Iron Crowned Online

《Iron_Crowned》

Chapter 1

Don't confuse fairy queens with fairy princesses.

Where I come from, girls who want to be fairy princesses usually dream about gossamer wings and frilly dresses. Pink dresses, at that. I'm pretty sure rhinestones are part of being a fairy princess too, as are cute wands with stars on top that grant wishes. Fairy princesses expect lovely lives of luxury and lounging, ones that involve small woodland creatures waiting on their every need.

As a fairy queen, I can admit that there is a bit more involvement with woodland creatures than one might expect. But the rest? A total joke. Fairies - the kind I deal with, at least - rarely have wings. My wand is made of rough gemstones bound together, and I use it to blast Otherworldly creatures out of existence. I've also whacked a few people in the head with it. My life is dirty, harsh, and deadly, the kind of life no frilly dress could withstand. I wear jeans. Most important, I look horrible in pink.

I'm also pretty sure that fairy princesses don't have to deal with this kind of shit first thing in the morning.

"I have killed ... Eugenie Markham."

The words rang out loud and clear through a dining room filled with about thirty people eating at round wooden tables. The ceilings were vaulted, and the rough stone walls made it look like part of a medieval castle because ... well, it kind of was. Most of the morning diners were soldiers and guards, but a few were officials and high-ranking servants who lived and worked within the castle.

Dorian, King of the Oak Land and my bondage-loving Otherworldly boyfriend, sat at the head table and looked up from his breakfast to see who had made such a bold statement. "I'm sorry, did you say something?"

The speaker, standing on the other side of the table, turned as red as the uniform he wore. He looked about twenty-something in human years, meaning he was probably a hundred or so in fairy - or gentry, the name I preferred - years. The guy bit his lip and straightened his posture, making another attempt at dignity as he glared at Dorian.

"I said I killed Eugenie Markham." The man - a soldier, it appeared - looked around at the faces, no doubt hoping his message would inspire horrified reactions. Mostly his words brought about good-natured confusion, largely because half of the people gathered in the room could see me standing in the hall outside. "I have killed your queen, and now your armies will crumble. Surrender immediately, and Her Royal Majesty, Queen Katrice of the Rowan Land, will be merciful."

Dorian didn't answer right away and didn't look very concerned. He delicately patted his mouth with a brocade napkin and then returned it to his lap. "Dead? Are you sure?" He glanced over at a dark-haired woman sitting beside him. "Shaya, didn't we just see her yesterday?"

"Yes, sire," replied Shaya, pouring cream into her tea.

Dorian brushed autumn-red hair out of his face and returned to cutting up the sugary, almond-coated pastry that was serving as his most important meal of the day. "Well, there you have it. She can't be dead."

The Rowan soldier stared in disbelief, growing more and more incredulous as people continued to either regard him curiously or simply ignore him altogether. The only person who seemed mildly concerned was an elderly gentry woman sitting on the other side of Dorian. Her name was Ranelle, and she was an ambassador from the Linden Land. She'd only arrived yesterday and clearly wasn't used to the wacky mishaps around here.

The soldier turned his attention back to Dorian. "Are you as insane as they say you are? I killed the Thorn Queen! Look." He threw down a silver and moonstone necklace. It clattered against the hard, tiled floor, and the pale, iridescent stones just barely picked up some of the morning light. "I cut this off of her corpse. Now do you believe me?"

That brought some silence to the room, and even Dorian paused. It was indeed my necklace, and seeing it made me absentmindedly touch the bare spot on my throat. Dorian wore his perpetually bored expression, but I knew him well enough to guess at the maelstrom of thoughts swirling behind his green eyes.

"If that's true," Dorian replied at last, "then why didn't you actually bring us her corpse?"

"It's with my queen," said the soldier smugly, thinking he'd finally gained ground. "She kept it as a trophy. If you cooperate, she