Amerei Gemcutter’s lie-in was a doomed effort from the moment she decided to make it so. As much as the girl tried to curl up against the cold, as much as she tried to cover her slightly-pointed ears, there was no escape from the creaking and gasping that snaked through the brick walls between her and her mother’s bedroom.
Her mother had invited another pair of ‘guests’ over the night before. The chilling autumn winds and the noise of her mother’s animalistic grunts and theatrical moans were terrible enough in the night, but tiredness eventually rendered them moot. When she decided to go again in the morning, however, it was unforgivable.
“StopitstopitstopitstopitSTOPIT!” Amerei babbled to herself, giving up on any hope of rest and throwing her duvet away.
Sir Seamus Whitewood, one of mother’s knights, always went on at Amerei, about how lucky she was to have a four-poster bed, art supplies and a real silver mirror, that she could only ever complain because she was being spoilt, yet what use was a big, comfy bed when sleeping in it was never an option?
Amerei stalked to her dresser and threw on a set of clothing; fluffy-shouldered cloaks and warm, fuzzy hats were the fashion of the Rainbow Fort, and naturally, mother only allowed Amerei to wear what was in vogue. Amerei may have let her mother steal her self-expression through fashion, but she couldn’t constrain her entirely.
After all, she was twelve whole years old; she wasn’t a little girl any more, her chubby cheeks were simply a side effect of her mixed parentage, nothing more. She had to prove to her mother that there was no way she’d take this theft of her sleep lying down. Amerei went to her mirror and pushed up her cheeks, hardening her expression.
Her swarthy skin and blood-red eyes came from her dark elven father, whoever he was, and they were the only parts of her she could consider remotely intimidating. Yet even with her frowning in the mirror, she still looked like a little girl. Bursting into mother’s room would not be enough. She would need supplies.
Amerei exited her bedroom and into the residential hallway. She lived in Castle Gemfire, the building where, allegedly, major decisions about the Rainbow Fort were made by her lady mother, Marissa Gemfire. However, as she walked along the tapestry-laden hall towards a landing, her mother’s wheezing ecstasy bleeding through one certain door undermined whatever importance the place had. As far as she knew, it was just a big house with too many rooms paid for by all the people who worked real jobs.
One of the doors was left slightly askew; her big half-sister Myrtle’s room. She was an early riser and a credit to the family, as mother never failed to remind Amerei. The little girl bunched up within her cloak and checked her pockets as she made her way into the lavish, sparkling landing that was dotted with pyrite, bearing portraits of her mother, green-eyed, blonde-haired and beautiful, her big fat granddad Morris and his green-haired wife, Mara, along with other Gemfires she hadn’t cared enough to read about.
She lifted her cloak up slightly and rushed down the massively wide-arced spiral staircase down to the castle foyer, where servants were rushing about from place to place, the smell of turkey and herbs wafting from the kitchen entrance. Plenty of the servants pretended Amerei didn’t exist, but occasionally a polite ‘hello’ or two would be heard. Amerei knew they were busy with their real jobs, so she usually just gave them a nod.
Sometimes she thought of talking some more with them, but in the end doing nothing seemed to work out better. They’d think she was a shy, quiet girl, but better that than being on the lookout. After all, that would get in the way of her schemes, and scheming was all that kept Amerei sane.
At the entrance of the manor was none other than Sir Seamus Whitewood in the flesh. He was an old human knight, fattened by inaction and fifty too many Akashiman haggises. While the Gemfire colours were a rainbow-coloured octagonal gem on white, Whitewood had a strikingly different heraldry on him; a pale bone tree with a screaming mouth upon it lied upon his jet-black cape.
The man hid his face in his helmet, yet his bloodshot blue-grey eyes and fiery red eyebrows could be seen through his visor clearly enough. “Ah, little lady Amerei. You look like you’re up to something.”
“No! I’m not up to anything!” Amerei claimed. “I’m just going out for a shop, that’s all!”
“Y’know, girls like you need hobbies. I can see that spark in your eye. You have too much energy in you and you want it all out. I’m an adult, I can see through everything.”
“If that’s true then you look through my mum’s clothes every day like a fucking pervert!” the little girl said, smiling with pride at her little quip.
“Yeah, ‘cause I’d really need to see through the clothes your mother wears to get a good look, eh?”
Amerei felt blood coursing up to her face and in a fit of fancy, she pulled her hood over her eyes. “Shut up, you’re not funny.”
“Is that what this is all about? Your mother taking in those two elven lads last night?”
“N-no! No, I don’t care about that, not at all!”
“Your tongue’s purple.”
“WHAT?!” Amerei’s heartstrings tightened up.
Seamus always claimed her tongue turned purple whenever she lied, and conveniently, it was never when she had a mirror nearby to check this. Still, he’d used this trick to flawlessly tell when she wasn’t telling the truth, so perhaps it really did turn purple. Amerei couldn’t take any chances, so she coughed up her secrets.
“All right, all right, perhaps I’m a bit angry at mum, but… but I’m not gonna do anything mean, I swear!”
Seamus’s bushy brow brought itself lower. “Is that a promise?”
“It’s a promise, all right? I’m not going to do anything mean!”
The knight folded his arms and rested his pole-arm on his shoulder-plate and nodded. “All right, Ammy, I believe you, but if you throw my trust away and spit on it, you know what I’ll do, don’t you?”
“You’ll get your scary ghost friends on me?”
“That’s right. Don’t think I won’t.”
Amerei pouted as she walked out of the castle. The Ghosts didn’t exist, it was just another one of Seamus’s tales, like purple tongues and civic responsibility. Besides, she’d managed to get away with one little lie, even if he managed to catch her bigger one. After all, while she promised not to be mean, she didn’t say anything about hurting her mother. Amerei was about to bring justice to Marissa Gemfire; nothing mean about that.
The Rainbow Fort seemed so small when looking away from the castle and towards the central district. There were multi-story buildings made of brick and mortar, but most of the residential buildings were parts of stretching wooden terraces that made Amerei pity the poor peasants no doubt crammed into them. She wondered if any of them were as terrible to live next to as her mother.
Occasionally, council buildings could be seen dotting the area, marked by their tattered white flags fluttering in the wind, but the snow was rendering the flags nigh-invisible. The Rainbow Fort was the northernmost city in the Kingdom of Arkhera, and thus experienced snow for a good half of the year. While Amerei oft felt stifled and embarrassed by her fluffy attire, she couldn’t help but admit its practicality.
Amerei walked southwards towards a tailor’s shop, her crunchy trudging through the snow only attracting an occasional glance from a peasant. While she could have used the money in her pocket to buy a spiky metal chain like she’d heard stylish spellbinders liked to wear, or perhaps get a black cowl to make herself like a harvester, there were much bigger matters to concern herself with.
The shop was called Lace and Thrills, which seemed to specify in the vapour-like outfits the myriad prostitutes of the Rainbow Fort wore, judging by the scantily-clad mannequins in the window. Amerei was uninterested in the clothes, however; what she was looking at was the wigs atop the dummies’ heads.
Blonde hair could be seen streaked with green, blue, red, and purple on one demonstration, and a curly font upon an internal sign read:
Get authentic dyes and lye here, at Lace and Thrills!
Amerei smirked. This was her moment. A bell jingled as she entered the shop, and with merely a glance, she recoiled. There was a multi-coloured arcana-powered lantern in one corner of the room, countless awful paintings of nude women, and a litany of crudely-hung-up pieces of cloth that some folks classified as clothing.
Running the stand was a charcoal-skinned dark elf with brown eyes and a few broken teeth. He laughed awkwardly and looked down at Amerei.
“Now, now, little girly, I think you’re a little young to be buying clothes at Lace and Thrills, don’t you?”
“Shut up, I’m not here for your stupid clothes!”
“Quite a bit of lip you have on you, eh? What made you lady of the city?”
“Hopefully my mother’s death!” Amerei yelled, but immediately afterwards her heart hurt. Myrtle would have to die too, after all, and she didn’t want that.
“Wait…” the man trailed off, rubbing his smooth chin and tapping his counter, “…oh, you’re the younger bastard, aren’t you? Ammy-Ray, something like that? I’ve tried to get your big sister to endorse this place, but she just hasn’t given any of my products a chance, you know?”
“Isn’t it obvious why?”
“Not sure what you mean, girly, sorry.”
“MYRTLE’S ONLY SIXTEEN TOO!”
The dark elf chuckled. “Oh yeah, so she is! She looks a little older, looks like a real woman. Wouldn’t mind ignoring the numbers with someone like-”
“Will you shut the fuck up and just sell me some dye?” Amerei snapped.
“Oh, dye, right, you’re after dye? Why, you going through a rebellious phase?”
“JUST GIVE ME SOME FUCKING DYE!” Amerei yelled, pulling a silver coin out of her pocket. Despite being surrounded by idiotic adults, Amerei somehow felt inferior to them, envying their agency.
The man seemed a lot more pliant when he saw the coin and rushed to make sure he got out a set of bottles. It seemed that a silver coin went a lot further than Amerei first thought; from how they were laid out, there was eight bottles’ worth she could take. Ammy made to pick them all up.
“You’re having a laugh, aren’t you?” the dark elf said. “Choose a colour, little wisdom. I saw you there, thinking all us peasants are thick as paint. Go on, take a bottle, but only one.”
Amerei didn’t care about the colour, but decided on blue in the end, because it was the most different colour to her mother’s bed drapes that she could think of. With that, she ran from the shop without so much as a ‘goodbye’. Caressing the blue dye bottle within her cloak, she hunched herself over and trudged back through the snow.
The plan was underway; it would be all too easy. All she had to do was get to the castle, pretend she was going to dye her hair to any guards that asked her about it, and that would be that. Castle Gemfire stood tall, a shiny stone-and-pyrite dominator of the grey-white sky, withstanding the increasingly horizontal winds with contemptuous ease.
Peasants were rushing into their homes; it seemed a blizzard was coming on. When Amerei reached the castle grounds, she noticed another girl running to the door with even greater speed than she was; even amid the snows, she could tell who it was; her big sister, Myrtle.
Ideally, Ammy didn’t want to come across Myrtle. She wasn’t like Seamus, she really could see through her lies, and not by her tongue changing colour, either. Somehow, she could read the mind of her little sister and lay Amerei’s thoughts bare before her. Despite this, the winds were becoming deathly cold.
Amerei tottered over to the door once Myrtle was out of sight, where Seamus Whitewood was valiantly guarding the way… from inside the castle. He was removing his gauntlets one at a time, lowering his mouthguard to breathe on his bare hands.
“Fuck this northern weather… when I was in Sanguinas Isle- oh, hey, Amerei! You just missed your sister. She’s back from the soup kitchen.”
Amerei rolled her eyes. Myrtle was always doing something impressive; soup kitchens, sword training, sitting in on council meetings. Amerei knew from her childhood that Myrtle hadn’t always been that way, but when she turned Amerei’s age, all that changed, and she became the most irritatingly perfect girl alive.
“Yeah, yeah, soup kitchen. So uh, I came back, didn’t I? I’m not in trouble, right?”
Seamus laughed heartily. “Well, you weren’t in trouble until you asked! What you hiding in your cloak?”
“Nothing to hide,” Amerei said with a wide grin as she presented the bottle of blue dye. “Look! It’s dye! I’m going to dye my own hair, just like mother does!”
“…blue, eh? I can see it suiting you. You shoulda got some lye, though, your hair’s a more elven gold than it is your mother’s blonde.”
Amerei’s muscles twitched and her heart raced. “Er, it’ll be fine, I’m sure it’s not bright enough to get in the way of the blue, just… uh… stop prying!”
Seamus raised an eyebrow. “I’m getting the feeling you’re up to something.”
“I’M JUST DYING MY HAIR! Stop being nosy, Seamus, you’re not my dad!”
Amerei stomped away from him, a pout coming to her face. Her boots squeaked on the smooth tile floor and snow got knocked off in chunks with every step. Just as she reached the first step up to her floor, the moisture on her soles gave way and she slipped. She cradled the dye in her hands, prioritising nothing else, and as a result, smacked her head on a step with a crack.
“OWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!” she groaned, tears coming to her eyes. “Ow ow ow ow owwwwwww…”
The servants, expertly trained to be apathetic to all but the important nobility, carried on as they were, but someone had clearly changed course. Descending from above, tapping her feet as she scrambled down the stairs, was none other than Myrtle Gemcutter. She was like a legendary beauty from an Eternalist painting; pure and blonde-haired, graceful in her movement, her body fully-developed and without an ounce of puppy fat or an inch of lankiness. Even her practical, fluffy clothes somehow didn’t detract from her appearance; somehow, Myrtle’s whole body fitted into her outfits like a hand fitted a glove.
It simply wasn’t fair. Here Amerei was, clumsy and thin, with a fat face and a skin colour that didn’t belong to humans or dark elves alike, while Myrtle, puberty’s pet project, was gracing her with her elegant presence.
“Amerei? Amerei, are you all right? You… your forehead is bleeding, let me get that for you…”
“It’s… it’s fine, Myrtle… it’s fine, really.”
“Come on, let’s get you up to my room, I’ll dress the wound for you,” the human girl insisted.
“No, Myrtle, it’s fine, I can stand up myself, you… you don’t have to make a fuss over me…”
“Of course I do, you’re my sister,” Myrtle said, and with that she offered Amerei her hand.
A part of Amerei didn’t want to indulge her sister; she seemed to enjoy being a saviour to everyone a little too much, and there was something about her smile that made Amerei on edge. She wasn’t even a good girl until she found out who her father was. Mother had kept him secret from her, and knowing her, she was doing the same to Amerei too.
Ammy swallowed her pride and took Myrtle’s hand, letting herself be picked up. Myrtle’s cyan-blue eyes met Amerei’s crimson ones and for a moment the sisters spoke only in looks.
“You must really value whatever’s in that bottle for you not to catch your fall,” Myrtle said. “Want to talk about it?”
Amerei looked at Seamus, who was still waiting near the castle entrance, then back to Myrtle. “All right, but, uh, let’s talk in your room. Yeah?”
As soon as it felt polite, Amerei let go of her sister’s hand and followed her up the stairs. Myrtle’s room was across from her mother’s, who was, mystifyingly, still aroar with the sounds of intercourse. This time, however, mother was speaking whole words, as was one of her men.
“Woo! That’s it, Altyn, cuckold Valyn like a true bull! Oh my!”
“You know I’d do anything for you, m’lady!”
Even Myrtle couldn’t hold her composure. She visibly grimaced and shook her head. “Come on, Ammy. Let’s get your wound dressed.”
Myrtle’s room was only slightly different to Amerei’s. While Amerei kept drawing equipment on her desk, Myrtle kept small model knights and damsels, as well as a customised model of a woman in a knightly armour; something not unheard of in Arkhera, but certainly rare. Otherwise, it had the same four-poster-bed, the same dresser, even the same silver mirror.
Amerei sat on Myrtle’s bed and removed her hood. “So, uh… I heard you went to the soup kitchen today, Myrtle.”
“Oh, that…” Myrtle mumbled as she searched her drawer for some dressing, “…to be honest, the hardest thing today was hearing mother going at it while knowing I had a council meeting to attend.”
“What?! You just… you went to a meeting without telling mum?!”
“Well… yeah, it’s not like she cares anyway, right?” Myrtle remarked as she stopped her rummaging. “All right, lift your fringe up, Ammy.”
“…you know, Myrtle, I… um… I’m sorry I got annoyed at you for fussing over me. You’re… um, you’re just being a good sister.”
Myrtle paused as she wrapped a bandage around Amerei’s head and kissed her forehead. “There we are… all better.”
For some reason, the kiss made Amerei feel empty inside. “Myrtle… uh… you know how you’re angry about the council thing… was it something big?”
“Well, yes! I had to make the decision to let Yugen of Parakos visit us to talk… reparations with us. It’s… I know I shouldn’t unload on you, Amerei, but… it beggars belief sometimes.”
“So, uh, you’re angry enough at mum to help me do something kinda bad, right?”
Myrtle tried to be responsible for but a moment before her stoicism gave way to a cheeky expression. “I’m listening.”
Amerei grinned. She loved it when she could make Rogue Myrtle return. “All right. This dye isn’t for my hair! It’s… for mum’s bed!”
“Amerei! You… you can’t be…” Myrtle covered her mouth, yet her eyes smiled, “…you’d get yourself locked in this castle for at least a month, you know that, don’t you?”
“I don’t care! She won’t get to bring her stupid boyfriends over until she gets it whitewashed! You know it’s perfect! You’re gonna help me do it, right?”
Myrtle sat down on her bed next to Amerei and lowered her voice. “All right, Ammy. I’ll help you. However, unlike you, I can’t afford to get grounded. So what I’ll do is… I’ll knock on the door and tell Mariss-er, mother I have a report for this morning’s council meeting. Of course, she’ll be too busy having fun, so I’ll tell her I’ll be somewhere else, waiting. Then you wait for her to open the door and run into her room to do your work!”
Amerei nodded. “Yeah, with you so far. What next?”
“Then… then you run away, and I’ll have distracted whoever’s at the door by talking to them! If Seamus is still there, you should be able to outrun him.”
“Yeah, but uh, what then? Then I’m outside, cold and in the snow.”
“Then you go to the Skeleton Tree.”
Amerei teared up a little but held it together. “Oh… er… right. Thanks, Myrtle.”
“I’ll get there. Just wait and see.”
With that, Amerei stayed sat down as Myrtle stood to start the first part of the plan. Somehow, despite the fact she was glad Myrtle was being supportive of her, something was wrong. All her rebellion was suddenly not her own. Myrtle had taken all the Amerei out of the scheme.
Myrtle left her door open so Amerei could hear her at work. She rapped her knuckles on the door as it rattled at its hinges. “Mother? Mother, are you in there?”
“Yes… oh yes, erm, yes Myrtle darling, what is it, your mother’s a little busy…”
“Oh, nothing major, just… well, Yugen of Parakos is visiting in the near future. It’s all right, really, go back to your hard work…”
“Is there anything I need to know?”
“Yes, I’ll be waiting in the study, all right?”
“All right… Valyn, please, I’m talking to my daughter!”
A weedy man’s voice was heard responding to this. “Sorry, my lady…”
Myrtle looked back to her room and winked at Amerei, then beat a hasty retreat. This was it; Myrtle had done her part, she couldn’t let her down now. With that, the somehow joyless Amerei went about her mandatory prank and lied in wait by her mother’s door. Clothes could be heard shuffling, and a more confident-sounding man could be heard complaining.
“I don’t know why you let that daughter of yours play secretary. You’re a woman grown, you gave her life, you shouldn’t have to answer to her!”
“Don’t say that, Altyn,” mother replied. “I don’t know where I’d be without Myrtle, she’s my pride and joy!”
Amerei frowned. It was always Myrtle, never her. Myrtle was the one allowed to see her father, Myrtle was the one who she trusted to govern things, Myrtle was the pretty one… despite lacking a single malicious bone in her body, every kindness Myrtle bestowed upon Amerei and her family somehow felt like a slap in the face.
She shook her head. She wasn’t being fair, she wasn’t being nice. Myrtle had just dressed her injury, after all, and even helped plan her stupid prank. The door opened, and the plan commenced. Mother was visible, but only in a blur. Amerei pushed past her in silence, uncorked her bottle of blue dye and threw it clumsily all over her mother’s fancy-trimmed pink bed…
…and the pair of high elves putting their clothes on it.
One of them was muscular, then other lithe and weedy. Amerei froze for a moment to take their expressions in; the skinny one was in shock, while the big one was consumed with complete and utter fury. Marissa Gemfire in all her ladylike grace was on the floor, her green eyes alight with bewildered rage.
Amerei’s legs moved before she thought to move them. She was scrambling away from the room as fast as she could, and mother could be heard screaming some sentences that occasionally mentioned her full name.
Down the stairs she dashed, through the foyer regardless of what servants were carrying things in her way, until she reached the castle entrance. Myrtle could be seen briefly, chatting with the deeply confused knight, who realised all too late what the situation was. Soon enough, he’d called a group of men to come after her, but even with her relative youth, she had lanky enough legs to counteract the snow’s obstructive height.
The Skeleton Tree was a large, dead conifer tree that stood close to Myrtle’s father’s house in the fancy restaurant district of the Rainbow Fort. As long as Amerei kept running, her relative speed, the guards’ clunky armour and the snowy mists would ensure Ammy’s getaway. While she’d have to come back to the castle at some point, she didn’t want to be shouted at now.
Eventually, she reached the Skeleton Tree in all its glory. It was a dark, sodden brown, with dangling, crumpled branches that looked incapable of ever bearing leaves. It still had far more branches coming out of it than a skeleton had limbs, but Amerei and Myrtle had called it the Skeleton Tree when they were both very little, so the name, however irrational, stuck.
As good a meetup point as the tree was, it was hardly a good place to hide under. The snowy winds raged, and Amerei shuddered in her hood. She had to wait for Myrtle, though; she was all Ammy had. If she left, Myrtle would probably get to the tree and start worrying because she wasn’t there. Ammy shook her head at no-one in particular.
Eventually, the snow lightened up, and the winds died down to a slight breeze. The view was a little clearer, and in the emptiness of the post-blizzard streets, Myrtle could be seen walking towards the tree, wrapped up as warm as Ammy.
“Myrtle! You made it! What… what took you so long?”
“Sorry! Without landmarks I get lost easily! Say, you must have quite the sense of direction to navigate your way to a dead tree without anything in sight to guide you!”
“You… you think?” Amerei said. “Nah, I’m sure… look, I just kinda knew where to go, I mean, we’ve been here lots of times, right?”
Myrtle gave Amerei a patient smile yet said nothing. Somehow, even when refusing to back down on a compliment, the human girl felt strangely superior to Amerei. She didn’t mean to, Ammy knew that, but a part of her couldn’t help but feel envy.
“So, uh… what are we gonna do?” Amerei asked.
“Well… I was thinking we could do something to calm ourselves down for when we have to go back to the castle and face mother.”
“…I’m… I’m really in trouble, aren’t I?”
“You’re not leaving the castle for two moons, mother was screaming,” Myrtle said.
“But aren’t I just gonna cause more trouble if I’m in the same building as mum?” Amerei pointed out.
“I don’t think mother has thought of things that way,” her half-sister said with a small chuckle. “I think we should use that blizzard that just ended to our advantage.”
“What do you mean?”
“Let’s build snowmen. I’m going to build a knight, just like my father. What are you going to build?”
Amerei flushed up. She hated it when Myrtle showed off the fact she had a father and Ammy didn’t. She couldn’t help it; once again, it felt like Myrtle had taken anything that could have been Amerei’s own and made it hers.
“I… um… I’m gonna build… build my father!”
Myrtle’s expression shifted to one of regret and pity. “A-Amerei, I didn’t… I didn’t meant to make you… it’s all right, build what you like…”
“No, I’ll do it! I’ll build him, I’ll build him well, you’ll see! I have it all in my head what he’s like! He’s handsomer than your dad and he’s taller than your dad and he has a big chest and he’s… uh… he’s… he wields a big polearm, not some stupid sword…”
The human girl sighed to herself. “I’m sure he is, Ammy. I’m sure he is.”
Amerei looked away from her sister. It wasn’t right when Myrtle didn’t fight back. Then and there, she decided that she’d make whatever father she desired. She started with a big, broad snow-body, which she pressed ‘rippling muscles’ into with the best of her gloves’ ability.
After that, she rolled together the necessary snow for the face, which had barely recognisable features, yet she’d decided that despite him being an elf, her father would have the chisel-cut jaw of a rugged human. He of course had to have big pointy snow-ears, like any dark elf would. The ears kept falling off, so in the end Ammy settled on leaves on sticks.
She picked out a pair of thick sticks that had fallen from the Skeleton Tree and used them as her snowman’s big, muscular arms, then beheld her fictitious father. He represented a lot of effort, to be sure, but he was ultimately just two rolled-up balls of compacted snow with a few branches and leaves in it.
“…it looks stupid,” Amerei mumbled.
Myrtle was perfecting her snow-knight, which just about passed as something armoured thanks to creative usage of leaves. She paused her work and looked to her younger sister.
“…what was that, Ammy?”
“IT LOOKS STUPID! It looks stupid, like everything I do on my own, it’s just… it’s… just… I’M JUST STUPID, ALL RIGHT?”
Amerei punched her snow-father’s head off, and kicked its body, stubbing her toe. “OW! Ow…”
She slumped onto the floor and started to cry. “It’s… it’s not fair, Myrtle… I… I… I just want… I… I just want…”
Myrtle kneeled next to Amerei and held her. “It’s all right. What do you want?”
Amerei’s words slipped from her mouth in disjointed chunks. “I… I want… I want mother to stop ignoring me and… and I want… I want a father like you do and… and I… I want to… I want to be good… good at… good at any…”
She started to cry into Myrtle’s shoulder and hiccoughed as her weeping took over. “…Myrtle… mum’s… mum’s gonna… she’s gonna renounce me, she’s… she’s gonna make me just any other bastard, she…”
“Amerei, mother would never do that.”
“BUT SHE WOULD! She wishes I was never born!”
“You… you don’t know that…” Myrtle trailed off, causing Amerei to do the same.
Voices were calling out to the two girls, and Amerei opened her eyes. Silhouettes were approaching them, all cloaked and armoured. Lady Marissa Gemfire’s judgement was coming for her little bastard daughter.