Malich insisted on giving her homework to complete for their betrothal. She had to pick a color scheme, a dress, and the floral arrangements. Needless to say, he didn’t agree with anything she liked. He wanted a dress that didn’t come with pants sewn in, flowers that were more elegant, and a color scheme that didn’t consist of anything black or red. Those are her favorite colors.
“It’s a wedding, not afuneral, and you are notthe bride of Lucifer,” Malich shot her ideas down.
“What difference does it make? You’ll have the damn thing off in a matter of seconds ready to claim your prize,” Arya teased.
“The white is symbolic of innocence and purity and virtue.”
“All of which you have already stolen from me,” she laughs and he joins in.
“I did, didn’t I?”
A strong knock sounds at her chamber door. She removes herself from Malich’s arms and opens the door. “Not to interrupt your majesty, but it appears as if the homeless are starting to revolt,” Evander informs her. “They’re calling for your head.”
Arya groans, “Great. Tell them I’ll be right there.”
Malich is already putting his clothes on when she stops him. “Tsk-tsk-tsk,” she wagged her finger at him. “I’m not done with you yet. This won’t take long.”
Arya drinks from Malich’s lips, dresses herself in one of the pants dresses she had fashioned to spite Malich and heads to the throne room. Inside there are so many people you can’t see the floor. She takes her seat on the throne with Evander at her side and waits for the new royal announcer, Godfrey, to announce her to the room and state the issue to be discussed.
“We want to know what you plan to do about housing and unemployment. We have families and mouths to feed!” One of the men at the front of the crowd shouted.
“What is your name?” Arya asked.
“Well, Arman,” Arya pins him with a glare, “Rather than incite a mutinyyou could’ve simply requested audience to address your concerns. Concerns I might add that I have already drawn up plans for. Your family used to tend to the royal gardens is this correct?” Arman nods. “Effective immediately, you will pick up where your forefathers left off as gardeners. I will award you their wages plus a twenty percent increase.”
Arman’s brows raised in shock and he gladly accepted. Arya could have simply killed him for his insolence, but she didn’t want to rule with fear. There’s enough cruelty in the world and his complaints are just.
Arya called up each of the families Evander had his men make a list of and gave those she found a use for employment within the royal house. Those she didn’t have a use for she made arrangements with business establishments to employ based on skill. No man was left without work.
“Forgive me your majesty, but what about a place for us to live?” A female spoke up. She was clutching a small child who hid behind her skirt to avoid Arya’s gaze.
“I’ve made arrangements for housing units to be built. They should be completed within a few turns so bear with me. As soon as they are, you will all be given board, free for a term, and after that you will be able to remain for the cost of five gold coins per term.”
The people began to talk amongst themselves, pleased with what she offered. “Until then, must we continue to live on the thoroughfares? The seasons change here and the air is starting to bite. Not to mention the streets have filled with bodily wastes,” Arman adds.
That was the one thing Arya hadn’t figured into her plan. She wasn’t sure how to appease them. Not without seeing how they lived firsthand. Quietly she rose from her throne and headed for the palace doors. Evander and her protective detail followed on her heels.
She looked up at her bedroom window and saw a nude Malich staring down at her in all his glory. Her face turned a bright red and she looked away before anyone could follow her gaze.
“Not that I don’t mind a little air, but where are you going?” Evander asks.
“A little field trip,” she waves him off. “I guess I’m wondering why with all of the power in this land it would take a few turns to give these people a proper home. If I were run out of my home and finally able to come back, I’d want my homecoming to be more than dirt beds and shit-filled streets.”
As they winded their way through the cobblestone path Arya could feel everything. She could feel the dirt, the trees, the foliage, and the air. Just beyond the palace doors were the homes and businesses, or the lack thereof. There were no homes and most of the businesses consisted of large crates holding goods. They weren’t businesses at all. No wonder these people were angry. This was no way to live. And all this time she’d been nestled comfortably in her palace. It’s time to end their suffering.
Arya places her hands over the ground, palms down. Slowly dirt, rocks, and trees began to move. Trees were uprooted, splintering into wooden planks that formed into homes and businesses. Rocks and dirt moved to create wells where she could feel water flowing. The excrement in the thoroughfares gave birth to fresh green grass and plants. Her citizens watched in amazement as an entire township was built before their eyes, praising their Queen for taking actions into her own hands.
Schools were erected; places of worship, fields for growing produce, hospitals for the infirmed, and farms for the farmers to raise animals. The buildings and farms stretched throughout the Seelie Court touching its borders from end to end until the streets were clean and the townships all rebuilt.
Building a township drained Arya to the very last drop and when the last ounce of her power had been spent, she collapsed.ns 184.108.40.206da2