Chapter 121:

Interlude: Audience

The Y-files [GL]

Queen Astrid's POV.Bookmark here

It was just another boring day at the palace, filled with boring administrative tasks, and people coming to make their pleas. All my life I had been prepared to fulfill this role, and now that I had become queen, it felt like I had accomplished everything I would accomplish. Even though I was only 27, I knew I would most likely do nothing of more importance than become the first female head of state, the first ruling Queen of Belgium.Bookmark here

Most of my power was ceremonial and the few things where I did get to make decisions were so trivial that it became a drag really fast. I wanted some fresh air something new to do.Bookmark here

Maxima Lyst had invited me to her birthday party. She always did, even if I stopped going to these occasions. It usually was just some ploy to get me to marry someone influential. I was so bored. I wanted something to blow away the boredom.Bookmark here

My next visitor was that shrewd woman. Vital Lyst's lackey, Edith Thorial. She had climbed up the stairs of the Lyst firm really fast by manipulating everyone and everything around her. She had even managed to stay on staff when Kathy Lyst took over the Lyst Group. I was surprised at that, but even though she works for Kath Lyst, my intelligence service made it pretty clear, that in actuality she is still working for Vital Lyst. My advisors had warned me strongly about her.Bookmark here

To show her who was boss, I made her wait for a little while longer than usual. The queen is busy after all. Busy drinking tea and browsing youtube. Lately, I had been following one of my subjects that had achieved world fame. They called her the Yuri Jeanne D'Arc. She was my childhood friend Anna's girlfriend, and it was rumored that she was behind the breakup of Kath and Vital Lyst. Her speeches were always full of zeal and straight from the heart. Not like all those stuffy appeals written by lawyers, following protocol, that I was confronted with day in day out. She moved people's hearts and changed the world around her. For such a young girl, she was really something.Bookmark here

Anna sure had come a long way, I was surprised when I saw her in these videos as an assertive businesswoman.Bookmark here

I remember playing with her as kids while our parents were discussing business.Bookmark here

She used to be such a shy cute girl. She used to be obsessed with cats and cute things. Once, while playing house, when I asked her which role she wanted, she said she wanted to be the cat, and she laid herself on my lap, and then I had to pet her. That was so incredibly cute! I remember asking my parents if I could keep her. I wonder if she remembers that. She was still so small back then. Even though due to our different social standings we grew apart, I still look back very fondly on the time I spent with her.Bookmark here

Remembering those days had put a smile on my face. When my servant announced Edith Thorial, I put my guard back on. I wonder what she would try to manipulate me into.Bookmark here

She was following all the protocols and kneeled before me without speaking. She was not allowed to speak unless spoken to.Bookmark here

So I gave her permission to speak.Bookmark here

“Your majesty, on the behalves of my employer I was asked to make this plea to you.” Yada yada yada. It was the usual language I heard every day. I was handed a few letters for a plea to allow a couple of stepsisters to get married.Bookmark here

The talks proceeded like all my talks. Strictly within the protocol. I sometimes wondered if those people that stood in front of me weren't robots, and they just changed their outward appearances. It felt like that. It had been a really long time since I had just a regular talk with someone.Bookmark here

When I guided her out of the door again, I noticed Edith looking around, and then she quickly handed me another envelope. “My employer told me to give these to you, and consider them when you handle this case.Bookmark here

There it was. Someone was trying to use me as a tool again. If I hated anything, it was people using me.Bookmark here

I told her to thank Vital Lyst. For a second I noticed some surprise on her face. I guess she did not expect me to have found out about her twisted loyalties.Bookmark here

“As expected, your majesty is wise beyond measures. I will pass on your thanks.” She answered. Well, that basically confirmed our suspicions. After our business, she immediately left. Bookmark here

What was all this about? Now, this case caught my interest. Bookmark here

After opening the letters, I quickly read the content of the case she had presented to me. They were all in the usual boring legal jargon. A case of two stepsisters that wanted to get married, they were together before their moms got together and decided to get married. Everyone knew I almost always refused these kinds of pleas. Not only were they family, but it was also about gay marriage. Decisions like this could bring unnecessary attention to the palace.Bookmark here

Then I opened the envelope she gave me and was faced with a picture of the Yuri Jeanne D'Arc surrounded by cute girls. One girl grabbed her breasts, while another was on her knees between her legs, and two others were watching the scene unfold. I felt a hot rush through my body. I felt compelled to watch this picture a little longer. But what had this to do with the plea?Bookmark here

I went back to the letters, and there it was a letter from Anna, and one from Claire Brossé, the famous yuri Jeanne D'Arc. In the end, Claire had put a little PS, breaking all protocols.Bookmark here

“PS: Dear Queen, They advised me to write this letter like this, but it does not sit well with me. Please allow them to get married, I would be so sad to see a couple that fits so well together break up over something so stupid. They deserve to be happy. I remember when you became queen and said that you would make your people happy, so I hope you will help them because you are the only one who can.”Bookmark here

That brought me back to the day I became the queen. My parents had died in a plane crash, I was only 21. I had to start in a terrible period of political instability. A lot of parties wanted to do away with royalty after the death of my parents and wanted to change the country into a republic. My greatest political ally, Kath Lyst had helped me through that period with support from the Lyst group.Bookmark here

I had spoken those words when I was pressed on what I would do as a queen on the very first day of my reign. I had spoken from the heart and had been severely reprimanded for that afterward. But apparently, it had moved this girl. I should make due on my own words, shouldn't I? If the queen does not keep her word, the country is doomed. Be damned with politics. But these innocent words, and everything I knew about the yuri Jeanne D'Arc, did not align with those lascivious pictures that were sent to me by Vital. It was hard to believe this was the same person.Bookmark here

I noticed that on the backside of the picture, a message was written:Bookmark here

“My wife and daughter have been blindfolded by this harlot. Just see what she is up to when they aren't looking. She will only bring ruin. Don't say I did not warn you. Vital Lyst”Bookmark here

The idea that Kath Lyst was being tricked by a young girl sounded preposterous. But my sweet and innocent Anna, I could see that happening. But why send me those pictures? Should he not have sent them to them?Bookmark here

I had to find out more about this! If necessary I would protect Anna. I called my secretary.Bookmark here

“Maxima's ball was tonight, wasn't it?” I asked her.Bookmark here

“Yes, your majesty, I have let her know, you would not be able to make it, like usual.” Bookmark here

Yes, that was what I would usually do, but no longer.Bookmark here

“Change of plans. Inform them that I will attend in an informal capacity. No need for everyone to stand on attention. I don't want to take the attention away from the one we are celebrating after all.”Bookmark here

“But what about your other appointments? You are fully booked?” she said in a slight panic.Bookmark here

“Reschedule them. I am going to the ball. I have urgent business there.”Bookmark here

My secretary started protesting “But what do I say to them?”Bookmark here

I was getting tired of this. It was always like this whenever I wanted to do something. I was the queen but just went where everyone told me to go. That message from Claire had woken me up. No more.Bookmark here

“Just do what your queen demands.”Bookmark here

I noticed my secretary's face turning pale. She nodded and said, “Yes, your majesty.”Bookmark here

Was that really all it took? I was surprised by how easy it was to drive my will through. Things were going to change around the palace! Anna, I am coming for you. I will make sure to get to the bottom of this for you!Bookmark here

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