Lost in the Mists
Fifth of the Eleventh Moon, 350
I am completely ruined.
I’ve been walking around the Castle like a ghost these last few months and have buried myself in working new tax codes for the villages. I am avoiding Sergei, telling him I’m too busy to spar or talk. He takes it in stride, but has been pressing the issue more and more. The truth is, I cannot look at him without an intense loathing and envy. Lady Ilona can sense something I’m sure, but the rest of the staff are oblivious.
All except Alek.
He returned today and surprised me in my study. He initially started with the usual mocking greeting, but his tone changed when he looked at me. I knew I couldn’t hide from him, but I didn’t tell him the truth. Not that it mattered, he knew. Alek noted that as king I could simply, “Take what I wanted”. I pretended to not understand and he didn’t push the issue. Alek went right to reporting on his journey and the list of nobles that I couldn’t trust. Perhaps I will busy myself in winning over the boyars I could, and eliminating the ones I couldn’t.
Alek also brought with him a large trove of moldering spellbooks. I hope that their passages may aid me in obtaining what I truly want.
I have been avoiding Sergei, but I have not been avoiding Tatyana. I try to appear aloof as to not arouse suspicion, but I do see her almost weekly. We go for lunchtime walks while Sergei is attending to other matters. She is playful, continuing to call me “Elder” and thinks of me as a favorite uncle. If she knew how much I burned for her she would likely be disgusted. But perhaps not. Perhaps I can win her love and make her turn from my dim brother. There’s still time; their wedding is still a half a year away. I will continue to subtly guide her to me.
- my white rose—- will be mine