Queen Pirouette’s eyes narrowed onto the emissary from the Imperial Court. From the vantage point of her throne, the man looked tiny. Dressed in somber black, his attire contrasted starkly with that of the Queen’s. Encased in her armor of satins and silks, adorned with enough diamonds to exhaust the largest vein, Her Majesty cut an intimidating figure elevated on the royal dais.
“Tell your master that I have no control over the pirates on the high seas. In fact, I take umbrage at the notion that I’d have any kind of rapport with those lawless scoundrels.” Pirouette exerted all her willpower to suppress a laugh.
“As usual, Your Majesty’s ability to guess what I was going say is positively eerie,” said the envoy. What he didn’t know was that Pirouette had a carefully placed network of spies in her Court and the Courts of other rulers. They kept her one step ahead of her adversaries.