The heavy doors swung open, and standing before me was Zora, my daughter, the princess. My first thought was that she was lovely. I couldn’t believe this was the newborn child I once held in my arms, and I felt a pang of regret that the queen was not alive to see her. Perhaps she was watching her from above, I hoped.
“Please enter. Come forward and join me near the fire,” I said.
Aegis strode powerfully forward, but I noticed that Zora seemed timid, so I directed my questions to Aegis. “Once again, you have carried out your orders to the fullest, and for this I can’t thank you enough. Do you have anything of importance to report?”
“Only that the children in the cottage seem well in spite of the recent deaths of William and Millicent. They have been taught well and seem to be managing on their own, continuing with their studies and the running of the household. I spent the day in observation, and was actually quite impressed. It is as we had hoped; the children are well-rounded, hardworking, intelligent, and compassionate.”
“Thank you, Aegis. Is there anything else?”
The aegis shifted from foot to foot and finally said, “Yes, there is one more thing that I don’t know what to make of…more than one of the children that I spoke to mentioned that they felt there was someone or something watching over them.”
I pondered Aegis’ remarks, wondering what kind of magic could be happening in the cottage. Then I thanked him for his trustworthy servitude and said, “That will be all for now. Forthwith, I must get acquainted with my daughter. Please give me a few moments alone with Zora, and then send Cylferth to my chamber.”
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