"In the throne room?" echoed Astra
"Yup," was all that came from Agra as a reply.
"You don't mean they're waiting for us?"
"Geez, no! At least I hope not. We haven't gotten in trouble, have we?"
"'Thought not, no. They're only there seeing what those weird people from the north wanted."
"There's foreign dignitaries from Allaria on an official state visit? Here? Today?"
Agra stared blankly at her. "Foreign whatses?" she said after a while. Astra had forgotten how young her sister was... how young she herself was. She'd have to choose her words more carefully.
"Agra," she said, in a patronizing tone that made her hate herself, "do you know who these people are?"
"Uh, no. Is there a right answer to that?"
Astra ignored her. "Do you know where they're from? What that place is called?"
"No," said Agra. Astra was growing frustrated. "But they sure as hell are not from Hespan!" continued Agra.
Astra stopped. Why had Agra mentioned Hespan? There had been a war with Hespan, but it hadn't happened until she was 12 or so, and she definitely was smaller now.
"I mean, they didn't bring any swords nor nuthin'." Agra added. She had apparently noticed her sister struggling, and was trying to explain how she could tell.
Astra remembered. Allaria and Hespan had been on the brink of yet another war. Aqularia, now that for once in its history was at peace, and unified, was wanted as an ally by both sides for its famed warring tradition.
"Agra," continued Astra softly, "do you know why they're here?"
"Nuh-uh. But what does it matter?"
Astra again froze. What did it matter? She hadn't known what was going on at the time. And even if she had, there was nothing she could do, being only a child. And even she could do anything, it was not like her own future was going to change. Anina would still die in a later war, and Astra herself would still be kidnapped by the dragon a few years after that, regardless of what happened here, today, between Allaria and Hespan.
"Astra, what's going on? You're scaring me!" said Agra, looking like she was about to cry.
Astra gazed upon her sister. She didn't want to scare her, but she knew she couldn't tell her the whole truth, either.
But she was interrupted by a noise down the hall. Someone was coming towards them!
1/14/2010 11:58:37 AM
The Never Ending Quest Home
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