Installment: 36

On her way to her chambers, the Queen ran into a most welcomed face. An opportunistic Kivar figured this was the best time to divulge the information he’d recently acquired from his lovely naïve princess as well as his henchman not to mention gain the Queen’s favor of possibly stopping the signing of the treaty at the Bi Nor.

“Good day Your Majesty, you are looking as radiant as ever.” He smiled and greeted her by kissing her hand and curtseying.”

“Good day Kivar. Should I expect you at the Bi Nor tonight?” She said being polite “Or do you have other matters to handle that are seemingly more important?”

He smiled, embarrassed that she remembered him missing the last celebration and coming up with a terrible excuse to excuse his absence. “I will not miss it for the world Your Majesty. Speaking of the Bi Nor, might I have a word with you? I’m afraid I have some information that I feel I can’t keep to myself.”

“I am in a bit of a hurry Kivar, can it wait until after the celebration?” she asked.

“I’m afraid not, Your Majesty.” He answered and then continued, “ I feel terrible for not coming forth sooner.”

“Well, I suppose since you claim such utter urgency.” she said rubbing her temples recollecting the abrasive argument with Zan. “However instead of going to my quarters, shall we go to afternoon Aet? Aet would do me good”

“As you wish” bowing and extending his arm for her to lead the way.

Zil was just leaving Vilandra’s chambers when Anya approached her. “Mistress Zil, Mistress Zil!!!” Anya said racing toward her and somewhat out of breath “I’m afraid the Your Majesty the Queen asked me to find you. She wishes to see you right away.”

A concerned Zil asked “Do you know why Anya?”

“I’m afraid that she and his Majesty the King had an argument about you. And now she wishes to address you about it?” She said with worry.

“Hmmm, I’m sure it’s nothing” She wondered if the Queen knew about she and Zan. Noticing Anya expression and body language she continued “but then again from the look on your face I’m beginning to feel that this can’t be good.”

“I’m not sure Mistress, but I heard the argument between she and the King. He has refused to marry Lady Ava and is going to sign a peace treaty between the colonies tonight at the Bi Nor. The Queen is furious!” Anya replied.

“And I suppose I am the one who is actually going to feel the heat of this fire” Zil said twiddling her fingers as she always did when she was nervous.”

“ That would be my guess Mistress. If I may, don’t give anymore than what she asks. She was in quite a furry and it seems knowing that His Majesty is defying her because of you, will only infuriate her more.” Anya said touching Zil for some type of reassurance that everything would be ok.

“Thank you Anya, I’ll take note of that. Shall we?” Zil motioned for Anya to lead the way. It was time for her to bite the bullet, so to speak.

Meanwhile Kivar and the Queen were conversing in the Villa outside the courtyard. Pouring the Aet, the Queen looked at Kivar. “So Kivar, what information do you have for me concerning my son.”

Sipping, Kivar put down his cup “I’m afraid there is no easy way for me to say this. I was told in the strictest confidence of a relationship between his Highness Zan and Mistress Zil.”

“I am aware of his feelings for her. I’m afraid Zan is and was terrible about hiding it.” The Queen confessed.

“I’m not so sure your Majesty that you know the full extent of their relationship. I know the true reason as to why Zan is signing this peace treaty.” He said.

“And what is this true reason Kivar?” the Queen asked as she put down her cup of Aet.

Kivar hesitated for a moment then took a deep breath and sighed. “Your Majesty, I’m afraid that their relationship is a little more than puppy love. I’m wish I could tell you the source of my information but I was told in the strictest of confidence. Zan and Zil are not just secretly in love with one other, they’ve courted, they are married.”

The Queen looked astonished but then burst into a hearty laughter. “Kivar, I’m sorry Love, but that is impossible.”

“I’m sorry your Majesty, but it is all true. This is why Zan is hell bent on signing the treaty at the Bi Nor tonight. If Antar becomes allies with Catava, Bina, Acelin and Aderes, the kingdom will have no use in being allies with Zeti Reticula. Zan would not have to marry Ava. Zeti’s Army has the force to match our own. As you know, as allies there would be no need for the treaty between the other kingdoms, and we would reign in greatness throughout the constellations. Zan is young and he can’t possibly achieve this kind of greatness. I’m most certain Au’Tumar would have wanted it MY way, I… I… I mean this way. Your husband was a great King and knew what it took to achieve greatness. Signing this treaty is not. Zan is selfish and spoiled and only concern with his own needs and not that of his kingdoms. In all fairness and I don’t mean any disrespect but he could have had her as a concubine. It is not uncommon but he chose to marry her. If this treaty is signed then it means that his marriage to this commoner will be accepted and upheld and we’ll lose whatever controlled territory we’ve gained this last Jama Ices and share it with the other four kingdoms. How can we achieve greatness if this happens? I’m sure Zan has rationalized in his mind that if the treaty was not signed and we continued the separation of the colonies that our kingdom would surely be on the brink of war, disaster, and famine. But it would not be this way if we were to ally with Zeti Reticula. The four smaller kingdoms could not possibly compete with a combined army of Antar and Zeti. Who would dare oppose such a kingdom with a most powerful army? An army of that kind of magnitude? Nor we would have to worry of treason with Zeti. Zeti would be apart of a great nation and even a greater kingdom. Do you understand Your Majesty how this could ruin our Kingdoms future, never mind that it’s going to erase our past accomplishments?”

The Queen sat there dumbfounded to Kivar’s obvious observation of her kingdoms history. She did not know what to do. Kivar was her husband’s most trusted advisor until his death. Why should she not trust him now? Her son was young and had no idea what it took to rule a Kingdom, let alone make it great and in the image of his father before him. “If what you say is true Kivar, I will ……”

In mid sentence, Anya approached her bowing. “A thousand pardons your Majesty, as you requested, Zil Nova is in your chambers awaiting you.”

“Thank you Anya, that is all.” The Queen replied and brushed her off. “My Dear Sweet Kivar, how can I ever thank you?” She said patting his hand as she rose from her seat. “This kingdom will be ruled by greatness and not by my son’s heart.”

“I’m sorry I had to be the bringer of such news. But I felt as I am a loyal subject of this court and Kingdom that is was the right and most responsible thing to do.” The wry smirk of pleasure shown of this inside his fiery eyes. He was pleased as he said to himself watching the queen scurvy off into the distance. “For the time is at hand and Antar will be ruled in greatness. Yes, in my greatness for this is and forever shall be MY KINGDOM!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Meanwhile in the quarters of the Queen, Zil paced back and forth. “Maybe she knows! Maybe she knows…. Maybe she knows everything.” She said biting her nails. “What am I going to say? What can I possibly say? No No… I won’t say a word. I’ll let her do all the talking. I won’t confirm or deny anything. I… I … I’ll… just let her do all the talking. How could she know? There is no way she could know!! Then why am I pacing and raving like some lunatic? Face it Zil, she knows!”

Just then, the Queen walked into the room. Zil turned abruptly to face her anxiously awaiting what she had to say, what information she knew. “Your Majesty” Zil said as she paid her respect by curtseying.

Clearing her throat the Queen spoke. “No need for formalities Zil Nova” she said waving her to stand upright. “I’m an old woman so I will make this short and sweet. I know that there is something going on between you and my son. Now, what I would like to know what is it?” She motioned her to take a seat and began to speak calmly. “I have it on good authority that you and my son have furthered your relationship. What I’m about to say is in both your best interest as well as Zan’s. He is promised to another and this thing between you two can no longer go any further. Zil, as romantic as it may seem I cannot nor will I accept or hold any validity of your marriage to my son.”

Zil was shocked. She knew the only way the Queen could have know was through Kivar. There is no way Vilandra would have told her. She had been defying her from the beginning by being with Kivar even though she was promised to Rath. She recalled that Vilandra had mentioned earlier that she had told him, so it was only a matter of time before the Queen knew. Zil was frozen with fear. What could she say? What would she say? Hell, what would she do? Zil searched the floor for an answer, but there was none. Standing before her was the Queen who was clearly furious with the situation at hand. Zil had to come up with something. Should she stand up for herself? Or should she plead her case? Should she be devoted to the political statue that she is nothing more than a commoner and should do what is best for the kingdom? Should she allow the Queen and whomever else to dictate the life she and Zan could have together, not recognize the love they have for one another? Zil knew nothing of the treaty Zan had intended to sign at the Bi Nor. She knew nothing of the fact that if this treaty was signed that their marriage would hold validity and would have to be recognized by the royal court. What was she suppose to do? She did what she felt was right. She did what was in her heart. To be without Zan was to be without her life. He was everything to her as she was to him. Both caught between the political tenacity of the Antarian Empire. Zil took and in a deep breath and then sighed. “No Guts, No Glory” she thought to herself. She had to fight for their life and more importantly the life she carried inside of her. “Your Majesty, I have been nothing but loyal to this Kingdom and I mean you no disrespect when I say this, but there is no dictatorship when it comes to the affairs of my heart. Zan and I love each other deeply and I would rather die than give into this Political Tihsllub.”

Her response sent the queen into a frenzy of anger. She lost all composure "He is to be wedded to another!" She then snatched her up by her forearm and dragged her to the door. “Take her!!!!” she shouted “Send her to Remda.” There standing outside in the hall was Nantan.

He grabbed hold of Zil “As you wish, Your Majesty.”