The bump limit for the previous threads was close enough I felt creating a new one may be warranted.
Beginning thread: http://pregchan.com/d/res/12251.html
Sir Edward of Virilia, a young and handsome aristocrat is called upon to select his bride to be. He is presented with a selection of nobleladies from various Kingdoms who are desperate to be bred. He selects Crown Princess Tharja of Ruhemania, travels to her home country, and takes his place as her father, King Vlad's, heir.
Second thread: http://pregchan.com/d/res/14131.html
Crown Prince Edward, now realizing the country has many details that weren't told to him when he selected his bride, finds himself struggling to grow accustomed to castle life, learn the secrets of the country's history, and discovers all is not what it seems.
Third thread: http://pregchan.com/d/res/15553.html
Crown Prince Edward realizes he was cursed from the start. He confronts who is responsible and must make a choice that will affect the direction of the entire country, all in the same, long, sleepless night.
Fourth thread: http://web.archive.org/web/20160412094726/http://bbw-chan.net/elite/res/536.html
King Edward now finds himself the undisputed King of Ruhemania, with many tools to use to decide how he will accomplish his reign. Chief among them is his relationship with the Infinite Golden Witch Beatrice, and what she is willing, and not willing, to do for him.
Fifth thread: http://pregchan.com/d/res/16909.html
King Edward learns much about what is a threat to him and what isn't, and the castle is temporarily set on its ear when a mysterious waif named Erika appears, asking to be invited inside.
Sixth thread: http://pregchan.com/d/res/24119.html
Life at the castle is becoming stable, and Edward juggles several projects at once to make sure it stays that way. A tower is being built to accommodate Beatrice, and a grand Summer Faire is being planned to endear himself to the hearts and minds of his new subjects. The plans slowly start to take shape, with the occasional situation to be dealt with along the way.
Please, use this chat thread for in-depth discussions, feedback, and emotional reactions:http://pregchan.com/c/res/4340.html
The new update will be posted shortly.
No need to imply what isn't true.
You doubt anyone will visit your tower, even with the relaxed order.
So you tell the guard you will be in your tower, but if someone who has valid business with you needs to ascend, they are free.
Another maid with your laundry or linen to change the sheets in your room, or some such thing would count as valid business.
The guard nods and tells you it's understood, Your Majesty.
You proceed up the stairs, with Margaret behind you.
Walking the stairs is unpleasantly tiring on your muscles, but it gives you time to think.
You wonder if the guard spreading rumors about an affair with Margaret would have affected her?
Possibly, though probably not.
It would probably be framed as 'The King took yet another beautiful girl to his chambers.' Margaret did have that allure to her.
The maids and soldiers don't seem to have duties that overlap much, and therefore likely no time to share gossip. Not to mention the maids consisted of mostly old women and the soldiers were your loyal soldiers.
Margaret was your personal maid, once.
She probably had tried to climb your tower in the course of performing her duties, only to be told 'The King has requested he not be disturbed by anyone, even a maid.'
Margaret would probably be savvy enough to understand the implication. Especially with how you were seen interacting with Beatrice.
–Yes, Margaret would've taken the command of 'don't let anyone ascend, except Tharja' as a sign you might be attempting to show her amorous attention.
Hopefully this will put her more at ease… or perhaps disappoint her.
Though that was probably too much to hope.
You push open the door to your chambers, and step inside, inviting Margaret in after you before you shut the door behind you both.
Your dirty laundry is gone, but your bed has not been made up yet, you note.
Margaret waits for you to take the initiative. Her face is professionally unemotional, but not cold.
You did invite her here.
It falls to you to get the ball rolling.
This may be the most nervous you've felt when alone with a maid.
Certainly, you have all the power compared to Margaret. You're King. Margaret is your subject and servant.
But the situation is… delicate.
It's not so simple as you deciding something and then telling Margaret what to do.
You have to see how willing she is to come clean with the problem and work with you to finding a solution.
If… that was even possible.
"Your Majesty," says Margaret.
She doesn't say it like a question, but she's clearly wondering what you intend to say.
You had to decide first how you were going to bring this up.
You could be blunt.
Just state openly that you overheard her talk with Elizabeth this morning.
It would definitely let you get to the point quicker.
It might be better to gradually bring up the conversation, indirectly, and only reveal what you know once she has mentally adjusted to the fact that you have more in mind than a quick apology for starting an 'orgy' right in front of her face.
That would definitely be the more subtle option.
However, if Margaret was being honest about wanting to return to her duties quickly, she might appreciate the blunt approach a bit better?
It'll waste less time than working your way up to it.
… Though you aren't sure the shock of being told so easily that the King was spying on her will pass quickly.
At any rate, you've stalled enough.
You decide how you'll start the conversation with Margaret and begin speaking.
>Be blunt and direct. You heard her conversation with Elizabeth in the servants' quarters this morning. You want to hear more about the situation and help remedy it.
>Be subtle. Begin with apologizing for the 'orgy', talk about herself and Elizabeth and the other maids, and gradually work your way up to the issues discussed in her and Elizabeth's conversation before revealing you overheard it.
Option one. It's his castle, he can go where ever he likes. Why should he hide the fact that he was in the servants' quarters this morning? Also: Subtlety really isn't Edward's strength. Let's be as open as we can, explain to her that we will treat Elizabeth (and the child that she now knows about) well, that we genuinely care for her and she need not fear for her.
I second this, but we can also add that we don't intend to make spying a habit.
We should definitely apologize for eavesdropping
>5 votes for option one, be blunt and direct, proceeding immediately to a discussion of Elizabeth and the problem she has.
>1 vote for option two, be subtle and build up to mentioning the content of the conversation you overheard.
Be direct with your eavesdropping and engage with Margaret for solutions without playing around or trying to be subtle.
You decide to be blunt.
Margaret, you begin to say.
You heard her having a conversation with Elizabeth this morning, when they were both alone in the servants' quarters before breakfast.
Margaret's eyes widen in shock.
But, only for a moment before she hardens her face.
"I'm… not sure I understand you, Your Majesty."
…You'll be a little more clear, then.
You tell her you were personally at the door. You weren't there with the intent of spying, but to check up with the head maid to make sure no corners were being cut when it came to preparations for the accommodations you're showing your guests to the Summer Faire.
Though you couldn't help overhearing their talk afterward when the other maids had cleared out and Elizabeth and Margaret were alone.
About how Elizabeth isn't contributing to the Faire preparations, and making herself a target.
Moreover that Margaret was comparing her to a mere… whore.
Margaret keeps her face blank, the edges of her mouth twitching.
You haven't summoned her to punish her, you go on to say. You don't think for a moment you can control what every last person in the castle says or thinks.
You wish you hadn't ended up eavesdropping, but you can't take it back now. For what it's worth, you apologize for that.
Elizabeth obviously has a problem.
You're willing to use your royal influence to help.
You just want to have an open discussion with Margaret about solutions… nothing else.
Margaret's eyes look disconsolate and downcast. She gives out the gentlest bit of a sigh. Then she speaks.
"All right. What do you propose, Your Majesty?" she asks, evenly.
Good. You knew it was a bit rushing it to be so blunt… but Margaret is smart.
She can handle moving past the emotions of the moment to get to the real problem.
You did have a few ideas in mind for how to solve Elizabeth's problem. The walk up the tower gave you plenty of time to think.
Margaret will be able to give you insight on what is most realistic.
Or maybe you can jog her own mental processes and she'll come up with something.
>The problem is Elizabeth may be targeted by other maids. Tell Margaret that if she's willing to name names, you'll see that the maids who are most a threat to Elizabeth are moved in their duties so they don't deal with her. –Or at least warned to knock it off.
>Elizabeth needs her own space. Offer to move her from the servants' quarters to take Daniella's old room. It's unpleasant, but it will save her from anyone putting 'a snake in her bed'.
>Elizabeth feels she can neglect duties Tharja doesn't give her. You can't take her position as Tharja's personal maid away and put her back in the hierarchy without opening Elizabeth up to abuse, but perhaps Elizabeth can still pitch in? Offer to ask Tharja to personally order Elizabeth to help out in the preparations. Then Elizabeth will still contribute, and the other maids will be satisfied she's carrying her weight.
>Margaret needs to be able to keep a close eye on Elizabeth. Offer to make Elizabeth an official 'assistant' for when Margaret teaches the new recruits. Margaret can keep an eye on her, then.
>Actually… you want to hear Margaret propose her own idea before you make your own.
>Something else. (Write-in.)
I'm gonna go with Option Three. If the other maids see that Elizabeth is still doing work, maybe they'll back off a bit. Might also need to explain to Elizabeth why this is happening, that she's not being punished, but explain it in a way so that she doesn't go off talking about the whats and whys.
Plus, given the options, I think this is the one Margaret would approve the most. Giving Liz MORE special treatment will probably only exacerbate the situation.
I'm going to agree here. Option 3 sounds best, and I think Margaret will pipe in if she has a better idea after our proposal.
I was hoping that Margaret might offer a suggestion first, but we're on the spot right now
While Option 3 seems the easiest route, I do wonder what Margaret's opinion on the situation is.
I'm for a mix of Options 5 and 3 (hear if Margaret has any ideas, if not then Option 3)
Unless Margaret has a better idea to present, I say option 3. Though we can ask her to let us know if Elizabeth does receive abuse from the other maids.
>7 votes for option three, ask Tharja to order Elizabeth to contribute.
>1 vote for a write-in of asking Margaret for her opinion, then suggesting Tharja order Elizabeth to contribute. (Close enough to option 3.)
Propose Tharja personally order Elizabeth to help the other maids with the preparations for the Faire.
It seems to you the real problem is Elizabeth feels she has the right to be lazy.
You can't detach her from being Tharja's personal maid… that would devastate Elizabeth and expose her to the same bullying you tried to protect her from in the first place.
However, the solution is simple.
Tharja will just order her to help the other maids in the preparations.
Then the maids will be satisfied she's pulling her weight, and Elizabeth's feelings and position will still be spared.
Margaret waits patiently as you speak, her face betraying no emotion except a slight moment her lips part when you mention 'bullying'. They quickly shut again and she remains calm throughout the rest.
What does Margaret think of your idea, you ask?
"… It is a fine idea that won't work, Your Majesty."
Margaret's eyes become downcast again.
"My sister has always been… scatterbrained. She easily forgets what to do, or needs to be reminded how to do simple things. We are both still new to the castle… especially compared to the other maids here. We are still in the process of learning how things are done."
–You can't argue with any of that. Elizabeth is a little slow-witted. Moreover, it would be at least two decades before Margaret and Elizabeth had experience approaching any of the older maids.
"She will likely make a mistake. When that happens, no one will have the power to correct her… unless Her Highness was to be in the same room overseeing her at the time."
… That would be asking too much. You can't expect Tharja to waste all her time doing that. Or that she would appreciate being disturbed when Elizabeth did mess up.
"Furthermore, Your Majesty… you will not know this, but to be a maid isn't something one simply learns. One has to be committed to it, every single day. Being a maid is knowing you will wake up, serve food, dust the rooms, scrub the floors, polish the stone and wood, clean the linen, wash the laundry, do the ironing, mend the clothes, shine the shoes…"
She closes her eyes.
"Day… after day… after day…"
Normally you would cut off any servant who would dared complain about their duties.
But it's clear by Margaret's tone she doesn't mean it as a complaint. She's honestly telling you what it's like to be a mere servant.
…You can't help but feel fortunate for your noble birth.
Margaret pauses, then opens her eyes and continues.
"Elizabeth has not had to do that. And she has not had to do that for some while. She does little but eat, sleep, carry your dishes, and bathe with Her Highness."
There's a slight hesitation before she goes on.
"She has forgotten the pains of a servant's work, Your Majesty. The sting of scrubbing one's hands until they feel raw, for example."
You admit, you noticed that. Elizabeth's hands still weren't near the level of unspoiled softness of Tharja's or Beatrice's, but they were certainly… daintier. She was a little fatter too, but that was to be expected with her pregnancy.
You sigh and tell her she doesn't need to say any more.
Margaret is right.
It's not going to be that simple.
You can understand, in some small way, why Margaret called Elizabeth your… whore.
You've gotten her too used to having sex instead of working. Even maids you impregnated back in Virilia didn't have as much sex with you as Elizabeth does. Though to be fair, the pool of fertile maids to draw from was much larger back then.
Being around Tharja no doubt helped exacerbate that problem, with her encouragement of her submission to you.
Was that unfixable?
Perhaps there was still a way to undo it.
>Elizabeth is your 'slave'. If you order her to work earnestly as a maid, she will. –Tell Margaret you will directly order Elizabeth to work hard. You can leave out the 'slave' part.
>There must be jobs the maids are neglecting in favor of preparing the castle. If Elizabeth is working on tasks without anyone around, she won't have to worry about the other maids punishing her for making a mistake. She can reacquaint herself to servant-life that way.
>It might be impossible to make Elizabeth work like a 'normal' maid again, but you still want to protect her. Shift the conversation to focus on finding ways to ensure that Elizabeth is protected.
>Elizabeth can't have simply forgotten how to be a maid. Press the issue with Margaret and suggest Elizabeth needs to be re-trained with the twins if that's the case.
>Something else. (Write-in.)
Combo of two and four, if possible. It sounds like Elizabeth could use the retraining, but keeping her out of the way of the other maids while doing that would probably be for the best.
Hey everyone, I realize this is a conversation so it's reasonable to think Edward can bring up multiple solutions and it's not too realistic to say "one choice makes it impossible to do the others," but let's try not to do write-ins that are "Do both option 1 and 2." It makes it potentially hard to count votes, since if I count it as a vote for both 1 and 2, then that's effectively giving someone two votes. That, or I literally count it only as a vote for "1 and 2," and then it's effectively taking away a vote because unless everyone jumps on with that option and doesn't pick up on it, I have to count it as a unique vote that isn't "1" or "2."
It's all right to say "option 1 with shades of option 2, if possible," because then I can count it definitely as option 1.
Please continue to vote.
Option 2, and ask Margaret if she thinks that will be sufficient.
Option 4, but maybe with more privacy?
I'm worried that Elizabeth will mess up the tasks that she's given for option 2 and create more work and more resentment against her
That's fair. Let's go with option 4, but with as much privacy as we can get, like >>34089
if it is plausible for this choice, something of a compromise between choices 2 and 4, caveated by something like Margaret perhaps having semi-regular scheduled meetings with Tharja to discuss how better to acclimate Elizabeth to her proper role in the castle at large? Aha, punnery.
>2 votes for option two, propose letting Elizabeth work on tasks by herself and return to doing regular duties that way.
>3 votes for option four, Elizabeth can't have forgotten everything. Propose having Elizabeth learn with the twin maids Margaret is teaching, then, if that's really the case. With notes to try to make it more private at least so as not to draw attention to it.
>1 vote for a combination of option of Elizabeth doing certain tasks privately, with some training with the twin maids mixed in, and private suggestions to Tharja on how she should guide Elizabeth's duties.
Push the issue if Elizabeth has really 'forgotten' how to be a maid, and how Margaret might make a good teacher for her then.
Poll closed. Update soon.
You have two issues, you say to Margaret.
One, you sincerely doubt Elizabeth has simply 'forgotten' how to be a maid.
She is scatterbrained, but they're both professional enough King Vlad had them sent to the castle, after all.
Margaret makes no move to reply, so you continue.
If she really has deteriorated to that level, then it sounds like Margaret could stand to instruct her, like she has with the twin maids.
You remember seeing Elizabeth working with the maids once while Margaret was teaching them, long ago. In a room that wasn't normally being actively cleaned, away from the eyes of the other maids.
That would spare Elizabeth any humiliation and let Margaret re-acclimate her to work.
The solution really can't be more complicated than that.
Margaret keeps her face steady, but you see the faintest hint of her nostrils flaring.
She's either angry at your suggestion, or…
"…Your Majesty heard this morning's talk between myself and my sister?" she asks. Her tone doesn't betray her emotion.
You nod. You already said that you did.
"Then Your Majesty should be aware my sister is not in the right state of mind to listen to me anymore," she says. "Therefore, any attempt by me to teach her anything will amount to nothing."
She did say something like 'I don't need you to tell me what to do'.
You suppose that might be a sign that having Margaret directly teach her would be… difficult.
"Furthermore, Lyla and Dahlia have both completed all the necessary training to act as maids. I am no longer 'instructing' them, simply directing them so they stay organized during the preparations."
–Who, you blurt out?
…Then, it occurs to you: those must be the names of the twin maids.
Margaret hesitates slightly before giving a nod.
You wonder which is the older one. You think of asking Margaret, before remembering they're twins and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
Besides that, you can't help but sigh.
You ask Margaret straight out.
What does she think can be done to make Elizabeth a proper maid again? Or at least act enough like one?
Margaret avoids your eyes, hesitating. There's a long pause before she answers.
"I don't think anything can be done… Your Majesty," she says.
She expected you to do nothing? This was a complete waste of time?
This meeting was turning out much more difficult than you anticipated.
Though you suppose that if there was some simple solution, Margaret would have done it already.
You wanted to think your influence could have an effect.
Especially considering your special relationship with Elizabeth.
You stand silently, hoping Margaret will at least think it over a little more.
…Is that it, you ask?
"That's it, Your Majesty."
>Fine. You wash your hands of the situation. Still, and perhaps Margaret can subtly spread this around the other maids: if something happens to Elizabeth, make it clear you will be very, very displeased.
>Margaret's being defeatist. Inform her you don't need her help. You'll do something on your own.
>Cheer her up and try to encourage her.
Such are the consequences of us favoring Elizabeth. And what will she think when other bellies eventually start to swell? *sigh* No easy answers indeed.
Still, let's encourage Margaret.
As the above poster said, Option 3. Also, echoing the sentiments of these maids have ended up being far more trouble than they're worth, and on obvious dramatic time-sink, but anyhow…enough venting.
>8 votes for option three, try to cheer Margaret up and try to encourage her.
Cheer Margaret up.
Poll closed. Update soon.
You really feel bad for Margaret.
You were responsible for this situation, however indirectly. It was beyond the power of your immediate influence to find a perfect solution. At the very least, Margaret thinks so. You're beginning to become convinced she may be right.
No doubt Margaret has been kicking herself over letting things get this bad as well.
You tell Margaret that… things aren't as bad as they seem.
There's a silver lining, if one looks for it. Always.
There's brighter things ahead, beyond this obvious rough patch.
Margaret looks at you with a confused expression.
"What… 'brighter things' are there, Your Majesty? …If I may ask."
… Now you've put yourself on the spot.
You'd better choose one thing to cheer her up with.
If you just start rambling a list off the top of your head, it won't sound sincere at all.
You try to remember what you know about Margaret and speak what's most likely to cheer her up.
>Elizabeth's position isn't bad. You will take care of her. Margaret can trust you to do that. Reassure her the maids have your attention, despite royal matters.
>Elizabeth's pregnant. In its own way, this will eventually let her focus on motherhood… and surely Margaret can find some joy in being an Aunt.
>Regardless of Elizabeth, Margaret is a competent, capable maid with a reputation to match. Remind Margaret she has a secure, stable position among the other maids, and her work is appreciated by them.
>Something else. (Write in.)
A reminder to please only pick one response. A write in is okay as long as it is not 'a combination of two/three choices'.
Option one. I still think that the way to Margaret's heart is to convince her that we treat her sister well.
Let's go with Option 1. It may not seem like much, but it would probably make Margaret feel better to know her sister will be taken care of (and I'm sure we'll find some way to give the head maid ye olde pink parchment sooner or later, so that will take care of some issues too).
Option 2 isn't going to fly, it reinforces the idea that we just see Elizabeth as a broodmare. Option 3 is bad too, Margaret isn't worried about herself but for her sister.
>"Do you know how hard you're going to have it?! I'm not going to be able to look after you!"
Margaret's afraid that her Elizabeth's life is going to be ruined, that she's going to be left rejected and alone with a child to raise. Option 1 is the best way - to reassure Margaret that we genuinely care about her sister as a person, and that she's not deluded to be putting her faith in us.
Option 1 is the only one that deals with Margaret's concerns about Elizabeth
But I'm also going to present the idea that if Elizabeth takes to motherhood well, she could land herself as head nanny.
We're going to need a lot of childcare in the castle, and fairly soon.
Great idea. And maybe Malon as a wet nurse? (Beatrice has the boobs for it, but most likely won't do it)
>10 votes for option one, reassure her that you will take care of both of them, especially Elizabeth.
>1 vote for option two, focus on Elizabeth's pregnancy and that Margaret will be an Aunt.
Reassure Margaret that the situation with Elizabeth has your attention.
Poll closed, update soon.
Margaret likes it when you pay attention to detail.
You remember the one time you impressed her with your intellect when you deduced who told her that Elizabeth had surrendered her virginity to you.
You tell Margaret that Elizabeth, and of course, her, are well taken care of.
Even if you don't have a plan that immediately solves the issue…
You aren't abandoning them both.
They both have a special place in your lives, even if you're King and have your own affairs to consider.
You're paying special attention to them both.
Margaret looks at you with wide eyes.
Her hand unclasps itself from behind her back and she raises it to touch at her collar.
…A rare nervous gesture, you realize.
Perhaps you came on too strong with saying they have 'a special place' in your life.
But you think Margaret was moved. Hopefully positively.
"I…" she starts to say.
Then, there's a knock on the door.
You suppose you did give the 'anyone with business can come up' sign to the guard.
You move closer to the door and call out to ask who it is?
It's your maid with your night-laundry and bedding.
She has an obligation to be there, so you let her in.
She sees Margaret, and makes her own surprised expression.
… It's all right.
Your bed is in the same state it was in when you entered, and neither of you have disheveled clothes or other signs you were doing anything sexual while you were alone.
No one would reasonably think you had been doing anything with Margaret. Her reputation is fine.
Margaret gives a little cough.
"Thank you very much for clarifying the situation, Your Majesty," she says.
Yes, of course. Any time, you say.
You have to speak a little more vaguely with the older maid there.
She doesn't say anything else.
Margaret gives a professional smile, holds the door, and you both exit the room.
You have no reason to stay there and watch the older maid work. You might as well escort Margaret down.
You let her march ahead of you.
You reach the bottom of the tower and pass by the guard waiting.
You exchange salutes, and you thank him for obeying your orders as you gave them.
He may have assumed you were taking her back to bed her anyway and not have allowed the older maid to ascend despite your order to the contrary.
Fortunately your guards are obedient and learned by now that you reward their loyalty.
You let Margaret walk ahead down the corridor.
–You can't help but feel a little disappointed.
You didn't discover a solution for Elizabeth's problem, nor did Margaret seem too re-assured.
Was that all a waste of time?
Of course not.
Elizabeth is going to be a mother of your children. It's important you consider her sister Margaret's feelings… even if she was a little frustrated.
… Was she frustrated though?
Your eyes watch her back as she walks off as if everything is normal.
Margaret seemed more frustrated in her talk with Elizabeth with you. She seemed more… sad, with you.
You weren't even sure that was the right emotion.
She likely hadn't wanted to really show her frustrations to you, in that case.
Well, you've put more than enough effort into the maid sisters' problems for the moment.
You're going to be late for your usual sparring and horse-riding sessions.
You can put off thinking about the maids until your meeting with the fat maid after your lunch.
You tell the guard you likely won't be back until evening, and step toward the direction of the barracks.
It's the opposite direction from where Margaret is going.
>No choice yet. Further update coming soon.
You have your normal spar. Or, rather, not normal.
The number of guards practicing in the fields has now dwindled down to the single digits. When you approach, they all stop what they're doing and wait for you, expectantly.
You ask them what's going on, and they hesitate to answer before one of them ventures a reply.
"Everyone else is learning new patrols for the Faire, 'Majesty… we were specifically left to practice because the senior guard knew you'd be coming and didn't want to disrupt your schedule."
That's… considerate of him, you suppose.
All of them are good opponents for you.
So you decide to let them all take advantage.
You take up a practice sword and announce, for those who remember, you'll be having another round of 'fend off the assassin'.
Each of them can take a weapon, rush at you with one swing, and you'll try to dodge and counter-strike.
It's a fun little game, and diversion, though you're not entirely sure its training value.
You think if you ever did meet a group of assassins, they would likely rush you all at once, and swing many times.
Still, the guards are openly enjoying it, and you're enjoying it.
…Even if you get knocked around a bit by the end.
>No choice yet, further updates coming soon.
Less soldiers means there's not as much need for weapons.
That means you feel comfortable in borrowing a shield, jousting lance, and having them carried for you to your stable.
You've ridden Eclipse once with his armor on, but now you're going to try it while you balance yourself with your weapons.
Eclipse will only tolerate you and Malon getting too close to him.
So that means you both spend some time fitting Eclipse into his armor.
It's not as hard as you thought.
You anticipated awkwardness, but Eclipse is truly a superior animal, and you've bonded quite well.
You take a few gallops and canters here and there, making sure to balance the reins in your shield-hand.
This will be how you joust during the tournament, with the exception that you yourself will be in armor.
Hopefully the added weight won't be too much of a burden for Eclipse.
You ride until you're confident, and return the animal to Malon's care.
Malon is especially affectionate with you today, daring to hold your hand and give you tender smiles, even when you're in the open.
Perhaps her pregnancy is making her more bold… or perhaps she's merely taking advantage of the fact there are less people around.
You decide to do so too, and steal a kiss from her lips.
She holds her body against yours, and you can feel her breasts pleasantly press against your torso.
Unfortunately, Eclipse needs attention after the exercise, otherwise you would gladly take Malon for a roll in the hay, literally and figuratively.
You tell Malon perhaps you'll come purely to visit her next time.
She blushes strongly, her face red as a ripe apple.
"I would love it, King… but you needn't neglect Eclipse on my behalf."
You ask her if she thinks Eclipse will grow apart and treat you roughly if you ignored him, and ask how long that would take?
"Oh, no King. You've spent enough time with him that he'll always recognize you as his master… horses have very good memories."
That's a relief.
You expect you may have to spend time away from Castle Valachia eventually. You'd hate to think you'd need to bother re-acquainting yourself with Eclipse each time.
You thank Malon for her hard work and leave her to it.
You go back inside the castle and find your way to the sitting room to take your midday meal with Tharja and Beatrice.
Margaret and Elizabeth are there as well.
Margaret makes no move to indicate how she felt about your talk with her in your tower. …But you expected that.
Elizabeth is also looking dutiful, the little lace collar around her neck.
Tharja greets you, then… sniffs.
"Were you… riding, my husband?"
…Oh, that's right.
You usually bathe after you ride, for Tharja's sake.
But the maids were so busy you forgot to bother one of them to draw you a bath.
You admit, you did visit the stable.
You'll wash before you attend to Tharja tonight.
She smiles devilishly, then whispers a soft 'thank you'.
>No choice yet. Further updates coming soon.
Your meal ends and you proceed to your meeting with the fat maid.
You prepare yourself to possibly make her squirm again to get all the details you need…
…only to find the person waiting for you is the older maid who has been assigned to take care of your room and laundry.
You start to ask why she's there before remembering you specifically ordered the fat maid to delegate the task.
Though, this has revealed something.
The fat maid wouldn't give a task like this to someone she didn't trust.
You had suspected that the maid who was ordered to take care of your personal needs was possibly a personal friend of the fat maid, being rewarded with an 'easy' job for her loyalty.
This proves it, you think.
You exchange greetings, and you set down to business.
Work is being made to fulfill the quota of rooms His Majesty requested. Thirty, no less.
However, the majority of these rooms were in moth-balls and needed to be properly prepared.
The furniture rolled out, arranged, cleaned and polished, the floors scrubbed, linen laundered, etc.
There is a lot of grime to clean out. This hasn't been done for literally decades.
You remember King Vlad's frugal spending habits and you don't doubt there are several years of neglect to some parts of the castle.
But you're still a little surprised to hear that this is the first time many of the rooms will be prepared for someone to actually use them. You'd think more of the castle had activity.
How many rooms out of the thirty are usually moth-balled, you ask?
The older maid hesitates.
"The majority, Your Majesty."
You cross your arms and ask again. You want an actual number.
There's another short pause before she answers.
"Twenty-nine, Your Majesty."
… You can't help but let out a small chuckle.
King Vlad only kept one room open for guests?
"It'd… be inappropriate to say if it was really His Majesty King Vlad's design, Your Majesty."
You wonder who that room went to… the number probably didn't include the room kept open for the Priest. Perhaps it was just in case of an emergency? You remember King Vlad had a so-called 'open' policy of allowing his subjects to ask his judgment in all issues to settle all disputes.
Possibly it belonged to one of his council who died.
–At any rate, you realize now you've given your workforce quite a task.
No wonder the fat maid was scrubbing the floors with them, and Margaret was so anxious to return to work after your meals.
…And Elizabeth so obviously standing out by doing nothing.
You suppress a sigh and concentrate on the task at hand.
At the rate of three rooms a day, and continuing from last week, the maids will have just enough time to get every room done.
It's likely your guests won't all arrive at once, however, so there will be a little leeway for them.
Just not too much. Once guests arrive the maids will be busy attending to their needs. Serving meals, cleaning up after them, laundry, etc.
The plan is to have one maid free to attend to each family, regardless of rooms that family ends up occupying.
One room with three people of the same family will get the same attention as three rooms shared by three members of the same family.
You're not sure if you like the sound of that.
Perhaps you should make a change.
The older maid insists that it won't be necessary. Dividing it up further would increase confusion over which maid has duties with which family. Especially if guests choose to move around for any reason.
You get the impression 'it also means less work for us' is implied.
You think it over.
You yourself had two maids looking after you when you arrived to the castle.
Was one per family really enough?
…Though you are royalty. And Elizabeth and Margaret were a special case.
You take a moment to mentally decide if you should make a change here, and tell the older maid.
>That's not enough. Instruct the older maid you insist on one maid attending to each occupied room, once the guests arrive.
>The planned accommodations are enough… but you want to personally inspect each room that is already done, to make sure it's up to standards you like.
>Both one maid per occupied room, and a personal inspection of each room already done.
>Enough micromanaging. Dismiss her, but with the reminder that you'll be hearing what your guests think when they arrive.
Option 4. We've meddled enough and the maids are putting in work. Let's trust them to get it done.
Option 4. No need for a maid revolt on our hands.
We already put the squeeze on the fat maid to get this done properly, and she knows we're paying attention. Making more demands of the maid corps at this point is counterproductive.
One maid per family is also a much fairer way of doing things. If some pompous family brings a million courtiers and hangers-on, that shouldn't entitle them to more service than those who keep their numbers to a minimum so as not to leech off our royal hospitality.
Option 4 - maids are for impregnating, not micromanaging.
>6 votes for option four, end the micromanagement of the maids and leave them with the reminder you're keeping an eye on them.
…Perhaps you've meddled enough.
There's no guarantee that changing their plans and making maids assigned per room instead of per family will result in a better experience for your guests. Nor that a personal inspection of a room will accomplish more than annoying them and slowing them down.
If you change too many things, the servants might start making their displeasure known to you.
You doubt they'd have the nerve to just stop working entirely, at least, but it's still a consideration. You don't doubt the maids could find subtle ways to register their displeasure.
You tell the older maid you've heard her explanation.
…And you agree.
One maid per family will be likely be enough. –Though you'll of course be aware if that situation changes.
The maid is an experienced servant, so she does not give a visible sigh of relief, but you can tell she's grateful. She gives a professional bow.
"Anything else, Your Majesty?" she asks.
You ask her to prepare a bath for you.
You still have to wash off the scent of the stables you picked up.
No doubt Tharja will appreciate it.
>No choice yet. Further update coming soon.
You take your bath, change into clean clothes, and leave the tub where it is. No doubt someone will take care of it eventually.
In the meantime, it's time to visit Tharja.
At least she always has time for you… and you her.
You step lightly on your way to Tharja's wing of the castle.
En route, you encounter Sully.
You have been ignoring her lately. Compared to the other fertile women, excepting the blacksmith's widowed sister from the peasant settlement, you likely have had the least amount of sex with Sully.
Perhaps it's time to change that.
But, before you can say anything to her, she starts speaking to you.
"King! I had something to ask you…"
The senior guard wants to reschedule Sully's post guarding the princess.
Right now, Sully only comes to guard it in the evening. Otherwise it's unguarded. That likely wasn't a risk with the castle in its current state, but with the Faire and so many guests, it could become a risk.
The senior guard therefore wanted to give guarding Tharja to a regular rotation. Meaning, a different guard every few hours, like your tower.
"If you'd rather I stay here throughout the day, I can do that."
In that case, she explains, she'd guard Tharja's wing throughout the day with only being relieved so she can take her meals and sleep.
There's a slight pause.
"…King," she adds, suddenly realizing it was probably a breach of etiquette to start speaking to you before you spoke up first.
You can't help but chuckle. You're not too preoccupied with that. Especially from Sully.
You've got something to consider.
Does Sully want to stay here, you ask?
She gives a little shrug.
"Guard duty is guard duty wherever it is, King… but if I go into the normal guard rotation, I could be put anywhere."
In other words, if you specifically needed to find Sully, it'd be more difficult in that case.
On the other hand, Sully is, technically, the 'runt' of the guards.
If someone did aim to force themselves into Tharja's wing, they might just overpower her.
Though, that'd be a personal attack against your family. A very serious crime. Should you expect that sort of travesty?
In terms of more base desires, if you still want an opportunity to try to impregnate Sully throughout the Faire, you'd better keep her as Tharja's dedicated guard.
Whether you met her again or not would be completely random, you think.
You think it over, and give Sully your answer.
>Sully's used to the job, and you trust her. She will be Tharja's primary guard throughout the Faire. Tell her to tell the senior guard that.
>You're not sure you want Sully to stand out. Have a normal guard schedule assigned to guard Tharja's wing.
>It's Tharja's wing. Tharja can make the decision. Let her decide.
I'd say Option 1. It's a post Sully is used to, and considering she will eventually be carrying Edward's child (if she isn't already), it would be easier for her to remain at one post than be sent who-knows-where around the castle.
Maybe we should look into ways Sully can become stronger in the future.
Option 2: we need to keep good image with the guards, and tharja is intent on arranging things. Sully should not be given special treatment, we already have that problem with Elizabeth
Option 2. We've already had preferential treatment bite us in the butt, and I would rather that not happen again, especially with the good rapport we have with the men in general. But we can at least tell Sully that we value her service.
I vote Option 3, seeing as it gives the appearance of non-preferential treatment from us, and still has the possibility of being able to find her on a regular basis, should Tharja choose her.
On another note, we could always have a second guard alongside Sully for the duration of the Faire, which would negate her small stature. Protecting the Queen (and King) should be a priority for the guards, of course.
I vote option 2 for the same reasons
We don't want another Elizabeth situation happening among the guards. Personally I don't think that Tharja will need that much protection, but better to be safe than sorry.
>1 vote for option one, have Sully keep her post.
>4 votes for option two, shift guarding Tharja's room to a normal guard schedule.
>2 votes for option three, let Tharja make the decision. (With possibly appointing a second guard with Sully.)
For the Faire, remove Sully from being the dedicated guard of Tharja's wing and instead establish a normal patrol schedule.
Poll closed. Update soon.
The situations with the soldiers and the maids are vastly different.
The maids are aloof, but aware you favor Elizabeth. –You'd favor Margaret too, if she were interested.
The soldiers however, with the exception of a few of King Vlad's loyalists, all love you. Sully's relationship with you was just a little more literal with your attempts to impregnate her.
You really don't want another 'Elizabeth problem.'
It's probably better to just have a completely professional guard rotation scheduled.
You tell Sully you have every confidence in her, but she needn't get bored guarding the exact same location all the time.
Tell the senior guard his plan is fine. Treat the princess' wing like any other place being guarded with a normal patrol.
It can return to the situation with Sully guarding Tharja in the evenings after the Faire is done.
Sully looks surprised, but nods.
"Understood, King. If we don't see each other until after the Faire…"
She hesitates, so you take the opportunity to interrupt her.
You might not, but who says they can't enjoy the time they have left with Sully guarding Tharja's wing?
You step closer, bringing a hand up to touch her face. Soft and feminine beneath her boyishly short hair.
Sully blushes at your boldness, making a little sound, and you can almost feel her heart skip a beat.
Would Sully like to come back to Tharja's room with you, you ask?
She nods, then nods again.
It has been some time since you gave Sully some attention.
This may be your last chance to implant your seed in her womb.
With that in mind, you lower your hand to hers and guide her inside the corridor.
You reach Tharja's room and knock for her to open it.
Your excited member is already starting to tent your leggings as the door opens.
>No choice yet. Further update coming soon.
Tharja is there, the torchlight from inside gently illuminating her from behind.
She smiles seductively which turns to a look of surprise as she sees you've brought Sully.
It occurs to you Elizabeth may be in there, but then, perhaps Sully would have known about it if that were so?
So you clear your throat and say you invited Sully to your bed tonight as a sort of send-off.
The Faire will necessitate a little more security, which means guards rotating the position throughout the day.
Tharja… frowns slightly, but nods.
"Oh, is that right? You'll be missed, Sully."
Hm. It seems Tharja would've preferred Sully be there instead of another guard.
Though you could have anticipated that. Sully at least is likely used to seeing Elizabeth and perhaps Beatrice come into the wing.
Well, it hardly matters. You're sure everyone will recognize Tharja on sight.
Tharja backs away from the door, letting it creep open further and allow you both to step inside.
You do so, but Tharja doesn't quite shut the door yet.
She stands there with her book in her hand, looking thoughtful.
"Would you like me to let you be alone together, my husband? …Sully?" she asks.
You haven't done it with both Sully and Tharja together yet.
You spare a glance to Sully's face.
Which would she prefer, you ask?
Sully scratches her head.
"I'm… honestly not sure, King. –Your Majesty," she corrects herself.
It's all right, you say.
A talk with your wife is private enough it doesn't need an extra level of formality.
Tharja's expression again becomes one of seduction, a playful little grin complimenting her face.
"May I? I'd do like to… observe… my husband exerting himself with his soldiers… physically…"
The double meaning is not lost on Sully, as her eyes widen at the innuendo.
"If… it really pleases ya, Yer Highness," she says, a little bashful.
Tharja looks to you, her face concerned.
"Though, I don't mind waiting in the library, my husband, if you really would rather be alone. It's really your choice."
All things considered, you'd rather…
>Two girls is better than one. Have Tharja stay with you for a threesome with Sully.
>You want to focus on Sully. Ask Tharja for a little time for you both.
Option one, for sure
THREEEEEEESOOOOOOOME! (That's option 1, if you can't tell.)
Option 1(make it intence!)
>8 votes for option one, have a threesome with Tharja and Sully.
>1 vote for option two, ask Tharja to wait and focus on Sully.
Have sex with both Sully and Tharja at once.
Poll closed. Update soon.