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The Solune Prince: The Prince’s Recapitulation

The Solune Prince
Novella 2

Chapter 40: The Prince’s Recapitulation

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The room stopped moving shortly after Chloe took up her post. They all seemed to understand, to see what she saw, that she had suddenly become central. Lilllich made sure everyone was present, and then closed the door for her, to prevent movement. Chloe’s mind was a storm. She breathed and created vessels for her thoughts, categories, and an order for her ideas. She let the thoughts filter and organize themselves as everyone around her settled. Then she took another deep breath and began.

“The Lussa prince has a strategy in mind, a bold political move. He seems quite certain of it, and I share his interest.” So far, so good. “To be honest, I think it is a strange plan, but we are in a strange land. It will no doubt be met with opposition in the Lussa…” She wasn’t sure what it was called. Chloe’s mind raced. She would have called it the parliament, but that was her own preferred term. What was the term Ryann had used? Assembly? Council? “Parliament,” she said anyway, with barely a pause. “His idea is to use what I find to be a fascinating but archaic legal mechanism. We have not yet gotten a copy of the law in question, but I intend to request one when possible.”

Chloe looked around the room, but her gaze was cut short when she saw the young resident Annissette wrestling Alexandre’s arm back into the sleeve and pulling it down through the bottom hole. Is she stripping her right here to look at the wound?Oh. It seemed Alexandre had some sort of undershirt on, with thin straps. Annissette pulled a strap down and slid it off Alexandre’s arm so that it stuck out between the two garments. The result was that Alexandre was still clothed, but the Lussa girl had access to the wound on her chest underneath the arm. Though, Alex would be in trouble if she tried to stand.

“Oh, ah… We have been told that there is a law that predates even this land’s constitution. It applies to bloodlines. It seems that any person sharing direct ancestry with…the prince, or ruler, I assume, such a person may be counted in a council and given voting privileges in certain specific matters.”

Kent, again sitting on the ground with his wife, said, “Excuse me? Voting? Blood? I think you lost me.”

Senica, apparently waiting a long time to say this, added, “So he could get you into parliament—Kent, if it’s blood, then that could mean you too!” Chloe considered this, and then nodded. It was possible, depending on how the law was written. Senica continued, “Oh Kent, you must do it, my friends back home would be so jealous if they knew I married a Lussa councilman.” At this, she laughed, but her comment also appeared to have helped Kent understand what was going on without embarrassment.

I never considered sociability to be a discipline, but if it is, Senica has clearly honed it further than I. Chloe continued. “That is the extent of what I know at this time about the ancient law. The day after tomorrow, we will all be meeting with prince Ryann, and he will have the specifics then. I expect he will also have an update on whether or not I qualify as a candidate.

Astore, who was seated next to Siren, with Lilllich standing nearby asked, “Assuming you make it into their parliament, what would you be voting on?”

“Right now, I am not entirely sure. It has to do with continuing a freeze on the voting process. This nation votes in its kings from among the eligible heirs; from among the previous king’s children. But it seems that other powers are seeking the through at this vital time through political channels. It is happening out in the open, as it were.” With this, Chloe had finished saying everything she could remember was important. She took a few steps away from the special speaking area and looked around, giving an expression that invited questions.

“Do you think that this might explain all the people we’ve had to fight?” Siren asked.

Chloe considered this. “When I was detained, one of the prisoners in there told me that they were being held for political reasons. And, Alexandre can attest, we were attacked before I was brought there. That means that there are political forces who have already moved to coercion.”

“And don’t forget what Lilllich told us; the polits may be getting to comfortable with the powers they have during this interim between kings,” Astore added.

“Clearly they were colluding with whoever attacked Chloe and Alexandre,” Anselm agreed.

“Woop,” Alexandre added flatly. And then, “What are you doing with that needle?”

“Quiet. You’re going to feel a pinch.”

But instead of hearing a yell of pain from Alexandre, Chloe heard something hit the window. Everyone, except Annissette who was busy and Alexandre who couldn’t, turned to see what it was.

There was a figure outside, lurking in the dark. And it shouldn’t have been there; this was the window facing the backyard, not the streets.

Then, finally, came the yell of pain from Alexandre inside.

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