already has a queen,” Darma pointed out. Her ambitions didn’t
run that way at all.
“And a king,” Sunestri said. “An unmarried one.”
“So? What has that to do with magic?”
“Magic will help you to reach King Carli’s side, and win
his obedience when you get there.”
It was certainly something she could do, but it was not something she
wanted. “No, Father. Why would I want to do anything
“Most girls would love to marry King Carli and rule a kingdom.”
“Most women are not me,” Darma said. “Do I have
to do this?”
Sunestri smiled again, the smile that Darma never trusted. “Not
if you don’t want to. You are our daughter, after all. You’re
entitled to a little consideration.” Darma’s suspicions
hardened. It was never a good sign when Sunestri referred to himself
as plural. “But your Robing and Renaming cannot be delayed
any longer, Darsuma,” he continued. “It will
be held tonight.”
It was terribly soon, but even Darma could defy Sunestri only so far.
“All right then. Now, off to lunch with you! You’re
Whose fault is that? Darma thought. Nevertheless, she started
across the quadrangle again without another word. The snowball
was nearly melted in her damp, cold-reddened hand. She let it
fall to the ground as she walked on.