EPILOGUE: ALLIANCE

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A whole week flew before the darkness truly dispersed

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A whole week flew before the darkness truly dispersed.

I nursed my head, sitting in a room of the Autumn Palace, a bloody lemonade in hand. And there was a recently-delivered scroll in my other hand, which had shaken the ground under my feet.

I was no longer the King of the Summer Realm.

Because a Summer King doesn't have an Earth Eclipse as a sibling.

And I knew just whose work this was.

As my guards told me, mother had left the Winter Realm on the same night when she had put on a show for everyone... the sting of it still ringing in my ears. And now she had shut the door of my house on my face from miles away.

It wouldn't have mattered before, but now I needed that damned title. I had no meaning in life back then, living like an orphan, finding solace in drinks, training till my limbs ached, talking with my Mind Healer like the old man was my only friend, suffocating in a house with no life and color... but now I had a sister, two maybe, and I had a purpose... a purpose father had sent for me from the stars, along with his golden sundial.

Eleni didn't know that I had put in a letter of appeal, to give her a title that was rightfully hers, passed on from her half-heritage. She didn't want one... but it would make sure no one touched her again. That no one called her an Abomination ever again. She'd be the first royal Eclipse in the history of the Four Realms.

In the process, maybe all the Eclipses could have a normal life, once the new laws would be passed and they wouldn't have to live as shadows in the dark. But Hell be damned, for I had lost my own crown in the process. The Summer Panel had clearly protested against me with inside help. Fueling the people's ignorant minds.

Oh, great-great-great-great-great grandmother Brianna... help me!

I had half a mind to throw the drink out of the window, but it did calm my nerves. This was what I was reduced to now - lemonades - Commoner. Gone were the days of whiskeys and wines - Royalty.

A knock rang on the door, jolting me from my thoughts. Una pushed the door and leant against the doorway.

I raised my glass at her. "Delicious, this. Tastes like humiliation."

"I always knew the Summer Realmers were stupid, but this is phenomenal." Una walked in.

Even after a week's rest, she still looked like she had just stepped down from the battle-field. A cut down her cheek, crinkled a bit, and I wondered how I, myself appeared.

"The Aries House especially has a flair for dramatics."

"Your friend is the High King." She sat on the chair opposite to mine.

"Who is not himself. Let's keep this between us. I sent a letter back to the Summer Panel and asked for a month before I step down."

"Right. Nova doesn't need more shit. But man, under different circumstances..." Una's forehead wrinkled. "And I wonder whether he'd still have that command seeing what his twin did. People just need someone to put a blame on."

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