Aurora’s dawn

Meeting him again

Everyone arose from their seat and bowed their head as my Father as he walked inside. He too wore red and was dressed to match my mother. As he walked in, he noticed our absence from our usual seat at the table and his eyes wandered the room as he strides towards his seat. He looks at the concubine who ignorantly decided to steal mothers chair at the table, turning to the crowd afterwards. Their heads were sill bent.

He saw my mother and us behind the long table positioned vertically on his right side. We were at the end, closer to the door. My father clicked his tongue in annoyance and sat down reluctantly.

”You all can sit ”-He says with ease.

All of us took a seat and finally the banquet began. The room was filled with laughter and voices. The sounds of tableware and the chewing of food resounded throughout the room and hallway. My mother, siblings and i refused to eat or drink anything. We kept still in a relaxed posture. My father was the type to drown in his wine and talk a lot, however, he was quiet as he took a few sips from his cup. Everybody except us did not notice.The new concubine seated next to him intended to pour him some wine. He remained quiet while staring at my mother who did not spare a single glance at him.

”Drink Tal ”-Says the new concubine, after filling Fathers wine cup. Instantly, the room quieted down. My mother was amused. Katrina gripped the knife and fork she held tightly. Sweat was dripping down some of the concubines faces and their children froze. Very appalled, we all were. The concubine seated next to Father was in a state of confusion.

”What is the problem Tal? ”-She asked. I swear i saw Fiona gasp out of fright and cover her mouth almost immediately. The sound of a fork hitting the ground followed. Father turned to look at her and smiled coldly.

”Elena, when i brought you to the palace what did i tell you? ”-Father questioned the concubine.

”Ahhh, so her name was Elena, but it does not matter at this point ”-I thought.

”You said i should be respectful to everyone and be careful ”-Elena, the concubine next to my father replied.

Father, who was barely holding himself together questioned ”And why are you not you doing as you are told, HM? ”

**Orin sneaks in a short laugh**

**Lazef smiles and hits Orin with his shoulders**

”What do you mean? ”-Elena asked, looking clueless.

**Orin gave out a short laugh again**

”I mean, why are you the one filling my wine glass and speaking to me intimately? ”-Father bluntly asked, in a condescending tone.

”But we are lovers are we not?. Why is this a problem?. You had none whatsoever when we were at the tavern at night? ”-Elena responded blatantly.

”Same old story ”-Orin murmured.

”ORIN SHUT UP!! ”-Father shouted.

”Yes father ”-Orin immediately complies, bending his head and smiling satisfyingly as he did.

”Listen to me very carefully ” Fathers demeanor turns dark, ”Only the Empress is permitted to call me by my name in this place and SHEEE_ ” Father hits the table aggressively with his right fist ”IS THE ONLY ONE ALLOWED TO SEAT BY MY SIDE!! ”.

”But_ ”-Elena tries to speak but was stopped by Father who threw the wine jar away in anger.

”Jeanne, are you amused enough?! ”-Father raises a question as well as he did his voice. ”

”….Why are you suddenly angry Your Majesty? ”-Mother looks at father and replied, acting ignorantly.

”Why are you suddenly being polite? ”.

”Not at all. Am i now allowed to seat beside you Your Majesty? ”-Mother asked sweetly.

”Elena go and apologize to the Empress ”-Father insisted with a commanding tone.

”But Ta….Your Majesty ”-Elena uttered hesitantly.

”She sure did change her mind quickly ”-Orin remarks.

**CHUCKLES**

”NOW!! ”-Father yelled. Elena slid her chair slightly backwards. It was quite obvious that she was delaying the inevitable. Perhaps she was hoping Father would rescind his order. Unfortunately for her, that was not happening. Elena finally stood up and approached my mother slowly. After a swift bow subsequently came her insincere apology. Mother did not look at her, leaving Father unsatisfied.

”Cain ”-Father called out.

Cain, a man with a well toned body and exotic dark skin. Easy on the eyes and Loyal to father to a fault. He was also a war prisoner and Fathers Vice Commander.

Cain forced Elena on her knees and forcefully bent her head. My mother finally had her eyes on Elena.

”Lady Elena, all your life you have lived like a worthless commoner and i suppose that you thought that wooing someone as great as His Majesty….Oh my deep apologies, Tal ”.

**Orin and Lazef chuckles**

Mother continues, ”You thought you had ascended to a position worthy of other womens envy. You are right. But i am no ordinary woman, I am your Empress, second to the Emperor and you shall treat me as such. Do you understand? ”.

**Elena nods her head**

”From today, you shall be staying in the Little palace. First concubine Katrina will be your supervisor. Cain, let her go ”.

The Little Palace was the home of the least favored concubines. It was the only place in the entire palace that was poorly maintained and the concubines who lived there were only given 3 maids each and a sum of 100 gold coins every month. Mother, the Empress had sovereignty over the concubines and their position, thus the very reason why the concubines remained so….tame.

**Cain escorts Elena out of the room**

”My Empress, come pour me a drink ”.

”But Tal, your wine cup is full is it not? ”.

”Nonsense ”-Father denies Mothers claim, tossing out the wine from his wine cup.

How cunning of him….

”May i pour you a drink now Your Majesty ”-Mother asked brightly.

”I thought i heard you call me differently earlier ”.

Mother smiles and goes over to fathers direction to pour him a drink.

”Another day when a lowly concubine failed to recognize her place ”-I sighed.

”When will they reach the conclusion that Mother is all powerful ”-Says Orin.

**Chuckles**

”No, shes just a goddess in love ”-Lazef says softly, gaping at Mother who was smiling wholeheartedly.

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