Cordelia’s familiarity with Gotharc had allowed for her to gain a strong grasp on those who would dare to rebel against her. With any insurrection safely silenced, all that was left was to pick up the pieces. Sadly, Thomas had made it intentionally difficult for her to do so.
Upon entering the royal keep at Gotharc, Cordelia’s garrison had found the entire structure ransacked and terrorized. The crown of the Lion Empire had fortunately been discovered amidst the shattered glass, and the Gold Throne was left untouched, most likely due to its immense weight.
For her coronation, Cordelia found a modest chamber inside Gotharc Cathedral left relatively undisturbed by the chaos. Bringing in the throne and other supplies needed, the coronation of the Lion Empress was ready to be held. Invitations and summons had been sent via the cathedral’s owls, with the hopes that many would attend.
Sitting atop the throne, Cordelia attempted to calm herself. She had never experienced a coronation before, and she was certain that they were more elaborate and decorative than the one she would experience. Despite the modesty of her coronation, she could not help but be nervous.
Golden banners hung on the wall, and a white and red carpet had been procured for the occasion. Guards stood in rows lining the patterned windows, appearing as if built out of stone in their solid forms.
Familiar faces stood all about the room. Martin and Archibald stood to her left, while Alfred and Walter stood on the opposite side of the room. Robert and Patrick were not present, as their part in the coronation had not come to pass. Red priests scrambled around the room, sweeping the floor and lighting candles. No doubt the guests would be arriving soon, if they arrive at all. Cordelia thought dismally.
The gold bands around her wrists dragged her arms down to the armrests of the massive gilded chair. Her dress was entirely scarlet, with a small cloak attached to the back. According to Patrick, it was an often worn dress by the former Queen of the Middle Lion Kingdom, Cordelia’s very own mother.
I regrettably do not think of you often, mother. Cordelia began to frown, and tears welled up in her eyes. Mother, father, and even my brother lost. As much as I hate him so, Thomas is still my kin. Was it worth chasing him away, just to grasp this decrepit shell of a dominion?
With that, Patrick stepped through the gates, with Robert at his side. The High Priest held the heavily decorated crown in his withered hands. Walking forth in time, the duo reached Cordelia in short time. Craning her neck forward, Patrick placed the crown on Cordelia’s brow.
“May the Great Beings grant you grace in your reign, Empress Cordelia I.” Patrick said, and then prostrated himself to her left. Robert did likewise, and placed his sword before him at the foot of the throne. Neither moved, and the silence grew heavy on the room.
Cordelia felt the weight of the crown bearing down on her. Heavier than I imagined. She ran her eyes over the people gathered in the chamber with her. All eyes stared back, waiting patiently for whatever was to happen next. Clearing her throat, she commanded, “Those who wish to see me and pay homage may now enter.”
Two guards at the end of the hall opened the doors, and Cordelia saw a massive throng of people shifting. They began to pour into the room, and Cordelia felt a rush of relief come over her. The murmurs of pleasant conversation began to rise, and soon enough the makeshift throne room was buzzing with fresh faces. Despite this, neither Robert nor Patrick stood from their kneeling position, faces aimed at the floor. Do I order them to rise? Cordelia pondered, but the crowd rushing in before her took her attention.
At the crowd’s head was a young man dressed in blue with a black hat and cape. He briefly stopped to talk to Alfred before throwing his arms up and ushering in men bearing gifts.
“Hello, Your Radiance!” the man said as two Dragon Kingdom soldiers placed a golden chest on the carpet. “If I may introduce myself, I am Scott the Blue Apothecary. I was appointed King Peter II of the Dragon Kingdom as official gift bearer for the kingdoms to the east of you.”
“I… see. Well, thank you, Scott.” Cordelia said, a bit taken aback by the abundance of gifts provided, as well as those who brought the gifts in. She noticed two soldiers with the dragon emblazoned on their chest, as well as a man who appeared to have the crown of the Crown Kingdom stitched into his tunic. The strange man wearing a feathered helmet could be none other then the emissary of the Bat Kingdom.
“But of course, Your Radiance. We are all very thankful for your successful coronation, as it will no doubt bring forth an era of peace and prosperity for the Middle Kingdoms!” Scott seemed satisfied with his speech, and stood off to the side as more gifts poured in.
Cordelia peered out into the hall and saw that the mob of people stretched as far into the hallway as she could see. Minor Lords and soldiers scurried to and fro, bearing a wide variety of gifts and messages, all vying to reach the throne room before the person next to them.
Cordelia sat back into the throne, letting the thick crown rest on the back of her chair. The harbinger of peace and prosperity. Cordelia mulled the thought over in her head. She glanced at Martin eyeing the gifts curiously. Queen of the Wyvern Kingdom I will be, and Empress of the Lion Empire I am. She smiled.
Well, this is it, folks! The final chapter of A Lion In The Wyvern's Nest. I intended to do a minor epilogue chapter, but the way things are going I think I will keep this as the final installment. As always, the rest of the story can be found here. C&C welcome, of course!
mpoh98 wrote:Well done! Cordelia's journey is finally over! I wish you would have written more to it, maybe a final defeat of her brother, marriage to Wyvern prince, etc. But other than that, sweet ending!
I agree, a job well done. A nice ending, with some room for a sequel if you wish. -Tower
Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely!
Despise learning and make everyone pay for your ignorance.
The water that floats a ship is the same that sinks it.