AN: Disclaimer: any characters or events or basically anything you think you may remotely recognize belongs to Alison Goodman, not me.
The Other Mirror Dragoneye
It was early morning in the harem of the imperial palace, and the sun was just beginning to peep above the horizon. Eona was alone in the courtyard of the empress's house. Kygo, the emperor and her husband, still lay sleeping in her bedchamber. She had wanted to sleep a while longer in Kygo's warm embrace, but she still religiously rose at the crack of dawn to practice the Staminata.
It had been almost 16 years since Sethon's attempt to seize the throne and his subsequent demise, and Eona was now 32, but she felt younger and happier than ever. Her marriage to Kygo had taken place three weeks after the death of Sethon, and in the years since he had kept the promise he took upon himself to never take any concubines. The harem now stood largely empty, except for Vida and Lady Dela, who both came to stay at the palace at Eona's request.
But her greatest joy was her three children, her 15-year-old daughter Liria, her son Vindor, 13, and the little chubby toddler girl Aren.
Liru was the exact image of her paternal grandmother, the beautiful and intelligent Lady Jila. Jila had been the favorite concubine of the previous emperor and also his Naiso, his wisest and most trusted advisor. Liru had inherited Jila's grace and sharp intellect: she could easily best her tutor and sometimes even her father in philosophical debates, and when she took up swordplay at Eona's behest she turned it into a beautiful, though deadly, dance. She played both the lute and the zither with great skill; her father called on her more often than his official court musicians when entertaining important guests. Overall, Liru was a fitting flower of the imperial family and Eona was confident that Liru would be able to attain a happy future in whichever direction she chose, be it to merely be a housewife or to stay at court at her brother's side when he became emperor.
Vin was what a young crown prince of his age could be expected to be – a little too proud. He had been provided with one of the best educations in the Empire and his father had personally taught him how to fight with Ji, swords, and his own fists. Despite this normally educated personality, he was going that awkward stage in a boy's development and often lashed out at others in anger when he felt his pride was injured or simply felt misunderstood. However, Vin was always very gentle with his little sister.
Aren was the darling of the family. She was a sickly child, and the whole imperial family always looked after her solicitously.
Eona sighed happily and got up to go back inside to wake Kygo and the children and to change. After all, today was the New Year, and it was especially important for Eona since it was once again the Year of the Mirror Dragon, and she had once been the Mirror Dragoneye. Just as she was about to walk towards the door to her bedchamber, she stopped suddenly as she saw the figure of a man in the doorway. And it wasn't Kygo.
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