Enter the Snowflake's lair... Circulation: 193,319,603 Issue: 683 | 29th day of Hunting, Y17
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series
 

Learning Curve


by ceasei

--------

Ideran lounged on a throne of orange coral. It was in a state of disrepair; crumbling in places and large chunks lying around the throne. Ideran seemed not to care; his tail was over one arm rest, and he sighed into the darkened room. The throne echoed the throne room; crumbling, dirty. A few courtiers hovered, but Ideran wasn't one for chat.

     He was aloof and inhospitable most of the time; coupled with the fact he was easily irritated and egotistical, it was hard for him to hold anyone in regard or esteem without constantly comparing them to himself. In short? He wasn't very connected to his people, and they were already hoping for a new ruler.

     He didn't take after his mother in that respect; she'd ruled with an iron thumb, but she had been fair, and she'd listened to the subject's demands. That was why she had left on her campaign, and never returned.

     But that didn't mean he hadn't been close with her; his father had been lost in a campaign before he was born, and she was all he had. No amount of obsequious courtiers and eyelash-batting princesses would change the fact the one person he had was gone, taken from him by some barbarian thrust into power.

     Ideran was done grieving, but he was not done with revenge. Whoever had disposed of his mother was going to have to pay. His advisors warned him against it; but he wanted nothing more than to defy them, as his mother had. Perhaps she had had some reasoning as to her actions. Perhaps something more than what she had let on.

     But his advisors were smart to his character, and they kept a constant watch over him. They couldn't be left without a ruler. A kingdom so far into disrepair could not govern itself. It needed a figurehead, someone to tell it what to do, where to go, and wipe its nose when things got too bad.

     So, he was, affectively, being baby sat, stuck in his own home.

     And he was bored. There was only so much he could do, in a crumbling palace, and he could barely even rule. For what was there to rule over?

     Failing farms, villages and towns that were falling apart at the seams. Nothing. Nothing for him to do, nothing the he could do. Nothing to keep a headstrong Prince like him entertained.

     "Leave me," he commanded to the courtiers. His voice was strong and throaty, and the courtiers nervously exited. They knew they shouldn't have. But the risk of angering Ideran was more terrifying than any rebuttal by the Advisors, who happened to be nowhere near the scene.

     After they had left, he swam to the large double doors, and threw them open.

     A jet of water filtered into the room, stirring the water that was slowly becoming stagnant. Ideran floated in the doorway, looking over the kingdom and remembering what it used to look like. Beautiful, shining. Fierce. A force to be reckoned with.

     And all these words equally summarized the Warrior Queen, the barbarian, the one who had 'dealt with' his mother. Ideran was, admittedly, intrigued. Perhaps they could form an alliance. Or perhaps he was just interested. Perhaps he wanted to gain some kind of revenge to soothe his swirling anger.

     He was a powerful swimmer, his muscular tail propelling him forward at breakneck speed. He began off on his own mission before his advisors had even known what had hit them. He was spontaneous, a loose cannon. Unpredictable.

     He travelled a few days, by himself, over wastes. Expanses of nothing, expanses of everything. Past golden reefs, through shoals of rainbow coloured fish. Everything was wonderfully new and tantalizingly at his reach. He wasn't bored. He was interested, something that was nigh on impossible to achieve for Ideran.

     He stopped, eventually, at the beginnings of a city. In the distance, through the gloom of the night, was a large palace, glinting off rays of moonlight that penetrated the depths. There. He was heading there, much like his mother must have.

     He swam powerfully forward, surging through the water like a missile. His streamline body shot through, bubbles passing over him and water skirting around him. He then shot upwards like a torpedo, his body blending into the night, the guards dozing. He snorted. Some Queen she must be; her guards were pathetic.

     He rested his hooves on a balcony, pulling himself upwards. And there, with her back to him, was the Queen. She swiveled around, snarling. But Ideran was taken aback. Breathtaking barely described her, but this was no time for him to stare her in the face. He knew he was no match for her, and he dropped his head, raising his hooves in submission. He better start talking, before she acted.

     It had been stupid and reckless for him to come here so unprepared.

     "Please, hear me out," he began, then locking eyes with her. She stopped, regarding his ragged appearance, and he knew, then and there, he now served only her. She would never let him leave without answers. And he was at her command, helpless to his own, pathetic, self induced situation. It had been his fault; a brief murmur from her and the inner palace guards would flock to her. Ebony hair floating in waves around her face, large eyes narrowed. She was no child, despite her age – maybe a year younger than Ideran. She was prepared. She knew how to govern. He did not.

     "You have three minutes, Prince Ideran, before I call the guards and dispose of you," she replied, her voice steady and no sign of worry clear on her features. She ran a paw through her hair as he tossed his mane. She had the demeanor for politics; no emotion in her way, just realism.

     "The war with your kingdom left me... left me ruler of mine," he began, trying to emulate her lack of emotion in this matter."I am not the ruler my predecessors were. I am not half the ruler my predecessors were. I see how my people struggle," he continued. "I can't let this happen. I can't. Both of our realms are our own, but they're feudal. We cannot trade because we are too busy fighting, too angry to see what we are doing. I don't need advisors to tell me this, milady, I don't," he said, his strong voice muted. She pursed her lips.

     "Continue," Milady demanded, after a while. Ideran moved closer.

     "Don't you see? Instead of fighting our petty fights, we could join together. Trade. Prosper. Develop. My people, your people... They don't need to struggle. An alliance, a trade alliance, would benefit us both."

     Milady contemplated this for a moment, regarding Ideran with her pale eyes. "Perhaps you have some understanding of politics after all. I assumed you would continue in the brash walks of your ancestors but... trade is good, Prince Ideran. You've swallowed your pride, your anger, and though with a level head, one I never thought I'd see. I will arrange for a treaty signing tomorrow. I look forward to working with you, Prince, but I trust no more breaking the law?"

     Ideran grinned. "Milady, never again, so long as my people are fed."

The End

 
Search the Neopian Times




Great stories!


---------

The Truth About the Polka Dot Paint Brush
I knew it!

by neocool_1_1_1

---------

The Unknown Faerie Princesses: Part 1
An expose that reveals a secret sister of Queen Fyora...

by puddydog

---------

Spotted
Can you spot the pun?

by anti_guy

---------

How to Spend Time at Darigan Citadel
Darigan Citadel, a place of history and wonder shrouded in darkness, is the least likely of places to spend some quality time with your Neopets.

by minkpink



Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.