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The Traitor's Daughter: Beginnings

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“Should she be locked away with the others who stood in the Rebellion?” The Commander of the Kings own sat at the large meeting table with a controlled expression, Sir Raoul's natural cheer drained away by the dilemma before them. No one had foreseen this complication, but there in the next room sat a skinny 13-year-old woman with Conte blue eyes and dark brown hair. “She’s his bastard daughter, leave her to the streets and be done with it.”

“She is of Conte blood and an heir to the throne,” Sir Gary drawled, and looked to the silent King. “His followers may rally around her.”

“Then exile her and let us be done with the trouble of it all.” Snapped the Lady Knight, Sir Alanna, her violet eyes darkened by the memory of the child's father. The man who had murdered her twin brother, Thom, just days before.

Lasille wondered if they knew she could hear their every word and remark. Her father had taken her from her mother only three short months ago to see her made a princess and in order to secure the alliance with a northern kingdom. The dress she had been given fit her poorly, she was sleek muscle and it made for a wider girl. Lasille had worked her whole life helping others and now, at thirteen was being judged for the mistakes of a father she barely knew. Would she have no chance to speak?

“Exile would not be the worst thing, my King,” Queens Theyet’s voice was barely audible but it broke the last straw in the young girl.

“Ya’Majesties,” Another man began to speak only to be interrupted but alike knocking at the door.

“Enter,” The newly crowned King of Tortall called, raising an eyebrow when his younger cousin walked in before them with her head held high. Lavender fabric fit loose around her body. This surprised him, Roger had always been meticulous in his clothing. He watched silently until she knew before the thrones where he and the queen sat on. “Lady Lasille, what do you request?”

“Only an opportunity to speak, my Lord King,” Keeping her eyes trained on the ground below her, she fought not to react to the mummers that spread through the small conference room.

With a gentle squeeze of encouragement from his wife, Jonathan answered, “Then rise and speak, cousin.”

“I did not meet the Duke of Conte until three months ago when he stole me from my mother’s home. But she was the maid in a noble’s home and considering the visitors my Lord of Stonemountian received, it was likely I had some royal blood in me, therefore I was trained with his children and lady-maids.” She stood carefully as she spoke, knowing everything she said could condemn her. “I do not understand all royal customs, but I do understand that some in this room acknowledge that every breath I breathe could be a threat to your Majesties and the kingdom you are creating.” Lasille waited for the muttering to end again. “My mother was of the Cooper Isles, where Kyprioth reigns over the native Raka, the way they handle such worries in with a… a blood oath.”

“And ya’are willin’ ta make such a pledge, Lass?” The voice she had not recognized stepped up from the wall he had been leaning against. He was tall with green eyes and a crooked nose, Sir Alana looked at him as if he had hung all the stars in the sky. “A’the age of thirteen? Now, Ya’Majesty, perhaps we can arrange somethin’ a wee bit betta?”

Lasille watched the man with a lower city accent curiously. Was he trying to help her?

“You have a suggestion, Baron Cooper?” Only those who knew the king well would be able to see the relief in his eyes. Lasille saw nothing but contempt and was afraid.

“T’family Penrose ‘as been placed in a light disgrace since Lord Meclon raised a small revolt some twenty years back. He has several acres, a house, barn, an’ some other various attachments, nothing that is terrible valuable t’ the Crown.” George smirked as the younger girls eyes slowly filled with hope. “I’d say it be a perfect place ‘or his lost daughter, Caetyn of Penrose, to be granted for her service of not following her father’s examples.”

The Majesties looked to each other, having a silent conversation as only the closest couples can. The rest of the guest in the room had conversations of their own, most approving the arrangement.

“So be it them,” Jonathan looked at the young girl before him and spoke with authority. “In exchange for your agreement to never seek the throne, you will be given a new name, land, and title.”

“I accept your most merciful gift, your Majesties,” Caetyn curtseyed low before them.

“George, you’ll see to everything? Won't you?” Her Majesty looked to the crooked nose man.

“Aye M’lady, should not take but a week or two to see it all settled.” Baron George Cooper bowed before them both as he leads the young woman from the room. Once they were walking the halls, he grinned at her,” That was something clever, walking in and speakin’ up like that.”

“I couldn’t let them steal away who I am, my lord Baron,” she was solemn as they walked towards the guest wing to gather her things. “I may have his blood, but he’s not my pa.”

“I know child, I know,” George winked and opened the door for her, frowning a bit when she was barely able to fill a knapsack. “’ere’s the rest of your things?”

“Duke Roger wasn’t sure if I was worth keeping, so he said he wasn’t going to waste the funds,” She shrugged, unfazed by the actions of a royal she barely knew. “He wanted me to learn all kinds of magic, so…”

“So?” George squinted slightly at the shielded girl.

“So, I acted like I didn’t have any,” a grin finally pulled at her lips. “He thought I was as dumb as a box of rocks.”

“And the truth?” He loved a good joke and she had run one on a man he had hated for years.

“I can do a few tricks,” The small grin melted to a smirk, they were going to be good friends.

“Excellent, let’s sneak you outta the city and see what we can find ya’” George messed up her hair as he walked by and led the way down into the secret passageways and out of
Corus, Caetyn prayed it was for good.