Her Oath

“She isn’t ready.”

Kafaa Evangeline continues to stare out the window, the doorway to her left.

“You can’t let her reign.”

Evangeline notes the individual trees in the bustling courtyard below her. Trees that were fully grown while she was a child. Trees that would be here, when she passed away.

“This is a mistake, Evengeline. Are you even listening?”

After a few moments, Evengeline puts her knobbly hands on the chair arms, and pushes upwards. She stands straight after a few moments, then turns her body to regard the dwarf standing in the doorway. She looks at him for a mere second before carefully speaking.

“You know as well as I that my health is failing.” She took a step closer to the miffed man. “I have been holding on for so many years, Ange. It has been five years since I should have retired the sword.” Evengeline hobbles towards him and lays a hand on his shoulder. She sighs, her eyes crinkling with tiredness. “The people are starting to become discontent. They want her as Kafaa”. The old ruler looks into the middle-aged man’s eyes. “You know I would not take this course of action if I had another way. We talked about this before.”

Ange blinks and lays a hand over hers. “I’m just worried about what may happen. I’m unsure if the nation will remain intact.” He moves the Kafaa’s hand off his shoulder, but still lightly holds it. “As you said, everyone is restless and agitated. We need a strong ruler, not someone whose defining trait is vanity. She just is not ready, Evengeline.”

“I know.” Evengeline smiles slightly, before slowly pulling her withered hand from Ange’s loose grip. She turns around and begins a slow walk to her chair. “I know”, she says as she grabs the left chair handle and positions her behind above the cushioned seat. “But there is nothing else I can do. There are no suitable heirs.” She sits down with a phmph and turns her head left to regard Ange.

“I have done all I possibly can. My daughter will soon take over as ruler. She, herself, will make the choice whether to be a strong Kafaa or not. And if the nation falls…”

She turns her head back to the window, now focusing her gaze on the bustling workers of the Civil Service, living their lives in bliss.

“We will know what she chose.”

The world settled into quiet. The perfect instrumental music (which had been pounding a stead beat with trumpet melody) ceased to exist at its grandest climax.

Katherine Conqura knelt down before her mother, sitting with her legs folded beneath her. Evangeline sat in a similar style before Katherine, reflecting her daughter’s posture. In Evangeline’s lap lay the old rusted blade of Assotalyn, the first Conqura.

With intense focus and the grace of someone born to rule, the soon-to-be ruler placed her right hand onto the ancient blade, keeping her left hand on her colorfully clothed left thigh.

She waited for the customary moment before beginning to recite the oath created by her foremothers:

“I, Katherine Garya Conqura, of the lineage of the first Kafaa Assotalyn Conqura, hereby take up the heft of her sword.

I swear, that in the process of my duties, I shall protect the general welfare of the citizens of this nation. I shall protect these united peoples against any enemy, both foreign and domestic. I shall put my allegiance to the people first, the nation second, and myself never. I shall maintain the peace of these lands and serve as a light for our nation when the dark beacons.

I take this oath upon the sword of my ancestor. Should I fail to any of these duties, may this sword be taken from my grasp and my name tarnished until the end of time.

So may it be done.”

And the crowd cheered.