Sigyn looked up from her desk when a knock sounded.
"Princess? May I come in?"
She sighed and stood, "Yes, Lilith, you may come in."
Her handmaiden opened the door and bounced in with an entire cart of items.
"Lilith, what in the world?"
Her smile was big, her light pink hair bobbing in its ponytail no the side of her head.
"The captain said you were upset, so I rushed to get you all your favorite things!"
She started putting plates of sweets and chocolates on the desk.
"The head chef also said you've barely been eating, and I know how peckish you get while working, my lady."
Sigyn sighed, but let Lilith put a chocolate in her mouth.
Lilith's dress hem bounced around her knees as she almost danced around the cart, pulling out random items like books and stuffed animals.
"Look my lady!" she held up an ornate vase of lilacs, jasmine, and lavender, "I got the florist to make your favorite bouquet!"
She gently pushed Sigyn back down into her chair and set a crown of jasmine on her head, "Please yourself my lady. I've brought you all the law, history, and magic books I could find that you don't already have in your collection."
Lilith put a tiny stuffed wolf on the edge of the desk, wagging its head to imitate talk.
"Please eat and feel better my lady! We all care about you! Woof, woof!"
Sigyn snorted despite herself, then sighed, "Very well Sir Wolf. I guess for your sake, and for Lilith's, I must eat something."
She grabbed a delicate looking tart and bit it only to gag.
"This tastes like uncooked radishes!"
"Because it is! That tray is vegetable and meat tarts. Eat up my lady!"
Lilith skipped to the door, then turned around, "Oh, and the captain told me to tell you that the prince was just put in the dungeon."
Sigyn nodded, "Anything else?"
The girl shrugged, "I don't really know. I ran off to take care of you as soon as I heard."
"I understand. Thank you Lilith. Go take some time off please."
The girl smiled happily at her, then bounced off.
She sighed, and went back to her files tiredly, but feeling a slight weight lift from her chest. That prince bastard hadn't made it off the realm.
The secrets of the realm, and her father, were still safe.
She poured through the files and the books, scribbling down notes and thoughts, trying to make cohesive, straightforward laws with no loopholes.
Sigyn started when her fingers brushed across cold metal. She looked down at her hand to find the trays on the desk empty, save for a few crumbs. The orange of the setting sun reflected off the smooth metal into her eyes.
She stood, stretched, and closed the curtains. When she walked back to the desk, she noticed a box next to the stuffed wolf. Opening it, she found a set of candles. Sigyn snapped her fingers and they lit one by one across the desk.
She breathed in deeply. The smell of lavender was strong, not only from the bouquet, but from the candles as well it seemed. She noticed a note at the bottom of the box.
Pulling it out, she read it by the candlelight.
I knew you'd get distracted with work, and time would fly by without your notice. So I grabbed some lavender candles to light up your desk while you work, and to help you relax some.
I know you're stressed form everything that's been happening, but know that everyone here, from those in the barracks to those in the kitchens and the gardens, support you fully, and would gladly follow you to the end of the worlds. I myself would gladly lay down my life to serve you and see you smile.
With love from the bottom of my heart, Lilith
Sigyn chuckled softly, folded the parchment, and placed it gently in a drawer. She took one of the books, placed the flower crown in it, closed it, and put it in. she smiled at the various little gifts and notes in the drawer.
Lilith was too kind. She was a light in the night that could guide her back to her senses.
Sigyn closed the drawer gently, smiling, praying that the bundle of innocence, laughter and kindness that was Lilith would never change as long as she lived.
She picked up the stuffed wolf, blew out the candles, and went and laid down.
She fell asleep slowly, worries sinking into the back of her brain.
Time was up.
Day of the invasion…
Lilith adjusted her armor, then stood back and admired her work.
"Beautiful and deadly, my lady."
Sigyn nodded, a hand on the pommel of her sword. Her throat was dry, closing up, preventing her from speaking.
"I wish I could join you, and fight by my lady's side on the battlefield." She chuckled, "Unfortunately I have no weapons proficiency. But I have full faith in you, you military genius, your weapons knowledge, and just you in general."
Lilith patted her shoulder, smiling encouragingly, "You're going to do amazing. You already have. You've united the entire realm, and now you'll lead them into battle to decide all our fates!"
Sigyn gulped, huffing out of her nose.
Lilith laughed, "Of course, we all have faith in you. Your plan is brilliant. You'll crush the enemy, and keep our army completely intact!"
She chuckled dryly.
Lilith hugged her, "I trust you completely, but please come back to me my lady!"
Sigyn patted her back gently, hugging her back.
They walked out together to the stables, and Lilith gave her a boost up onto Veronica. She took a deep breath, adjusting herself.
Lilith handed a helmet, and a handkerchief, up to her.
Sigyn put on the helmet, staring at the cloth in her hand.
"What is this?"
"I heard tales of the wives of soldiers giving their handkerchiefs to their loved ones as tokens of good luck to keep them safe during battle."
She stared down at the small girl smiling happily.
"Thank you Lilith."
Sigyn placed the handkerchief delicately in her pocket, and spurred Veronica on. The army followed behind her all the way to the landing site of the Pemican armies.
The elven, druid, centaur, and satyr armies were nowhere to be seen.
Fear clogged up her throat. Had they gotten her message? What if they decided it was a long shot, and gave up?
Without them, this plan would fail.
But would it have worked anyways?
Scared whispers broke through the ranks as the blue force field flickered, then shattered for one final time.
The captain looked over at her somberly.
Sigyn gulped, but spurred Veronica forward to face the army as the lights of the ships started to descend.
"PEOPLE OF LODORA, HEAR ME! YOU MAY NOT KNOW ME, AND YOU MAY NOT TRUST ME. BUT TODAY MARKS OUR GREATEST BATTLE YET. TODAY, WE FIGHT AS ONE, FOR LODORA!"
The army cheered, banging on their shields.
The armies of Pemica exited their ships and charged for them.
And the armies of Lodora responded in turn.
This chapter is dedicated to my bestie Lilith. You know who you are, and you know what's up. Love you girl!