Empress Mai

Chapter Five

After hearing my fathers confession last time, I came to understand that being a king was not an easy task; therefore, I put in my head that everyone around me was a threat, and I couldn afford to trust anyone. If my father, a good and kind king who always wanted what was best for his people, was poisoned by them, what about me, their worst nightmare, and a female monarch? I wouldn even last for a day. Like I promised, I didn tell anybody anything about his condition, but I made it my personal goal to find the conspiracy behind the kings assassination attempt. We had about two months left for the coronation, but my father and I thought it would be better to move it up because my father started to show symptoms such as vomiting, numbness of his joints, and shaking from the poison. Therefore, the doctor said that he needed more rest, and it would take a while to detoxify.

In the meantime, while dealing with my father and the state affair, there were a lot of riots among the people who didn want a woman to be queen. They were protesting because they thought I would be too young to make decisions and mess up their way of life, like making women think they had authority over men.

Everything was arranged beautifully for the coronation. The coronation hall was huge; it was like a stadium and could hold thousands of people. For generations, the royal family used it for the public. This was where they had coronations, competitions, ball games, fighting games, annual festivals, dating festivity for young girls and boys my age, and royal weddings.

It was the first day of the week; I had about thirty percent of the entire population who had agreed to support me so far, some were neutral, and the rest completely disagreed. At least thirty percent was not too bad; I didn expect it at all. I sat in my room after two hours getting ready for the event. I was thinking about how this decision would completely change my life. It would not only put my life in danger, but it would also take my freedom away. This moment was the last moment to back off from this life, but at the same time, I thought that I needed the power to protect those I loved, and I was confident that I could be a good queen to my people. While I was lost deep in my thoughts, my family entered the room, and I didn even notice.

”Honey, honey, ” my mother called.

It took seconds before I realized she was calling me.

”Mother, father, you all are here. ”

”Yes, girl, you thought we forgot about you? ” Dana said.

”You look like a queen, except you look so tiny in that dress, ” Lily said.

Everyone laughed.

”We are here to encourage you; we know it is something hard that you are going through at this moment, but we want to assure you that we will be a hundred percent behind you. We are immensely proud of you, ” my father said.

”Thank you, father. I appreciate it, you guys. ”

”Now, all you have to do is smile and know that you may be the queen, but we will still be your family, and we love you, and you are not alone. ”

”Thank you, Alisa. ”

We hugged each other until Elida interrupted.

”Your majesties, it is time. ”

I put my arm around my fathers arm, and the rest of the family followed.

As we entered the Coronation Hall, we could hear so much noise; the people were cheering for my father and excited to see the young girl that would be queen. Once we reached outside, the people were screaming as if there were a rock concert happening. We walked out, and the initiator, the head priest, started to talk.

”Zakisktans, we welcome you today to see something that has never happened before in history, a female monarch. Shes the youngest daughter of our beloved king Rudolf. Today we are here to crown Zakiskta successor. ”

The people screamed even more.

He continued, ”Our king is retiring due to his health condition; he has to get treatment as soon as possible. ”

I turned around and looked at my father; he understood at once.

”I had to give them a reason why we moved the coronation so fast, ” he whispered in my ears.

I smiled and gave him a sign that I understood his point.

”Now, let the coronation begin, ” the initiator continued. ”With this Orb placed in your hand, we are trusting you with our lives, our children, our country. ” He put the small orb in my left hand. ”This scepter is a symbol of protection; we trust that you will protect us and judge us righteously. ” He put the scepter in my right hand. ”With this crown, we give you authority to govern our country wisely. As the people of Zakiskta agree, we crown you Queen Mai Elandra Rodensburg. May you reign forever. All hail queen Mai. ”

”All hail queen Mai! ” Everybody went to their knees, repeatedly saying the same word.

I walked closer to the wall where the crowd could see me and spoke, ”Citizens of Zakiskta, Im delighted to see you come here to support me. Im grateful for people like you. This small gesture will only be the motivation for me to work harder to give you a peaceful nation. I know many of you don know me and ask a lot of questions about my youth and gender. I can say because you are here, it means that you are willing to give me a chance, and I appreciate that. So, for this simple gesture, I, your queen, am willing to be on probation for half a year, and you, my beloved, will vote for me to stay on the throne or leave it to a more qualified candidate. What do you say, my people? ”

With these words, the crowd screamed even more in agreement.

”Long live your majesty. With all due respect, we, the commoners, are not allowed to vote; that has been the law for many years. How do we do that, my queen? ” one person from the crowd said.

”The sun does not shine to a part of the country; it shines throughout the entire world. Im queen not only to the nobles but to the commoners also. Im like the sun; I don govern just one part of the country but all the country, man, woman, children, rich or poor, commoners or nobles. We all follow one person and the same law. How about we change that? Today I say in half a year, the whole country is allowed to vote for my stay or for me to leave. ”

The people screamed even louder. All the nobles faces turned red because they were furious.

Then my father approached me and said, ”Looks like someone just stole the peoples hearts. Do you know how long Ive been trying to do that; the nobles never agree to it. ”

”I know, father; that was why I made the declaration in the open. I won go back on my words; a queens word becomes law. ”

”Thats my girl. Rule number three, make the people fall in love with you. You make me proud, and I know you will be a better ruler than me. All the things I couldn do, Im sure you will accomplish all in my absence. I will pray to God to keep me alive to see that happen. ”

I hugged him and said, ”Father, you are my biggest inspiration. Thank you. ”

After the event, I knew in my heart that some people already hated my guts, but I didn care much because what I had in mind for these people, they would never figure it out.

My chamber was moved from being closer to the royal family residence to being closer to the Throne Hall, where the magic happened. It was a bit lonely for me because I must take a carriage to visit my sisters and parents. I had countless guards and servants, something I despised more than anything, but I had to. My bedroom was the size of a whole house. There was a huge study where I reviewed the ministers petitions. The dining room had a table that could hold twenty people and a large living area for private hangouts. There were many more rooms I had no knowledge of. I had two maidservants at my door, and Elida was still taking care of me. She was the only one I could trust, for Id known her for many years. Two bodyguards guarded each room, and there were countless others around the palace.

It took me two days to walk around, visit the whole palace, and get to know the servants. The soldiers that I fought with during the war at Nibu state became my spies; I called them Shadow Stars. In peoples eyes, they were just my personal guards, but they worked more when people were not looking. There were only twenty Shadow Stars members, and each of them had five subordinates working under them. Only these twenty members knew about the Shadow Stars secrets—not even their subordinates knew. Zilan was the head; they reported everything to him, and he reported to me. Shadow Stars had one rule: no one could leak secrets, not even to their family; otherwise, they would put everyone in danger. Within two seconds of my reign, I had already made a lot of enemies. Imagine what they would do to a spy working for me. I placed one of them in each state with their subordinate, and eight of them spread in the capitol. Four of them were my closest personal guards; they were the only ones that could come and go without my permission or get closer to me. Otherwise, everyone else must stay six feet away from me.

”My queen, time for breakfast, ” Elida said.

I got up, put my robe on, and walked to the washroom. I washed my face and looked in the mirror, thinking it would be my first-time eating breakfast among my people. I entered the room, and all the servants stood there in order and waited for me to sit down.

”Good morning, your majesty, ” they all said.

I sat on the chair at the head of the table.

”Rise, ” I replied. ”What do we have on the menu today? ”

”Anything youd like, your majesty. ”

”Great! Please, serve. ”

There were all kinds of foods on the table; a few of my favorites, some good fruits, veggies, and so on. As I took the fork and put it on the fried egg on my plate, a young girl about my age named Ana rushed in front of me.

”Your majesty, I have to taste the food first before you eat, ” she said.

”Oh, right, go ahead. ”

She approached timidly, took a fork, and grabbed a bite from the plate. A few minutes later, she started to cough, and I quickly realized something was wrong with the food.

”Elida, call Zilan, and you, call the imperial doctor now! ” I yelled.

I took Anas head, put it on my lap, and comforted her. A few minutes after, the doctor and Zilan walked in.

”Zilan, lock every gate and door in this palace. No one comes in, and no one goes out. And doctor, do everything in your power to save that girls life. ”

They both answered in agreement with what I commanded.

The doctor came to me a few minutes after consulting Ana and spoke, ”Long live your majesty. Miss Ana was poisoned, but I was able to detoxify the poison. She should have a full recovery in the next fourteen days. ”

”Perfect! Thank you, doctor, ” I said. A thought came to my mind. Then I questioned the doctor, ”Doctor, do you know what kind of poison this is and how I can identify it? ”

”Yes, your majesty. Most people might not know that once you hold this poison in your hand, it will leave some dark spots; even if you wash it, it won come off for the next three days. ”

”Thank you, doctor. I appreciate your help. Please, can you keep this to yourself? ”

”My lips are sealed, your majesty. ”

I gave him a sign, and he excused himself

”Zilan, get everybody to the hall! ” I screamed.

In my yellow robe and with my hair all over the place, I went down the stairs in a rush, angry.

”As you all know, Ana almost died from poison after tasting my food. Today, I must find out who the culprit is. I need all of you to wash your hands in that water bowl, ” I commanded. Then I whispered to Zilan, ”Observe their hands; whoever has black spots in their hands, bring him to me in secret. In the meantime, Ill go get ready for court. ”

”Yes, your majesty. ”

I went back to my room, followed by Elida and two other servants. They helped me get ready for court. A few minutes later, Zilan came in with a young girl around twenty-eight years of age.

”Your majesty, heres the culprit. ” He threw her on the floor in front of my feet; she was shaking, crying, and looked very scared.

”Forgive me, my queen. I was forced to do that, ” she quickly said.

”Whats your name? ”

”My name is Keira, your majesty. ” She bowed her head and continued to shake on the ground.

”Who are you working for? Why are you trying to poison me? ”

”Your majesty, I and my family were kidnapped, and a man with a mark on his face told me to put something in your food before my family and I would be released. He said he would kill one member of my family every day If I refused to do it. Im truly sorry, my queen. ”

”Do you know it is a capital crime to try to kill your queen? It is punishable by death. ”

”I know, your majesty; Im not afraid to die as long as I can save my family. My siblings are so small; please have mercy. ”

”Im getting late for court; lock her up, and Zilan, find someone to check her story. Lets go. ”

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