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The moment Mireanda saw the towers of Aorelia appear on the horizon, she knew she didn't want to go back. She was tempted to just turn around and go back to Angeleor, where people accepted the woman she was, unlike her father and brother, who only cared about the political advantage she might gain them. At some point, probably very soon, they would try to marry her off to some rich old man, who wouldn't accept her as she was either. They all expected her to be quiet, look pretty and do as she was told.

She convinced herself to keep going, and only when she reached the castle gates did she realize what she looked like. She was wearing a men's clothes, the garb of a traveller, with her hair loose around her shoulders. She quietly chuckled at the thought of her father's reaction. Only a few weeks ago, the thought would have terrified her, but she'd experienced much scarier things now, so the memory of her fear of her father made her laugh now.

"What do you want, girl?" the guard at the gate asked.

"That's your Highness for you, soldier." Mireanda replied.

"Princess?" the guard said in disbelief, "Forgive me, I didn't recognize you. You've changed."

"Don't apologize. I honestly barely recognize myself in the mirror anymore." Mireanda replied.

"Well, please, go right in." the guard said and made way. Mireanda thanked him and walked into the courtyard, leading her horse by the reigns, with a confident stride and a smirk on her lips. In the courtyard, she saw her brother looking at her as if he'd seen a ghost.

"Randa?" he asked incredulously.

"That's not my name." Mireanda told him off. She'd accepted that nickname as a child, but now she allowed hardly anyone to use it. She'd given Jon permission to do so, she even liked it. There was just something about the way he said it, but she didn't want to hear it from her brother. Without another word, she handed him the horse and marched up to the keep. Nicoleas was too perplexed to complain about her treating him like a stable boy.

Mireanda marched up to the throne room and threw open the door.

"I said do not disturb me!" Thameos said without even looking who had entered.

"Father." Mireanda said, surprising herself with how forceful her voice sounded. Thameos turned around immediately.

"Mireanda?" he asked disbelievingly.

"Who else would it be?" Mireanda replied snappily.

"And you're alone?" Thameos asked.

"Do you see anyone else?" Mireanda asked back.

"I thought Ionathar would have the courtesy to escort you home." Thameos said. Mireanda rolled her eyes.

"Please, he has much more important things to do than protecting someone who's perfectly capable of taking care of herself." she said.

"More important things? What could be more important than your safety?" Thameos asked.

"Oh, I don't know, maybe an attack on his kingdom? Or the safety of his family and his people?" Mireanda said.

"So his mission failed?" Thameos inquired.

"Not necessarily. He forced his uncle to take action before he was finished preparing for the endeavour. Most likely the battle happened a few days ago and Iohan lost it." Mireanda said.

"I hope so." Thameos said gloomily.

"Ionathar's only option is to win, trust me. After all, unlike his uncle, he has something to lose." Mireanda assured him.

"I do hope you're right." Thameos repeated, "And now you should go wash yourself and put some appropriate clothes on. As long as you live in my house, I won't allow you to wear this kind of thing."

Mireanda shot him an annoyed glance, then she stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind herself.

Completion Date
October 28th, 1217

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