Donning her royal garbs and taking off her glasses, setting them to the side, Loropechika took the scepter in her hand, holding onto a legacy of those who'd walked the path before her.

Her eyes looked forward, a stare of indifference, while her heart pounded in her chest. She was royalty, she was the Queen of the Heart Kingdom.

She'd grown too used to the isolation and obligations that came with such an inheritance, and she couldn't do it all on her own. She was thankful for the Water Spirit, Undine, who was by her side, guiding her hand, and helping her to the right path.

Undine was patient, kind, and just; she was who Loropechika held close to her heart. The water spirit knew who the queen really was, past the opulence and responsibility of royalty. While Undine and her subjects have served her well in the Heart Kingdom, the other kingdoms were not so forgiving.

Never had that been clearer than in the gnarled darkness that was at the center of the Spade Kingdom, where she had no power there.

Silently, Undine took Loropechika's hand, her eyes soft, and Loropechika returned the gesture in kind, tightly.