The Princess and the Empty Treasure Chest
The Scepter of Self-Authority
The trees were barely shadows against the lavender hues of early dawn. Rayna had walked towards the North for hours, hoping to be early enough that no one would cross her path.
She was closer to town than she had ever been. Inlakesh said that no physical proximity was necessary, that the Soul’s Song would vibrate throughout The Forest and touch all kindred hearts simultaneously. But she had wanted ~had needed~ this proximity.
No voices could be heard. No footsteps disturbed the ground. Only the Nightingale’s song broke the silence.
Rayna heard the long, intricate song and sighed. She took the ivory flute out of her pocket and fingered it nervously.
“I know, I know,” sang the Nightingale in her heart. “Being the one to lead is not easy. You can only truly lead by example. Therefore excellence is demanded of those who lead. Are you up to the task, Peaceful Queen?”
“I have no choice,” Rayna answered. “My father was the King. My mother taught me that I was the servant of my people. These are my people, and they are suffering. They are starving.”
“You always have a choice,” Nightingale song in her heart. “You cannot lead by default. You cannot lead from choicelessnes, for this is helplessness. The helpless cannot lead, as you well know from the past three years. you cannot play the victim and lead, that you have learned.
“But how, do I get the courage to lead when all seems lost?” Rayna whispered.
These words had been whirling inside her head, but she had not dared tell Inlakesh.
“Oh! Peaceful Queen, you already have the key to your courage!” Celebrated Nightingale. “You can only lead from love, from a desire so deep, devotion so strong that it is part of who you are. Therefore it is your destiny, the only path for you. Only the heart that loves can summon the courage to lead.”
“Am I ready? Am I that heart?” Rayna asked herself as she caressed the cool, smooth ivory of the flute.
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