“Become the sword and shield that protects the will of Rughzenhaide.”
The words my grandfather often spoke cross my mind, and I awaken from my daydream.
Rughzenhaide had issued an apology.
But they said nothing of my grandfather’s post or duties, nor the cause of his death.
Still unable to grasp my situation fully, I, Ritona Reighnvhasta, had lost the one and only relative I had, at the age of 14.
Patriotism, tradition, customs — everything started to feel so petty and insignificant.
The Reighnvhastas have served the Rughzenhaide family for generations upon generations.
From a time long past, Vhastoralkat and Rughzenhaide had signed a pact as neighboring countries.
And as a symbol of friendship, the distinguished Reighnvhastas from Vhastoralkat were appointed the guardians of the Rughzenhaide royal family.
The bond between the King and his Guardian is akin to the bond between Rughzenhaide and Vhastoralkat.
That was what I was taught.
That was how it had always been.
The house that was already too spacious for the two of us felt even more cavernous.
At first the pain lingered, but soon disappeared, leaving me feeling empty and listless.
My friend, Flora, began to visit me frequently.
She would assist me in my day-to-day affairs, as if on pins and needles.
“Won’t you come stay at Rughzenhaide Castle?”, the king asked.
I turned him down.
I don’t want to be alone, but I want to be by myself.
I’m dreadfully lonely, but I don’t want deal with other people.
It will be Selphine’s tenth birthday soon.
During the celebration, there will be an inheritance ceremony to show the Alliance the will of the coming ruler-to-be.
That ceremony is also when the next guardian is appointed. Originally, her guardian would have been me.
Originally, I was to succeed that position.
Because that is the tradition.
Because that is the custom.
I dreamt of everything burning down.
All of it, razed to the ground.
And I’d spit on the ashes.
Step on them.
Pulverize them ’til nothing was left.
Maybe that’d make me feel a little better?
Just a thought.