The guard reached the last cell in the dungeon, which was the only cell occupied. The iron bars of the prison were sizzling with magic to contain the inmate. Rolfe took a step closer to stand in front of the bars and all he found was hoarfrost covering most of the place other than the bars.
His beautiful mother was sitting on hay, her dress soiled and her black hair matted. She was staring at them with her intense green eyes just like her son's, but Rolfe could make out that her once fair skin was pale. And he had to cover his nose for all the stench emanating from there.
He had refused to see her from the day she had come to the fortress to make a bargain for her life with Anastasia if she saved him… if she… The thought irked him on the inside but he clenched his fists to stay calm.
"Mother," he said.
He stepped inside the prison with Adrianna and Ileus behind him. There was a bucket on the side for relieving herself, a pitcher and some bread that was lying cold on the plate. Her pelt on the corner was infested with mold. Rolfe didn't feel an iota of pity for her. After all that she did, she only deserved this much.
"So, you have finally come," Siora said in a cold, hoarse voice.
The cell was so cold that Rolfe had an urge to use his magic to warm Adrianna and Ileus, but he found himself saying, "Why do you want to see me, Mother?" His words were just as sharp and cold. "You see, I am very busy today. Maybe we can talk later." Siora's horns started uncurling.
She got up from her place, shakily. "I am the queen of Galahar, Rolfe. Why have you thrown me in the dungeons like this? I demand to go back to my kingdom and restore my position! And these two?" she pointed at Adrianna and Ileus with her chin. "Are they your dogs?"
Rolfe's chest heaved with anger as his jaw clenched. "I am married to Iona now. I married her yesterday night. So now these are my relatives and supporters, those who have risked their lives to see that I stay intact, to see that I get my rightful claim to the throne," he said, his eyes pointed towards her with fury.
Siora tipped her head back and laughed as if she was a mad woman. She took a step closer. Seeing her proximity to Rolfe, both Adrianna and Ileus stiffened, ready to throw their magic. "Married to Iona? On whose permission? And who allowed her to claim the throne of the queen? With your father gone it belongs to me! You don't just go and claim the throne that I had ruled for thousands of years with your father, the throne that was built with sweat and blood!"
"Built the throne with the sweat and blood of our people," he lashed.
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