She paced the room once, twice, twenty times before a knock on the door brought her out of her trance.
“Your highness,” A servant woman bowed her head before saying, “Aleksandr and Ivan have returned.”
The woman did not need an explanation for the question, she simply nodded and waited for further instruction.
“Good. I’ll meet them in the dungeon.”
The door shut and it was quiet. The candles flickered for the nano before returning to their silent stance. She looked out her chamber’s window and saw the land come to life with the sunrise. She dared not to smile, for small victories are only small. She sighed heavily and pulled on her silk red gloves before heading down to the dungeons.
At the entrance of the dark space, she could hear deep breathing and shackles. The smell of rust was heavy, she predicted blood had to be drawn. Ivan greeted her first, “Queen Margarita, we did as you instructed,” She nodded and shot a look at Aleksandr. She favored him over Ivan, though Ivan was one of the best trackers in the realm.
“My queen,” Aleksandr spoke softly, “We have the ring. It is in its place.”
Margarita closed her eyes and opened them slowly. Relief washed over her. The ring was home. The ring was safe. Her family was safe.
She turned to the prisoner. She could tell he was wounded badly. A bandage was placed over his thigh, and he was bleeding a little from his head.
“Elias,” She said clearly. The man raised his head to meet her eyes. He had sad blue eyes, with a scar over his right eyebrow. He coughed, “M’lady.”
“Why?” Was all that she could ask.
He looked at her in silence. The cells were empty aside from his own. His bandage was bleeding through.
“It does not matter. I did not succeed.”
“Why?” She got closer to the cell, he could tell she was trying to fight back rage. She was a queen after all. She had to be in control in front of her people.
“It is too dangerous to continue the tradition.”
Margarita was boiling inside her flesh, “Too dangerous?! It is the only insurance anyone in this realm has! You were going to endanger the cycle!
I trusted you.”
Elias looked away, “What is my fate?”
Margarita looked at Aleksandr and said, “Get word out to my children to make it to the castle by nightfall,” Aleksandr nodded and walked out of the dungeon.
She then turned around to walk after the knight. She said to Ivan over her shoulder, “Get this man ready for execution.”