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The multi-level ceremonial dais was set up in the Reception Hall. It was an impromptu prep mockup for an imminent ceremony with unspecified parameters. Soleil had not exactly been announced. They rested in the breath-holding phase for media explanation of the new change in the ruling family. People weren’t all sure what had happened. The day was hardly out. But, there was a tea service and cushions waiting on the top platform, and the atmospheric lighting was adjusted to a soft spotlight. The hall was otherwise empty.

The central doors were opened to let in just the two Magus sisters, Soleil and Mireille. Companionably somber, they walked abreast toward and up the tiered platforms. They wore smooth grey attire. Under the spotlight, they each took a cushion seat and arranged their preferred bolster on a serving set.

Once they had each taken a sip, Soleil spoke, confronting the crux of the discussion. “I won’t be accepted well enough for effective rule. I’ve been figuring through this from my newly forged perspective. I was able to take this much this far, but – things are now very different. You know I learned a lot about the job, and about myself in preparation for the job. This is not a scenario, and this cannot unfold automatically.”

“You got to know a lot of people, the people. As much love as they’ve shown you, I feel that if anyone, you would recognize and be able to honestly admit impending error. Still, it’s a thunderous assessment. Soleil, this whole time, nobody really thought that you wouldn’t become Queen. But, I hear what you’re telling me.”

This was like when they play-acted royal court as children. Now, they were acting on royal court matters. It was a long path from childhood to statehood. “My mind is in a different place now, a very different place. I carry too many feelings of mistrust, that may have been rightly earned. I remember when it was easier to know what I would do, but that doesn’t mean I can trade in my experience to restore that. I have some ideas, but not of the long-expected kind.”

“There will be many kinds of uproar,” said Mireille over the edge of her cup, “amongst contingents.”

“Oh, yes. I’ve imagined many of the labels. Some strong ones will include the word ‘traitor.’ The amount of explanation I present may not matter against certain likely unending difficulties, regardless of the necessities I’ve faced.” Soleil eyed Mireille as she set her cup down. “I don’t believe these problems would hound you, as they would me.”

“People haven’t had enough prior notice to carry as many problems with me – though in your protracted absence, I began to feel some weight of expectation.”

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