Sometimes you have to rise up ( 3 weeks prior to event)

Description:

Areum Khim

  • Inactive Character
  • Queen
  • Dhemlan Terreille
    4 Posts    237 marks
Sometimes you have to rise up ( 3 weeks prior to event)
« on: September 04, 2020, 06:05:36 PM »
A picnic had been decided. The final dog-days of summer before the quick descent into Autumn leading to Winter months. The last chance to bask in the sun and enjoy time together before the entire Province court was cloistered up into their residence and focused on tithes, ceremonies, and planning for the next year.

Areum had declared today just for her cousin Aera, and the First Escort Jaeong. An olive branch offering in hopes to take away the tensions between the trio since the Territory Queen had died. A day spent outdoors in relative peace without pressures of court riding them and instead focused on the important things- tending the land with their people. Tasks that Areum enjoyed and things a Territory queen would have no time for.

Labors from early morning until midday instead exposed how vulnerable Anahi would be with the wrong queen over the entire land. Whispers and rumors of unrest in Askavi. Nomads ranging closer while grazing their herds instead of moving far abroad. Carried stories, whispered from ear to ear, shared at firesides reached her speaking of the continued fear of who would rule Dhemlan. Would that queen be committed to peace?

Whispers that had set Areum on edge. She wanted to pretend that it didn't matter. The territory seat was so far away; a distant and almost fictional thing from Anahi. A seat that was easily overlooked and pushed away from thought; still the realities of it weighed upon the young queen. A strange sort of discontent fractured her previously content life. Discontent she fought away as she directed the layout of their picnic arrangements.

Lunch was set out for her and her two closest court members to enjoy in this lull of activity. The break of work that came from culling horses and separating yearlings from their damns to their future fates. The pungent scent of kimchi reached her nose along with the rich scent of soy and miso. Hints at what the picnic basket held as the small grill was set down and lit.

The smell of burning charcoal too was added into the memory. All good things after a week of arguing and pestering. Of the constant push for her to leave Anahi and make a grab for the territory seat. Areum didn't want it. She had witnessed what power could do to a queen. She was against it because there was so much fix; so much she felt inadequate and guilty about.

Her court bore the wounds of that war. A war that she had been too young to push against and too light jeweled for her protests to have mattered either way. Purple-dusk was a perfectly acceptable jewel but against the Black? She might as well have been one of the landen. Aera had lost a piece of herself in that war and Jaeong had lost an intended wife. No matter the fall out from the war had brought them to her and brought her court closer to being complete; she still mourned for the losses and pains they had suffered. Felt guilty that she had been unable to stop that war from happening and keep those wounds from her court.

The guilt sat with her uneasy. She had protected what she could of Anahi. Worked to repair what relationships she could with those who lived on the borders of Askavi and Dhemlan. Wasn't that service enough to her land? Enough power? Yet at night the what-ifs rested in her brain; tunneling and burrowing into her psyche until she fought to push down any rising ambition.

Almost angrily she laid the thick-cut pieces of pork belly with miso marinade onto the grill. It was joined shortly with bulgogi, the marinated strips of beef, to rise up in the air with a happy sizzle. Bowls of cool rice were pulled from the hamper and wrapped in a quick heating spell.

This lunch was to be just the three of them. Healer, Escort, and herself. A break from the formalities of the full first circle and she was going to enjoy it despite her foul mood. Probably just hunger. She had been working as a field hand all morning and no doubt it was just hunger talking. Still, the frustration was there. She had been content before the territory queen had died with no heir tapped.

Without a good leader, things threatened war with Askavi and her province stood the most to lose. They were closest to the front lines and she would have to watch again as her people, horses her clan bred, and other Dhemlans marched over a border to once more fight the brutal and bloody wars of the Blood.

Watching survivors of the last one limp home, of treating and caring for them until healthy had strained their resources a hundred years ago. Anahi had just started to heal those scars and now unrest threatened it again until she found the 'what-if' tempting. Too alluring.

The winds were unstable, so she would have to decide soon if she wanted to make to the capitol in time to put her bid in. Would have to decide then if she wanted to call her entire first circle back into a battlefield of a different sort.

She was hungry; not physical hunger but something soul-deep that rode her into this mood. Areum sighed as she pushed it back. The chilled fish cakes, seasoned and fermented bean sprouts and lemonade was set out with a final flare. A gentle probe reached out to Jaeong and Aera for lunch. Once they settled she sighed; reluctant to break the tentative peace they had come to about the topic of the territory seat.

"I think we need to talk" Her tone dead serious; filled with her foreboding. Things could not be allowed to fall into ruin after all their hard work.

Aera Minji

  • Inactive Character
  • Healer Hearth Witch
  • Province Court Healer
    Dhemlan Terreille
    3 Posts    86 marks
Re: Sometimes you have to rise up ( 3 weeks prior to event)
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2020, 06:08:40 PM »
Aerum worried too much, Aera thought as she mulled over this picnic invitation. Just her and her cousin and Jaeong amongst of small feast that Aerum had insisted on preparing herself. Aera much have bristled a bit that she insisted on cooking. Her cousin was not a bad cook, she was just maybe less adept at the flavoring and spice combinations as her elder cousin was. Chalk it up to the Hearth witch within, but Aera liked to cook so when others did it, it was as if that part of her bristled. A flaw her sister would have seen and delighted in trampling all over and displaying as an inadequacy soul deep. Invitation though was accepted gracefully even if it meant having to share attentions.

Aera liked Jaeong as much as she could like anyone who took up space in her Queen and cousins life. He seemed well educated enough, his face was not hard to look upon and he didn't vex her much but the very act of sharing the same room, breath and existence of her beloved cousin scratched at her like nails on a chalkboard yet she had accepted him because she trusted Aerum's decision to offer him contract. No doubt he shared opinion with her on the fact that Aerum was worthy of elevation and in fact a Queen that people could get behind. It was Aerum's reluctance that held her back.

Today though she had thought to put pushing and argument aside in favor of a last splendid soaking in of the sun and the enjoyment of food and libation. It did not however stop Aera from preparing no less than three options for dessert just in case Aerum had forgotten her love of sweets. A decadent chili spiced chocolate bark. So thin it melted upon the tongue in exquisite coating of the tastebuds instantaneously. A recipe Aera kept close to her heart and wouldn't share with anyone, not even her adored cousin. It was her own special secret to keep it so wafer thin and walk the delicate balance between heated savory and indulgent sweet. Orange ginger dasik just in case ginger would be needed after Aerum's cooking though she'd never tell her cousin such a thing. It was a healer's recipe that appeased the upset stomach of more than a few sad stomachs. Finally she had yakgwa made with imported honey.

Aera could sense the mood rolling off Aerum and even if her cousin would try to set face in happy facade, Aera would see through it. Halfway there when she got polite beckoning, she arrived before Jaeong. Setting aside little wrapped platters with cooling spell to ensure the chocolate wouldn't melt, she wrapped arms around cooking Aerum and pecked her cheek affectionately. "Lady" she offered though with formality even if it was not needed. Less formality would be offered once Aerum would turn to embrace her with affection.

It seemed Jaeong was hot on her trail because no sooner than Aera enjoy her cousin's exclusive attentions, did he show. "Prince" she offered. For her she was trying to yet bubblewrap their relationship as if it was fragile and easily broken with all the discord about them. Still she offered genuine smile his way in hopes of continued friendly relations. Aera's bottom had barely settled in and Aerum was turning around to talk to the two of them as if they had been naughty children who had been caught out after curfew on a date. "Bepeu, I thought this was to be a casual meeting, not an ambush. I swear, whatever you're about to say it was Jaeong's fault." Her lips curled up in a grin.
 

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