Thanks to @inventrix and @Anke for the names.
::We’re almost there.::
Ostovin found it more than a little creepy to be carrying his grandmother sheathed at his hip.
It wasn’t her, quite, not the woman he remembered; the soul in the sword had been, the High Priestess told him, distilled, hardened. The Empress Ellanasia had been a loyal and wild devotee of Veignevar, and it was that part of her, the wild red woman, that had survived death in the sword. But it was still his grandmother, the woman he remembered best as an ancient, cadaverous figure on the throne, passing him candies and advice about his fighting stance.
The advice had not stopped. ::If you want to win this war, grandson, you’re going to have to do something about your footwork. You sword-fight like a farmer.::
The truth of the matter was, while Ostovin was a loyal servant of the threefold, and strong enough in the red to please the temple, he had never expected to inherit the throne. He was rather far down the line, or had been, but the war his grandmother had instigated had served to winnow the numbers down, until it had been just Ostovin and a cousin. The cousin had slipped and fallen in a rainstorm within hours of their grandmother releasing her ghost, and thus, the would-be-ranger-and-tracker found himself cleaning up his grandmother’s mess.
“We’re there, Os. Your Majesty.” The look his lanky, lifetime-soldier cousin Erenya giving him was half assessment and half concern. He didn’t blame her. He’d be giving himself nervous looks, too, if he had to follow his own orders.
::You ARE nervous.::
“Of course I am,” he muttered. Bad enough to have to live up to your grandmother’s legacy. Worse to have to do it with her watching.
He nodded to Erenya to his right, Igerial (another cousin, another one more suited to this role than he) to his left. “Onward.”
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