"It wasn't because of betrayal that I sent you away. It was a matter of insurance. You needed to survive, in case this happened." -- RecklessPrudence
"Mother," said the Rogue Princess, "I'm with the Rebellion. I'm here with the army foretold to end your reign."
"I know," sighed Queen Maliss. "It was foretold. It was also foretold that we would die together if I kept you close to my heart. I know you despise me. And the things I had to do. You will herald a bright new reign... with the greatest change this country had seen."
The Rogue Princess Aiana frowned. "Wait. You did everything because of prophecies?"
"It's hard to avoid them, my little. They say I was cursed when I was born... they could have been right. Though I tried to avoid the prophecies, I found myself pressed hard against them, no matter what. When the prophecies come for you... don't fight. You will only break your heart."
Now Aiana retreated. "You... still care for me? After everything?"
"I always cared for you," Queen Maliss stepped down from her throne and removed her crown as she knelt. "That's why I'm yielding. So a daughter doesn't have to execute her mother."
This was why. This was why the armies of Queen Maliss had not attempted to withstand the Rebellion. This was why the Rebellion had only met opposition from those who profited from the current Queen's reign. This was why they all encountered so little resistance on all sides.
Because, despite all else, a mother still loved her only child.
Aiana was numb as the others dragged Queen Maliss away. Numb as the numerous crimes were read out in public court. Numb, even, as the executed Maliss. She only wept when the others cheered. Tears fell from her face as the crown was placed on her head and she was hailed as the new Queen.
A bright new age, paid for with sorrow.
The new Queen Aiana made one request of her people. She asked, patiently, that they did not seek to know the future. That path had lead to the ruin of her mother. She would not let it lead to the ruin of anyone else. And with that, the last prophecy known to the kingdom was fulfilled. Everyone now owned their own destiny.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / APavlov]
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