He would not be quite so aggravating if his accusations were unfounded. In many ways, he is correct: it is something of an embarrassment to be rescued from my predicament by a company of three when the entire garrison of knights were helpless, and handing over the End Magnus to the enemy - willingly or no - does not inspire anyone's confidence. However, that gives him no right to be so ill-mannered towards either the Ambassador or myself. Or anyone else, for that matter.
It seems wrong to hope that he will suffer the consequences of such behaviour. Perhaps being tied to the formalities of leadership has changed me for the worse after all. "Going soft in the head", Gibari would call it. An unsettling thought indeed.
My feelings regarding the group's departure are mixed. Xelha, I understand, must continue with her mission at once, and I am not ashamed to admit that I shall be glad to see the back of Kalas, but it is something of a disappointment to have Gibari leave again so soon. I should have liked to have spoken further with him. And the Ambassador... I shall say no more. I have already said far too much.
An ache lingers where every shot struck, but I am becoming accustomed to the pain. It will fade over time. Time heals all wounds.
I only hope it heals them swiftly.
I find myself glancing out of the window more frequently as each day passes. Always, my gaze travels toward the same building; always, my mind wanders to the same old dreams. The liver is a stubborn beast indeed, but the heart moreso. Duty and tradition demand that I curb them both. Some restless nights, I am almost ready to concede defeat.
Still the same complaints from the court. Do not trust the Empire, do not walk unguarded among your people, give us a Queen... I never wished to be a figurehead, nor did I desire to have policy dictated to me by greywings with little to no sense of my need for humanity. Nevertheless, here I am, and I do nothing. How can I act in such a situation save to surrender and be slowly destroyed by the country I love? Even if I did choose to act, would any good come of my actions?
How can I provide liberty for another - no matter how deserving they may be - if I myself am prisoner within my dignified, dutiful exterior?