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Walked over to his office after a day of actually writing only to find more tragedy in his way. Next to his office he heard the tears of many. The news was clear to him, the Koenas was dead. Igor signed the lorraine once again. This was the third death that had occured within the year and Igor knew that those close to him would feel this death especially. That night Igor went home to his son and wrapped him in his arms as he prayed for the fallen Queen. "It's a shame to see you go that way... You did niet choose to be Koenas, but you did your best. My only hope is that your children will know your name and will know your bravery. May you rest in peace, Your Majesty. You can finally reunite with your Auntie Charlotte."

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"Saint Tylos deliver her" Ser Brandt Barclay crossed the lorraine, dipping his head as he prayed for the deceased queen.

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Queen Ancelie of Norland sat in the dimly lit palace of Varhelm, various missives and documents scattered upon her desk. A brief moment of deliberation passed as she frowned upon this particular missive with a furrowed brow. Her fingers tightly gripped the missive, before she finally set it down, and she emitted a long sigh, accompanied by the shaking of her head. "She was so young. May she finally rest."

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Marie sat alone on the hillside, clutching a letter notifying her of Mariya's death. Tears dripped down her normally cheerful face as she stared off, seemingly at nothing yet everything at the same time. Her breaths were ragged as she merely sat and existed. While this went on, things seems to be at a standstill for her. It was not something she hadn't thought of, however it was not something she expected to occur so soon. The loss of a dear friend, the one that very literally changed the course of her entire life. Marie wished that she could have helped her. Many... many times she wanted to pull Mariya from the cruelty she faced daily. To pull her from reality so that she could achieve the dreams that she gave up. They were ripped from Mariya. Not a slow let down but the pull of a cord by those who did not care for what Mariya wanted in life. The pull towards one's 'fate', or at least the one perceived by the matchmakers. The ones that signed the dotted line of Mariya's betrothal.

Marie hated every moment of it. Watching her once goal driven friend decay to one merely trying to survive through one heartbreak after another. One more wish destroyed. They were endless. For this, Marie had only ever truly disliked one man. It was hard, getting on Marie's bad side. But he.... he held her one token of distent fully in his grasp without knowing it. The one, whether direct or indirect, caused Mariya's death. The single man who could have protected her and cherished her for all that he did. But no. He had not. Would not. And never will.

It was this that had driven Marie at this point in life, to help those who could not help themselves. But not for the sake of goodwill... no, not anymore... to stop those who would do onto them which could not happen but by one that does not care. One that was by Marie's definitions, cruel. What true man would cause harm to his wife. To turn his back when she needed him. Yet turn around and expect the world of her? To hand over all that she held dear? No. There is no respect for them, and perhaps against all of Marie's belief, no saving them. Maybe some ways, all can be saved. Not him. Not ever. Not after all that had been done, has been done. Marie now stood, letter clenched in her hand as she descended the hill once more. She lost one of the few she swore to protect. Not again and not ever. Not to the likes of them.

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I wish it need not have happened in my time," says Patriarch Alfred, after leaving the palace, which he thinks is now officialy the palace of Dark Nikirala, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. Godan, answer my prayers.. bring her to you, to the place she truly belongs to - to the Seven Skies..”, with that the elder priest crossed himself, moving towards the Basilica of St.Henrik.

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Mariya Sofia de' Draghicescu-Bishop sat at the desk within her manor home in the capital of Haense. "I can't believe she is gone." The young-woman would state softly as she sat there, tears in her eyes. "Another person I held dearly, gone." She'd sigh as she went to place herself in bed and cry herself to sleep.

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The Court Poet whispered under her breath, tired eyes being unable to focus. Her head shook, and that was all. She tried to continue with writing, but no. She got up and finally went to bed, her mind racing with the thoughts of so many things.

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"Too soon," whispered Aleksandra Ludovar beneath her breath, promptly signing the Lorraine Cross for the late Koenas. The soldier recalled her friendly exchanges with Her Majesty only a Saint's Week prior. She thought of those poor children who would now have to live without a mother. Thoughts raced through her mind, though she did not shed a tear. The jaded soldier had become accustomed to death. However, the news left her heartbroken, nevertheless. Heartbroken and disappointed with herself. "If only I could have been there...been there to protect her- to save her, as is my duty. GODAN, forgive me. Forgive us all." Following her lament, the Ludovar carefully removed the beret which sat atop her head, replacing it with a black beret instead.

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The High Keeper paused her endless paperwork as an initiate placed a missive in front of her regarding the unfortunateness in Haense. Briefly skimming over its contents, she sighed, "How unfortunate... I quite liked that one."

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Ser Alric Ruthern heard news of the late Koenas further on in his day. Having been on duty and standing guard at a particular meeting, he was long overdue a proper rest, so he found himself to be in his office; entirely solus. Revealing an unruly mop of dampened black hair, he then unclicked his helmet and set it upon his desk. "It didn't have to be like this," is what the Paramount eventually commented, keeping his eyes fixed to a distant statue.

 

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Spoiler

送别, Farewell Song

長亭外,古道邊,芳草碧連天,
Outside the long pavilion, along the ancient route, fragrant green grass joins the sky,
晚風拂柳笛聲殘,夕陽山外山。
The evening wind caressing willow trees, the sound of the flute piercing the heart, sunset over mountains beyond mountains.
天之涯,地之角,知交半零落,
At the brink of the sky, at the corners of the earth, my familiar friends wander in loneliness and far from home,
一瓢濁酒盡餘歡,今宵别夢寒。 
One more ladle of wine to conclude the little happiness that remains; don't have any sad dreams tonight.

長亭外,古道邊,芳草碧連天,
Outside the long pavilion, along the ancient route, fragrant green grass joins the sky,
問君此去幾時来?来時莫徘徊。
I ask of you, as you go this time, when are you to return? When it's time to come please don't hesitate.
天之涯,地之角,知交半零落,
At the brink of the sky, at the corners of the earth, familiar friends wander in loneliness and far from home,
人生難得是歡聚,唯有别離多。
In life it is happy reunions that are rare; most often we bid farewell.

天之涯,地之角,知交半零落,
At the brink of the sky, at the corners of the earth, familiar friends wander in loneliness and far from home,
人生難得是歡聚,唯有别離多。
In life it is happy reunions that are rare; most often we bid farewell.



Li Xiuying sat in her office after a long day of sorting through paperwork, exhaustion colouring her face. One particular parchment remained untouched - rather, it was a refusal to touch it.

 

Yet her hollow gaze couldn't separate itself from the words on the paper, disbelief still ringing in her ears. A dear friend of hers, gone...

She knew briefly of the hardships this young woman bore. She recalled the bright, indomitable smile of the raven-haired sprite as she sparred with the Li-ren back in Tai Ping district. How she watched that light dim bit by bit as the years passed, despite the beauty of the person increasing.

 

The image of Koenas Mariya proudly touting her little Petra when she last visited, the quiet peace of them sharing tea now turned to the deafening silence and cold reality of the empty office.

 

Xiuying's knuckles turn white as her grip on her calligraphy brush tightens unconsciously as two singular drops stain the page, blurring the ink. For the first time in many years, the Matriarch's composure broke.

 

After a while, she furiously wipes at her eyes with her tear-soaked hanfu sleeves and stands, heading to the cabinet in her office. Opening it, she takes out the variety of spirits her dear friend had gifted her, yet untouched because she had pictured that they would be sharing it together...

 

She pours herself a glass and shakily raises it to the skies, before pouring it on the earth. She pours herself another and toasts to the sky muttering:

"One more cup of wine to conclude the little happiness that remains..."
As she begins to 'share' the alcohol between the two of them, as promised.

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