbling of the nobles and the politics of the courts, the intrigues and the plot, the deceivers and the opportunist.
Helena is sighing.
Then she writes again in her diary.
It is a stressful and eventful day today. What a mess!
Today she had to help the nobles mostly between Sir Raleigh and Sir Lorne settle their dispute that almost erupted into a full debate in the Parliament.
Thankfully she managed to keep them both calm and settle their difference. In the court she is known as Helena the Negotiator.
As long as she in the negotiation room, a settlement will be achieved.
Her reputation as a master negotiator makes her negotiation easier. Nobody wants to be seen so unreasonable in the circle of politician that she could not coax them.
To appear as such is to tell other people that they are inflexible and too stubborn for their own good.
If they have such personality who would help them when they need a policy to be enacted?
She also heard what happen to Aero but she is also confident that Aero can let himself go. He believed in her strength. She should also believe in him. So right now she is waiting
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In the court she only steer through path that will bring her safety. In a way, it is the safest way to be. She seems interested in many sides, while only committing to her own side.
And there is another point of debate in the Court right now.
Supporting for Aero return is a sensitive subject in the Court.
Some want the Chancellor back, where most of his supporters is either his allies, or someone who wanted to curry favor when the Chancellor returns.
Then of course there is the faction that says we should wait, until the war in Niovar ended, both happy that their main obstructionist opponent to the war, the Chancellor is somewhere in Veva and did not pose a threat to their ambition.
The Chancellor absence also left a power vacuum in the Court, some even hoping that the Chancellor doesn't return home, but with George on the throne everyone knows to wish such thing would incur the wrath of the reigning King
Everyone knows how the King of Vanheim relationship with his Chancellor and how he favors him the most in his court.
Sooner or later, George will send an army there if all the diplomatic channel failed.
But why did she not insinuate herself in any camp?
Because sadly she had to.
If she takes a side, any side she will be the one that gobbled up in the court political game.
She remembers how she had lavished them with gifts, listen to their plight with sympathetic look, even occasionally play the charmer, but inwardly she keeps both the friendly king and the perfidious lords and Princes at arm's length.
She had to stay out of the fray to take time to position herself to take advantage at every slight opportunity she sees to strengthen her power in the Court
And this has gained her many profits.
Her position in the Courts right now are secure, knowing so many of their secret, their buried skeletons, and information that would ruin them.
She knows the courts favorite person to the least disliked one, to the dangerous and weak, to the rich lords and lords that pretend to be rich and so many other information.
She sighed as she thinks of the means she had to employ to make sure she survives.
The knocking startled her a bit before she composed herself and said
"Enter" One of her servants enter the room and inform her
"Your royal Highness, there is Prince Edward outside coming here again with flowers"
"Let him wait" Helena said
The attendant sighed and Helena glared at her. The attendant lower down her face and she go outside to give the Prince the bad news again.
She sighed and then looked again at the mansion. All of this is his gold and silvers. And she sighed. It is sad to see how many times she had sighed the moment she married that Prince.
She then writes again in her notebook.
In the Court the moderate faction is led by Lord Josh while the Conservative is led by Duke Bradheim, the step brother of the King.
For now, Sayle is the one leading them considering Duke Bradheim is at war.
The war is almost ending and it seems the Gods favor Vanheim. By now the Niovar King has no place to run.
Majority of their lords has already sworn fealty to Vanheim. They are strong and powerful, a worthy enemy but Vanheim is stronger.
With Karak navy help, they block the Port, While Veranis offer Vanheim supplies and replenish the supply lines through Vanheim allies has been helpful in making sure the war was won
But it must be admitted.
If Niovar has allies, then the result of this war might be different.
In the end, the reason for their eventual fall is their foreign nation policy, closing off contact with other nation, believing in their own superiority.
This is what isolation brings. She is reminded of Aero.
He has many enemies in the court mostly those that want to take his place, courtiers who she knew even tries to poison him, but miraculously he never died.
What is up with him?
Yet, he shows himself in the court, mingle with the ministers and speak with them. He did not isolate himself in his mansion or hide.
He shows himself more. Aero understands the law of power very well.
In isolation, conspiracies will spring up like a mushroom after rain, animosities will crystallize and create faction against him.
To combat this Aero must have combated it with his openness, formally organized and channeled.
Isolation means you lost your ears, your eyes, and you cut your knowledge. That is not a wise move
Look at Veranis.
They were a small nation before but now they are large and powerful.
They open trades with other lands, absorbing their intelligence, learning from their mistake, and create a spying network all across the Continent, almost rivaling that of Vanheim, maybe even bigger than Vanheim.
And then finished writing her thought about today event she closed the notebook.
She thinks she have made him waited long enough. He must be persuading her to return to the Peak again.
And while she did not like doing it, she has to say no again.
She put down the book and began walking to the door.
Tomorrow I have other problem to settle. But today she had to settle this first
'Huh, today not many people come to the library.' She said with a slight regret
She opens the door and switch on the light. In front of her is her empty home, an apartment that she rent with her work as a librarian.
The furniture fills her house.
her house that she loves. And she smiles at the thought.
She still had to pay monthly but it is almost done and she likes that she could call this home her own.
The walls are red, during last year she change the paint, a tradition in her family, where they always change the colors of paint in the walls for their house in the New Year.
The furniture is modern design, mostly bought at IKEAAS, which she must admit sometimes it is hard to assemble, the chairs sprinkled with the cushions.
There is a table in every seat, a small table that fits snugly there, and the walls are fill with the photographs of her family hung in the walls showing their memory, happy ones.
It's been a long time since she visited her family.
Only in the festivities when she returns home to her village and once again meet her parents at their village home.
She turns on the music.
Mozart is playing in the background. It always soothed her
She is tired today and she just want to rest. She tosses her handbag to the sofa, took off her clothes and toss it to the laundry.
Then like usual she went to fridge. When she opens it she could only see an egg and few cabbages.
She forgot to restock last time. Thank God, she has eaten outside before going home. She reminded herself that she has to go grocery shopping tomorrow.
She then takes a shower; clean herself up and then she tosses herself to the comfy bed. Today, was boring.
She was thinking while looking at the ceiling. When you live alone, most of the time she uses to listen to music or just lying on her bed.
Recently she plays Brave World and the capsule is in the other room
It is addicting game but since she has work she could not spend so much time paying it. In it she was a Summoner, a new class that just introduced not long ago.
She usually summons cute animals and play with them. She just finds it healing.
And finally after playing that game she knows why that boy, who used to frequent the library, always borrowing books about war.
The boy is Aero of the East, the Great Pillar of Vanheim, Chancellor of Vanheim. At least, that is one thing she understand.
She doesn't have any ambition like Daniel to be like him.
she just plays the game because the world is so vibrant and colorful with magic, and fill with beautiful scenery.
She uses to follow this group of Explorer class player on their expedition.
They go to mountain, rivers, beautiful creek, misshapen hills, and she love it.
There are beaches with white sand, mountains with beautiful trees and plants, rivers with refreshing air that she almost wishes she live in that world instead here.
Here, people are all busy. In there she can take time to rest, just watching the sun set and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
She glances to the other room from her opened door.
'Should I play?' She thought to herself but then she shakes her head
No, tomorrow, she persuades herself. As she listens to the music slowly her eyes began to feel more and more heavy.
Then she snored as she went to sleep.
The ending is near. Hope you like this story. keep reading on. Enjoy your read and give your comments. Next chapter, death visits one of the characters
I don't know how you would feel about it but hey, it happens. Anyway, don't forget to vote and leave some comments.
And I know you are all waiting for Aero but this is important because in a few more chapter there will be no reference anymore since we will be charting into new territory of this story. This does not make sense now but you will understand it later.
Ok, Ciao and see you all tomorrow.
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