Malich’s power sparks to life as his mind drifts to Arya, her palace, and her new title.Queen. She is now queen of the Seelie Court, free to marry another of the Goddesses’ choosing. It’s been a turn since he last saw her and word of the Seelie Courts’ resurrection spread throughout the planes. Kahlem immediately summoned me to the throne room along with every other advisor. News of a Seelie Queen has him unsettled. He wants to assess this new threat and learn everything he can about her.
When he learns exactly who sits on the throne of the Seelie Court he’ll probably shit himself and then the games will begin. He’ll kiss just enough of Malich’s arse to make him an ally rather than an enemy and when he comes, Malich will name his price.
“Do we know who she is?” Arokin asks. Malich just drums his fingertips on the edge of the small throne his brothers fashioned for him, as a joke no doubt. His tall, statuesque frame does not fit comfortably within the small throne chair because it was made for a child. Still, Malich sits in it the picture of princely perfection. They always talk amongst themselves, never really caring if he has an opinion or not. He’s about to set a trap that they will undoubtedly walk into because they continue to underestimate him.
“Perhaps I will throw a party welcoming the new queen and invite her to the palace you so graciously gave me,” Malich offers without looking up from the table. “It will give us and the other royals a chance to meet the new Goddess blessed queen.”
Murmuring broke out in the room with his brothers weighing Malich’s suggestion. After a while they turn to look at him with smirks on their faces, ready to walk into his trap. Malich knows his brothers have been spying on his progress with the estates they’d given him, which is why he had a nymph brought from the Forrest of Fallacy and paid it handsomely to cast an illusion over his estates. He wants his brothers to think him incapable, incompetent, and weak. Why else would they agree to this party?
He knew they would seek to undermine him at every turn so he wouldn’t have a voice worth hearing within the Summer Court and Malich intended to change that. They would invite all of their fancy friends and family, those who supported them, to see how far Malich had fallen so no one would find favor in him ever again. He counted on it. Only then would he unveil the beauty of his palace inspired by the girl turned queen who’d stolen his heart. The queen would simply be the icing on the cake.
“And how are things going at your estate?” Bevi grins.
“They’re coming along great,” Malich smiles. His brothers almost lose it, snickering like children amongst themselves, amused by what they’ve done.
“I think that is an excellent idea,” Kahlem drawls, trying to hide his smirk behind his hand. “I’ll make the arrangements and have Sen pick something of value to give to the new queen.”
Malich almost beams at the idea. Once Sen sets her eyes on Arya, the look on her face alone would be enough to satisfy the queen she’d once insulted.
His brothers moved on to subjects that were of less interest to Malich so he drowned them out. He wanted to get to Arya before she received his brother’s invitation so they could plan their revenge together.
After he was dismissed from the throne room, before it had even come to a conclusion he might add, Malich went to the alumni training camp to keep his promise to Arya. Navi was training new recruits as she’d often done and he handed the training over to Dax.
“Take a walk with me Navi,” Malich commanded. Weary, she joined him in a walk and once they were away from the alumni soldiers he turned to her. “Arya has asked me for your release and I’ve granted it.”
He expects her to be relieved, but she isn’t. Eyes downcast, she takes a ragged breath. “Arya? Not Ihsan?” She asks as her eyes glaze over.
“Aye,” he nods. Tears fall from her eyes. “She wants me to have you escorted to the Unseelie Court to reunite with King Rayne.”
“No,” Navi shakes her head. “If he wanted me he should have come for me, but he didn’t. If it is Arya who has asked, it is Arya I will go to.” Before he could say otherwise, Navi heads back to finish the training for the day.
Evander provides him with seven new recruits with lightbearing gifts. If Alara and the daemon have taught him anything, it’s that he needs soldiers with talents he doesn’t possess. He needs the best of the best.
At first light, the following moon, he would head out to the Seelie Court to speak to Arya, bringing Navi with him. With Ihsan, Navi and Arya all gone, he needs to restructure. He gifts Preceptor Killian controlling interest in the Red Dragons. He gifts Mekhi controlling interests in the Alumni and the Redlands, appointing him Majii, and he gifts Dax with the official title of being the General of the alumni army, tripling his wages. Killian and Dax both answer to Mekhi who answer to Malich.
Malich needs Mekhi’s eyes and ears, so not only did he have his true brother moved to the alumni training camp within the palace, but he invited him to the party welcoming the new Seelie Queen, filling him in on the inner workings of the treacherous Court he now belongs to.
It feels good to have his brother near and he wonders what Mekhi would think once he realizes who the new queen is. Mekhi hasn’t asked bout Arya once. In fact, all anyone knew was Arya went to the Unseelie Court and hadn’t returned, minus a few privileged individuals.
“You’ve done well brother,” Mekhi takes in Malich’s massive estate.
“You have your own wing with separate entrances and exits. It is completely yours.”
Mekhi’s brows rose and Malich smiles, showing him to his wing. He had it completely furnished to Mekhi’s liking and a single tear dropped from his brother’s eyes before he quickly wiped them away. “You kept your promise,” Mekhi exhales.
“I owe you my life and then some brother. I’ll start by repaying my debts to you.”
Mekhi’s throat bobbed. He first came to Malich as a merchant. He owned a school where he taught the art of combat to the palace’s populace for coin. When Malich lost his kingdom, Mekhi lost his business, his wealth and his family. He had a wife and a newborn son. Everything he built was snatched from him. Malich owed him and didn’t want another moon to pass without expressing his gratitude. “There’s more brother,” Malich handed him a deed to his very own estate here within the Summer Court, within Malich’s territory and the deed to Malich’s estate within the Redlands. “For you and your family.”
His eyes glazed over and although Mekhi held his tears at bay, Malich knew his brother was grateful. He gave him a hug that lingered before backing away and tucking the deed into his waistcoat. “Thank you,” Mekhi managed to choke out.
Malich went over security measures with Mekhi. There were those who were opposed to a new Seelie Queen. They were afraid of the power one possessed, as they should be. There was bound to be at least one carefully plotted test to determine the strength of such a Queen.ns184.108.40.206da2