They stood silently facing each other. Layla showed no fear of the guard who stood before her, his sword drawn and gleaming by his side. She inclined her head as an acknowledgement. He did the same. With exaggerated flourish, he pulled his sword high and saluted the princess. Holding the sword across his palms, he dropped to one knee and bowed his head.
“My sword is yours now, Princess.”
“I have no need of your sword, Sir. My father’s poisonous reign is over. Our clan requires a new King.”
She glanced around at the faces watching her. She caught Jill’s eye and smiled. Finally, Layla looked toward her uncle, who managed to wrap a cloth around his bleeding shoulder. They exchanged a meaningful look before she turned back to the pack.
“As heir to the throne I must confess that I cannot remain here. It’s a complicated and weighty decision but I must leave this realm. However, as my first and final official decree, I appoint Veelka as King.”
Jill watched as Veelka approached his niece. He looked lousy after his battle with The Grey but moved with as much dignity as he could muster. Jill watched the eyes of the other wolves around them and saw relief everywhere she looked. As Veelka ascended to the throne, many of the guards helped to remove the dead bodies from the throne room before they could become bloated. Others took positions beside Veelka as personal guards.
“It might be a little early to say but I think the war will be averted. Veelka will have a lot to smooth out with the jackals but no one wants more bloodshed,” Tom whispered.
Jill gasped as she remembered something horrible.
“What’s wrong?” Tom asked.