Ah, but if you look back, Tatyana was just a clown in the view of the powerful. She was just a woman, just a girl, trying to do what a man was meant to do. Something she would never understand. What made her so different that she couldnt be as good as her father? She had every single aspect her father had, she had no aspect her mother had. She would have been a great queen as her father had said she would.
But they didnt allowed her to be. Not just it, They didnt listened. Tatyana had no voice left, it was easier for then that way, sadly, it would be too late until they had realized the mistake.

Chapter Three

A Month passed since Vyacheslav passing, the queen was a bit recovered, and Tatyana was back to her strength, a piece of her missing, but she decided that she would be strong and be herself, no matter what the others said, there was only one Tatyana as she was, and she would never be someone else. Too bad, since her mother still thought that no queen can reign without a king, and without thinking of Tatyana’s thoughts over it, she invited the representatives of the noble guilds around the kingdom for a display of skill.

The prize: Tatyana’s hand.

And she didnt even knew that.

The time Tatyana knew about the festival going on it was already too late, her hand was promised as a prize, the representatives of each clan already were on their way, and there was nowhere to run. But, she thought that if a display of skill was what the kingdom wanted of a king, she would show hers, and she would prove that hers was fitting for the throne. Tatyana, planed on winning her own hand, fair, in the trial that would be coming.
It didnt took long until the representatives arrived, once they arrived the partying began for a day or two, and for those two days there was no sign of Tatyana around. Her mother pulled the leg of everyone saying that they would only see Tatyana on the last day, and that was because she was preparing her to look bright as the sparking stars. That if she knew there the girl was.

But Tatyana was getting ready for the trial, she would compete too. But nobody would know.

During the days absent, Tatyana was really in the woods, in the company of her best friend Heimel. The plan was to hunt for the biggest Stag she ever saw. During her quick trips into the woods she saw this huge stag nearby and by the time she knew well its behavior. for hours she stalked the same place, bow in hand arrow in position, Her dog steady standing by waiting her command. By the dawn of the third day, the stag came to the right place, the moment brought the thrill of the hunt to the girl’s blood, she pulled the bow string aimed right at its neck and let it fly.
The moment the arrow pierced the flesh of that huge animal, Heimel ran like the wind and quickly catched the stag, crippling it, the poor creature tried to stand against the wolf dog, but as small as Heimel was compared to the stag, and as much swifter than it was, he was no match, Tatyana also provided backup firing two more arrows, one piercing the stag’s rear legs and the other right into where the lungs should be.
She simply preyed upon the biggest stag around.
If it where just a simple stag, every hunter around knew this one, and no one ever managed to hit a scratch on the animal, despite the tries and effort. Also, every year this one always displayed the biggest horns around.

And by the start of the third day, the queen spoke:

” Now that we have partied, and the spirit of competition as a healthy way of befriending each other has been settled, may the ones who are going to compete for the hand of our beloved princess, Tatyana Alexandra Weissberg, come to the front so we can watch their healthy competition. ”

The trial would be simple, bring the head of the fairest animal around.
They would have three days to bring from the woods the best catch they could handle, doesnt mattering who got back first, the judgement would be passed in three days.
They were well equipped when a little commotion started breeding in the way, some hunters were cheering as a couple of other came carrying the biggest stag head ever saw.

” Who in the heavens got that stag? ” said Natalie

” Your majesty, you wont believe who just managed to get it. ”

” Oh please dont you say it was… ”

” Yes mother, it was me. ” The girl came from behind the hunters, stained red of the blood that gushed from the creature ” I also cut the head off by myself, couldnt carry it so i went after the hunters, looks like we’re going to have a stag for dinner. ”

” Daughter! ”

Everyone was astonished, nobody expected the princess to be doing such a thing, for them, she was just either dressing herself to be the prettiest lady of all kingdom in that night, or being very shy of showing up for her suitors.
But there she was, on the line, stained in blood, wearing a white pelt coat, showing not only to be skilled, but wise enough to call the hunters so her prey wouldnt go to waste.

she definitely out skilled everyone right there.

But the representatives were not even a little bit happy about that. Until Tatyana spoke:

” And with this mother, i request that my hand becomes my own, i won it fair and square. ”

” Tatyana that cant be done. ”

” You hear your mother girl. Not only you ruined everything, but now you want to deny the glory those young men were working so hard to achieve? ” one of the representatives said.

” I never gave her permission for my hand to become prize, and i never called for a man to steer the kingdom for me. I competed with them as a equal, and it was a trial to prove not only skill, but wisdom, which clearly all those young men simply ignored. Should they wanted to win, they should be aware of our customs, so they knew it was going to be a hunt, and two, they would have spend the days in the wood, stalking the critters, not drinking with the kingdom wenches. I do recognize and respect each one of you, but did you ever looked for my word on this? ”

” You are just a mad girl Tatyana. ”

” Insolence! ” Tatyana shouted

” Tatyana thats enough! ” Natalie yelled at her.

” Natalie Alexandra, we demand Tatyana to be put into the dungeons, so she can think and repent about what she has done! ”

All the representatives put Natalie on a tough spot. and at that moment Tatyana knew, her mother would bend.

Even thought Tatyana proved to be worth. Nobody was showing hints of acceptance of her future rule. Her subjects on the other hand, were amazed with her skill.
But the power was not in the hands of the people, it was in the hands of the queen, who was being pressed in turn by the nobles.

Tatyana tried to run, but as soon as she turned her backs to her mother, she yelled.

” Grab the princess, take her to the dungeons, lock her at the end of the corridor! ”

the guards assaulted, she managed to dodge some and keep on running, they came from the right flank, she turned left in the nearest street, the screaming of the guards alerted the others in advance, and as soon as she got to a one way street with no turns she found herself surrounded.

She had to give in, there was no way out of this. They really got her, labeled as a beserker princess, a mad woman, that was enough to spoil her tittle as a queen.

She was courageous, wise and strong. But lacked the cunning of the vile nobleman. She saw the crown as a responsibility, they saw the crown as chests filled with treasure and pockets overflowing with gold.

Locked she was, inside the dungeons of the castle, in the end of the corridor, they opened the cell and asked her to go inside.

” Tatyana, your highness, please, do as your mother said. ”

She looked back, right at the guard’s face, he wasnt happy, he had only grief and regreet.

” Why are you like this? You’re just doing what you were told to do. ”

” None of us is happy with this. we didnt wanted you to go to the dungeons. ”

” Then leave me be. ”

” We cant, the nobles are going to check on you. ”

She faced the darkness of the cell, sighed and went in, without resistance.

” You know… i have the feeling this cell wont hold you. ”

Tatyana laughed. And the guard left her there.
Instead of crying, she simply sat down and stared the darkness of her cell, after a hour or so the nobles came to check on her, they said.

” Why dont you give up with this act, huh? Just choose one of the lads and marry him, life will be better and ea… ”

Tatyana simply got a rock inside the cell and hit the noble right between the eyes

” Then why dont you simply stop being nasty and give up? You can go back home and stop wasting your time. ”

her uncle saw the whole scene, he just looked at it and said: ” Leave her be, she is just a mad woman who is going to bring ruin to the kingdom, she is in the right place right now, caged like a beast. ”

they then left the corridor, Tatyana went back to stalk the darkness, now she had the feeling she wasnt alone. Something was breathing within the dark, she approached and heard the voice of a old man.

” Dont listen to these people, they are the ruin to themselves. ”

” What? ”

” They dont know what happens to people like them in the afterlife, its not pretty i tell you. ”

” Who are you? ”

The man came out of the darkness, long beard, long hair, an eye missing, fierce features in the face, even in rags he looked dignified.

” who cares in the end? ”

” Pfft, as we are now, it really doesnt matters who we are, does it? ”

” No it does not princess. ”

” Dont call me princess, as i am now, nobody will call me by this tittle ever again. ”

” and what are you now? ”

” The bad lady, The Berserker Princess, The Mad Woman, The Unfit for Queen, im evil now, if i put my feet out here, there is no place to run. My very figure is trouble. ”

” Tatyana, there is no such a thing as trouble, no such a thing as disaster, no such a thing as disgrace. ”

” What are you talking about? ”

” There are things created by the man, even time is, ever looked at nature with the eyes of a free being? Is there such a thing as bad, as evil, as mad? do you think that a blizzard that destroys your croop is a disaster? Animals would just blink twice and, as they are alive they would adapt, look for another thing to eat. In the wilds there is no such a thing as time too, as some animals can simply live by the night and others by the day. in the nature theres only nature. this is the true state of things, the true state of life. the true way of our world. ”

” Who are you? ” she asked

” Doesnt matter Tatyana. listen when i say: humans are the plague of their own lives. they create their own woes and sorrows, through their rules and organizations, believing its necessary to survive. ” He looks deep inside Tatyana’s eyes, no one ever did that, as they were afraid of the color and shine ” But does the animals have to do as they do to live? ”

suddenly the door made a crack. A crown opened it, with the dungeon key, she looked at the old man, he looked back deep inside her eyes again, she looked at the door, confused, and the old man said

” Go. ”

She listened to him, started running as fast as she could, as she did two crows followed her, all guards were on the floor knocked out, Tatyana started to freak out completely, as soon as she got outside she heard a loud bark, soon she saw the figure of a wolf dog and quickly recognized her, it was Heimel.
The footsteps of guards were drawing close, she then suddenly started running, at some points she would look for the crowns, sometimes only one was following her, some others none were there, she knew the way, didnt need guidance, but by some reason they keep on following her.

Tatyana knew of her fate.
She ran away as fast and swiftly as she could.
And while people looked after her in the old castle, she was shuffling the streets with her wolf dog, in direction to the outer walls. She was scared, she knew that even thought that was happening, a fate worse than just a few days in the dungeon waited her.
Because, just because Tatyana was trying to be Tatyana.

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