The lengthy part with all the boring technicalities in it. Ah, bureaucracy. (previous)
‘The responsibilities of a Redgarde monarch are many.’ Jean continued scribbling in a tome as he spoke. Without looking up, he had noticed Livia standing in the doorway, her hair still wrapped in one of the many royal towels. ‘But I am sure you knew that before coming all the way here.’
Livia stepped into the office, taking a moment to look around. The back and left walls were hidden behind full shelves of books, scrolls, and stacks of loose paper. They no doubt contributed to the strong, musty smell that filled the room’s damp air.
‘Please, do have a seat.’ He didn’t gesture to the empty chair on the opposite side of his crowded desk, he just kept on scribbling. Livia moved over, adjusting her pants before she sat down. The clothes she had found prepared for her in the bathroom weren’t a perfect fit, but she was just glad some more modern options were provided among the old-fashioned skirts and corset dresses.
Jean slammed close the book he was writing in and got up from his spot behind the bureau. ‘Now, your majesty, before we continue there is one thing you must do.’ He paced towards the office’s entrance and shut the door closed. ‘Queenship, much like all that is fine in the world, cannot be given without the proper paperwork.’ Back at his desk, he produced an unsigned contract from a stack of seemingly unorganized documents. ‘Please sign with ink and mark with blood.’
Livia bent herself over the paper. The lettering was a bit arcane, but she could make it out to be English… for the most part. ‘So what will my responsibilities actually be?’ she asked. ‘It says here I’ll accept the burden, this and that, but it never makes a concrete example.’
‘The contract cannot possibly cover every single duty,’ Jean smiled, ‘but I can assure you nothing impossible will be asked of you.’
She looked at the document again. It was clear every sentence was written to encompass as broad a meaning as possible, almost as if she was signing the entirety of her existence away. But then that wasn’t particularly surprising, considering the nature of contracts and agreements. She shrugged, searched the desk for a pen, and put her signature on the line. ‘You were kidding about the blood, right?’
Jean procured a small needle from a drawer in his desk and held it in a candle’s flame. ‘I fear not, your majesty. Allow me, I will ensure it goes swiftly.’
Not pictured: Livia has her (still wet) hair wrapped in a towel. For some reason I couldn’t get that in there without disrupting the flow, but I feel it’s important to mention for the sake of high-quality continuity. (next)