Cheeky opening line. (previous)
‘What the…’ The words escaped Livia below her breath. The weight of the physical documents alone would be enough to crush a small animal. She could only imagine what the burdens within would do to her.
‘I will attempt to go over these concisely.’ Jean repeated diligently. ‘Do excuse me if I am speaking unclearly, the weather has not been kind to my vocal chords.’
She couldn’t do more than smile and nod with fake appreciation, the stack of responsibility looming over her.
‘I heard from Fortier you have already met Remi, is that correct?’ Jean had already sought out the first item to discuss, catching Livia off guard.
‘Oh, yes!’ she hastily responded. ‘She actually snuck into the bathroom while I was in there, though I’m sure I locked the door…’
He snorted out of amusement, yet drew dismissal on his face. ‘How typical.’ A short sigh. ‘She has not been behaving well ever since the last queen, her adoptive mother, perished. I advise you not be afraid to be strict with her, let her know where the bounds are. But–’ He put down the document he was holding and spoke with lowered voice when he continued. ‘But, please, try to be like a sister figure. I am sure you can understand how hard these times can be on her. She may not be related by blood, but Marianne entrusted her to the family, so care for her we will.’
For a short moment, Livia didn’t feel the stress of her fresh queenship weigh on her. For a short moment, she recalled Remi, in the arms of Carolas, and saw a younger version of herself. For a short moment, she excused Remi’s intrusion from before. Every moment afterwards, she felt determined. ‘Okay, I’ll try my best.’
The rest of the paper mountain mostly consisted of normal, boring monarch duties and rules for behavior. The announcement of her queenship would be at the end of the month, after which quarterly throne speeches would resume according to some existing schedule. She was not to leave the royal grounds undisguised or without a guard, and she would need to take part in all financial choices made by her financier, of which Jean suggested and Livia approved some as they were working through the stack.
She let out a sigh of relief when Jean put the last document onto a newly created pile. None of her acquired duties were particularly heavy, and their total sum wasn’t enough to crush her. If this was all there was to it, she could take her sweet time figuring out her next steps from a luxurious position.
‘Ah, I almost forgot!’ Jean unlocked a drawer in his desk and produced an old, worn file. ‘There is one last thing I would request you take a look at.’
Brace yourselves, there’s a time-skip coming! (next)