"Maybe I'll have one built in Crimms?" Her sister said. She and Stayne were discussing castles over breakfast.'I hope not, for the poor people in Crimms' sake' Mirana thought to herself. Stayne looked up at her and she looked away quickly. As far as she was aware, he hadn't told Iracebeth anything about the previous night, and she was tremendously grateful.
"I think it would be nice to go home," Mirana made a point of staying out of this conversation, mainly because she already had her own castle. Her mother had given her the castle in Marmoreal before she died, and Mirana had sent her friend, Seraphina, over to redecorate it white. That was over three years ago now, and her sister still hated her for it.
"Your Majesty, whats wrong with this castle?" Stayne asked. Iracebeth shifted and didn't reply. Mirana wondered if it had anything to do with 'The Plan' that she was desperately trying to discover. Who was the BlackIvy for? She didn't dare ask. When she looked up again, Stayne was still staring at her. She pushed back her chair and got up.
"Whats wrong sister?"
"I've lost my appetite," She said slowly. "I'm going to visit father," and she walked out before anyone could stop her. The King's manservant, Locklorm, was very happy to see her.
"Come in, Princess Mirana," He greeted.
"Hello Locklorm, how is my father?" She asked, smiling. Locklorm led her to her father's bedside.
"He's asleep, Princess. He's been sleep all day today, and yesterday," Locklorm looked sad. Mirana sat at her father's bedside and took his hand, staring at his pale and wrinkled face. Lockorm glanced at the clock.
"Princess, can I trust you to give the King his medicine in an hour? I need to go and help with Cook's de-"
"It's fine, I'll do it," Mirana said with a smile. She looked up at the time. 9 o'clock, or thereabouts.
"Thank you Princess," Locklorm said, closing the door behind him. Mirana stroked her fathers hand and rested her head on the edge of his bed. Three years ago, not long after her 9th birthday, The King was taken gravely ill. It came on incredibly suddenly, and Joella's father said it was a disease of the mind, and prescribed a regular medicine to be taken every four hours. Some days the King was almost his normal self, once he even made it out of bed. But most days he would just sleep. Some days (And these were the worst days) He would forget who he was. He wouldn't even remember Mirana. A tear left her eyes, which she found were growing incredibly heavy. Perhaps her night time adventures were taking their toll. Her eyes drooped, and she fell into a deep sleep.
In her dreams, she was back in the basement where Iracebeth's friends held their meetings. Stayne was crouched in front o her, staring at her with his only eye. The note was being passed around. She wished she could see it, what was on it. There were voices, vague far away voices that she didn't here. Then Lugg dropped the note, and it floated softly to the ground. Stayne's eye was still on her, If only she could get to that note. Then he pulled out his knife, and just for a few seconds turned his gaze off her to look at it. It was all she needed. Her eyes darted over to the note, but there was another voice.
"Mirana," It said, deafening in her ears. "Mirana my Princess, wake up dear,"
She woke up. Her father was smiling down at her.
"You've been asleep for hours!" He said, smiling. "Haven't you been sleeping at all?" Mirana lifted her head lazily off the bed.
"Hello father," She said happily. He squeezed her hand and sat up slightly.
"What day is it?" He asked. Mirana thought.
"The Orparr day, father," She said. He nodded.
"Your mothers birthday approaches. I must remember to send flowers to her grave in Marmoreal. Perhaps I'll visit her, If i'm feeling any better."
Mirana smiled but didn't respond. He would never be able to visit her, Marmoreal was too far. He couldn't even get out of bed.
"I'll have Locklorm buy some flowers now, where is he?"
"He went to the kitchens, to help cook,"
"Well in that case send for Farghen," He ordered. Mirana frowned, who WAS that? He laughed at her confusion.
"The guard at the gate!" He said, still smiling. Mirana's smile left her face and she paled. She began to feel hideously sick.
"Father..." She said slowly.
"What is it?" He asked, usmiling. She looked at him and his face turned stony.
"Iracebeth," He hissed. "When did she execute him?"
"Yesterday," She whispered. He father grew furious.
"SEND FOR LOCKLorM NOW," he ordered "AND IRACEBETH. TELL HIM TO BRING THE PAPERS," 'Oh No,' she thought 'He's going to denounce her as heir, and it's all my fault. I'll lose my head for this,'
"Father please," She said quietly, but he gave her a look and she disappeared, returning with Locklorm and an equally fuming sister. The silence grew in the room, as Locklorm sat at the desk and began to write. Mirana wondered if she dare try to leave.
"Iracebeth of Crimms," Her father began, his voice dangerously low. "I hereby denounced you as my heir. You will no longer inherit the throne. That right will belong to your sister, Mirana of Marmoreal, who I claim as my new heir," Iracebeth flinched like she had been slapped. Locklorm was scribbling furiously.
"Furthermore," Her father continued, "You shall inherit nothing from me, and henceforth simply be known as Iracebeth," His face grew dark, "You are no daughter of mine,"
As He signed the papers, Mirana (Who was hiding in the corner) Studied her sister. It was the first time since she became acting queen that Iracebeth actually looked like a sixteen year old girl. Despite her bulbous head, she looked almost normal. But there was something wrong. Her crown meant everything to her, and yet she wasn't that upset. Something was wrong, Mirana could feel it. Her father applied the royal seal.
"You are dismissed," He said sharply to Iracebeth. "Get out of my sight," She left, without a single word. Locklorm blew the ink dry, rolled up the parchment and tied a red ribbon around it. He rolled up another one, tied it with a white ribbon and handed it to Mirana.
"This is your copy. It states that you are the heir to the throne of Underland," He smiled at her, and she offered a meager smile back to him,then at her father, then her eyes were drawn to the bottle on the bedside table.
"Your MEDICINE!" She said suddenly, "I forgot!"
"I'll take it now then instead," The king sad, and took it himself.
Thirty minutes later, Locklorm had left, and her father had gone back to sleep. Mirana left the room, shutting the door behind her.
"It doesn't matter, you know," A cold voice said. Iracebeth's face was irreadable.
"It doesn't matter. You'll see," she said and turned. "Stayne can pick up the BlackIvy on his own," She said, descending the stairs. With a sigh of relief, Mirana turned in the opposite direction and began to ascend the stairs, tightly clutching her scroll.