AR 1213-05-10 Verona contemplates the last 3 months
As Verona road through the city on her horse she realized it had been a three months since Prince Falson had arrived. What a difference 3 months had brought.
He now usually rode with her on her weekly tours of the city. His suggestion about 2 months back to ride her horse had helped to keep her grounded and rarely did she see the ghost of the past.
She had been painfully embarrassed when he had found her one time throwing up after one of the walks. But after talking about it, he recommended riding not walking the city and even though she thought him naive, she had tried it, and it had worked.
Her people loved it too. The children would run out and the guard would lift them to sit with her and ride just a bit. Or prance in place. It was so wonderful to hear them laugh again after such a trying time in all of their lives.
If something needed doing on the ground, Prince Falson would get off his horse and do it. The people were getting to know and like him. So thought about it, so was she. She twisted the ring Yari had given her. She hoped he was doing well. Maybe she would write him tonight if she got time.
The other changes Prince Falson had brought had helped as well. The wizard Waldo had built the starting of a castle with his magic servants on the outskirts of the city. Verona had decided to turn the old palace in the center of the city into a garden for all of the people to enjoy, with a small maker placed where her father had died.
All of the rocks had been moved to the new castle, and the garden was just starting to take shape. It would not be long before the plants were all in and blooming. With the help of the Druid Samual who had brought Clarice to Franzisaka, the newly planted trees had been encouraged to grow faster and now provided shade to those who stopped to sit on the benches in the garden.
The only unresolved issue was the missing crown. Verona had thought for sure they would find it when they cleared the rocks out. But no worker found it. She reminded herself that it was an artifact that could come and go on its own from the tales of how it had gotten to the valley in the first place.
So Verona did not worry about it. She did not need it for her official coronation until she was 18 and she felt sure that it would show up for that. None of the council seemed worried either, so she put it out of her mind.
She had moved her audiences to the largest repaired judge room and rode into the city most days for it. The old building she had been staying in, was now part of the new castle being built. Balcum Reed, her new city coordinator was working out great. She did not always need to come in. He had brought in several of his friends as well to help. She did not have much interaction with them, but she trusted Balcum.
Captain Matt had incorporated Prince Falson’s guards into his units. The Prince and the wizard had moved into Lord Backman’s home once it had been fixed up. The Prince and his men had no problems with ghost so Captain Matt and his wife, had moved into the house, and what remained of their old house was being torn down and that parcel was also being added to the garden area of the palace. Their Paleen, Sindre and their kids, had also moved in with them as it was a large place.
Verona smiled as she rode knowing if it was not for Prince Falson, buttercup would be dead. He had stopped horse thieves from stealing her and his horse at the stables. She had had him to dinner after that and found they had a lot in common. Mutual love of horses and riding, just for the sheer pleasure of the wind in their hair. They had gone out riding many times since, that is once things had started to settle down. It was on one of the rides that they had found the place the castle was now being built on. She had felt at home on the plot of land almost immediately.
As she rode, she thought about Kara and Sven suggestion to help with the kingdom’s finances. They had run their gold down to as far as they dare. They had to have enough money left to put all of the kids through the academy as well as enough left to live on for a while. But they would no longer be considered rich.
They had suggested that maybe she should consider splitting Hidden Valley off from the kingdom. After all, King Kendric was doing a lot of the support for that valley already, that maybe he could take full responsibility for it. And Verona could just keep the Thunder Rift valley. It would sure cut down the drain on the kingdom treasury as over the years the area pulled more from the treasury than it supplied.
Kara and Sven had offered to go to hidden valley to do the negotiations. They would take their magical house with them and their children. If they did it soon, they should be back before the snow fell in the valley.
She had discussed it with Prince Falson and he said he knew another kingdom that had split for a similar reason and things had worked out for them. The more Verona thought about it, the more she liked it. She would ride out to Kara and Sven’s after this and tell them she would approve it. She would have dinner with them and write up the treaty while she was there. It would be nice to see the Yari’s brothers and sisters.
And she might as well invite Prince Falson along as well. Eliza never minded extra mouths to feed, and that way no one would worry about her safety.