Here is the final chapter (for a while) of the Golden Queen. The Stage is set and a war between Light and Dark takes a different turn. I’m up for suggestions on what the next B.O.S.S. Should be, feel free to drop a comment at the end. (Click the circle with a plus on it if the comment field doesn’t show by default.)
Tillesia checked her armor three times during the walk to the camp. Yulos left her paranoid something had been left undone. A moment didn’t go by without having to endure her leering stares.
“I’ll need you to behave when we return. Wait outside the camp and I’ll have someone bring you a replacement vestment. You can’t go about members of the order dressed like—”
“Like what? A whore?”
“A Dark Magician.”
“But I am one,” Yulos said. “You seem to be the only sheep in the flock that realizes the black sheep if their only chance at salvation.”
“At least you understand that much.” Tillesia said, sighing. “I’m on your side with this. The Darkness is not inherently evil, but your choices of words and dress will make that difficult to convince them. These are people set in their ways, old ways. You will accomplish nothing if you simply discredit them with flamboyance.”
“You are their queen. Bring the dogs to heel and they will forgive you when the problem is resolved.” Yulos said, narrowing her eyes. “You can start by abolishing the prudish uniform. The human body is to be celebrated, not hidden.”
“You ask too much.” Tillesia said, coming to a halt. “If you cannot behave, you will need to Finnrick on your own. I would prefer my order see you make this appeal in front of them. Then they could see that neither you or Finnrick mean harm. I could fell two beasts of misunderstanding at once. Then from there I could entertain the possibility of being open with us.”
“Oh wonderful. Perhaps we could start by showing them first-hand what the boys are missing.”
“Must you always be so crass.” Tillesia rubbed her temples.
“You don’t complain about it all the time.”
“But I have a duty to fulfill. If you cannot respect that, our relationship cannot exist.”
“What about my duties? You seem to harbor no respect for those.” Yulos turned away folding her arms under her breasts. “You are Queen now, yet your freedoms have only diminished. If you allow me to strike down Finnrick, I would rule the shadows. I would be free to offer the destitute a means to live without oppression.”
Tillesia raised a brow. “You—agree with Finnrick?”
“Of course I do,” Yulos said. “It isn’t a path I’d choose for myself. To do so means abandoning your carnal wishes and a large part of your individuality, but some people are content to be drones.”
“That is unacceptable,” Tillesia said.
“Is it? It sounds so familiar. Casting aside your individuality and carnality, paying homage to a higher being? It is exactly the same as your cockamamie Sons of Lye. The only difference? Those that submit to the shadow sacrifice these aspects in a literal sense, there is no going back. Your order is a band of hypocrites and despite their tenets they indulge in sin behind closed doors. You are no exc—“
Tillesia slapped Yulos hard. Silence prickled through the air.
A sly smile came across her face. “Oh you did not just do that.”
“I did. And I will do it again if need be. Sacrifice means nothing if you no longer have the means to resist the order you embrace. If such corruption festered amongst the Sons of Lye, it would need to be disbanded. And should you take place as the new Usurper, I would take you down.”
“Fine then. It looks like the shadow needs a new Queen to match its new King.”
“You wouldn’t.” Tillesia narrowed her eyes.
“I will.” Yulos turned on her heels and walked away, back in the direction of Prost.
“This is madness. Are you so angry at me that you would doom the world?”
“I have no plans to harm anyone.” Yulos glanced back, but kept her stride. “Perhaps this will show you how crooked your darling little Finnrick is. I will offer my service willingly, just as you asked me to. In time I will offer my body.”
Tillesia clicked her tongue. Yulos had to be bluffing. But her irritation could inspire her to cooperate with Finnrick and show him how to contain the shadow. Petty emotion had to be shelved. She had her duty as a queen. “Careful not to fall for him.”
“I just might. He sounds charming in his own way. Maybe I’ll set up a little cottage home with a white picket fence, painted black with imp blood. I’ll allow him to give me an heir. I’m not immortal after all, and I will name her Tillesia in your honor.” She stopped walking, smiling her wicked smile. “By then I’m sure I’ll have brought you and your hypocrite order to heel.”
Tillesia brought a hand to her blade. A Bluff. It has to be a bluff. But the shudder through her spine told her otherwise. Yulos had an agenda, but for what?
“Swear to me. Swear your intent now. I will—” Tillie swallowed back a lump in her throat. “Your life depends on the answer.”
“A threat?” Yulos said, tapping her cheek. “I believe I already told you my intent. I plan on seducing Finnrick and taking his power from him. Once it is in my grasp I will rule the shadows, my rightful place. You hold regent over the Order of Lye, and if you handle this crisis well, the kingdoms will rally under your banner. You will rule absolute. I will rule all beneath your nation, between every crack.”
“This is your intent? You swear by it?”
“I do,” Yulos said, bowing her head. “You will forever be my Golden Queen. I only wish you would cast aside the restrictive tenants that keep us from ruling together.”
Tillesia bowed, “And you will always be my Silver Queen. I will do what I can, my love. But for now, we must be enemies. I will tell of your treachery. If they believe you are struggling with Finnrick for control of the Shadow we can patiently build their forces. I will tell no one of your true scheme.”
“Amusing. You’d lie on my behalf?” Yulos said, smiling. “Isn’t that blasphemous?”
“I have my own interpretations of decency. You mean well, Yulos. This way will save the most lives, and as you said. No one will contest my decision to spare you when the time comes.” Tillesia smirked. “Mercy is a virtue as well, after all.”
The two women turned and went their separate ways. Each focused unwavering on their mission to save the world.