During the time I was acting as a liaison
between Emperor Cain and Queen Zephyr, I
was also maintaining my cover as a Solarian
agent by passing on useless, but true, information
to Krelian. That, at least, was my intent.
Over the course of several years, however,
Krelian must have detected a pattern in that
information which eventually piqued his interest
in the prototype Seibzehn class. That, in
turn, led to Nikolai Balthasar's kidnapping,
and the death of Maria's mother.
It is some small consolation that Krelian also told me more than he thought he had - including information which allowed Sage Balthasar to rescue Maria from Solaris.
How Maria reminds me of her father! She's
altogether as determined and hard-headed
as he was (as evidenced by her decision to
cut off all those beautiful curls!), and
every bit as wonderful.
Nikolai and I had been betrothed as children, and although we never developed any feelings for each other beyond those of the big brother/little sister sort, I admired him greatly and thought him terribly handsome. I was resigned to our being married someday - that was the Shevite way, duty first - and tried not to daydream about a dashing stranger sweeping me off my feet.
Then Nikolai fell in love with Maria's mother and defied his father, the Elders, and anyone else who dared to try and stop him by marrying her! I have to admit I wasn't too heartbroken about it - I think it only fueled my own romantic notions, not to mention it allowed me to pursue my career as a swordswoman.
And then Hyuga came to Shevat...
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