Present Day, Peonic Manor, Royal Capital of Lián.
The winter subdued the overgrowth of the manoral garden and froze the pond in ice. The guardians patrolled around the perimeter while caretaking the manor grounds. Winter in Huawan is an interesting sight, yet today was unusually cold. The streets are deserted as the wind punished those that dare come outside, there will be a lot of snow to shovel later.
Rin Kagamine took some tea as she looked outwards from the manor window. Her only respite from today, one that she forced herself to allow. She contemplated her wedding day growing near, and the dress picking with her family and friends soon to follow this week. Her hands warm from the boiling cup of tea that she steeped too long, she liked strong and bitter teas.
The High Knight looked at the lantern light that withstood the frost storm, dimly lit around a white fog under a stormy night. She took a sigh from the tea, and sipped it once more. She placed her cup on the table and graciously walked to The Peony’s study.
Carefully walking on the wooden floorboards her eyes glanced at the number of art and paintings hanging on the traditional walls that insulate the heat. A row of items she understood so well, it wasn’t once or twice she passed through this specific hallway.
She paused, in front of her was the door to The Peony’s study. She made herself presentable, it was protocol for her to do so. She knocked at the door to The Peony’s study, upon hearing a voice, she let herself in.
Rin bowed, and arose to see The Peony. The young monarch was cickclacking away on her computer, wearing a headset, even tonight she was still working.
“–rines will remain on standby. I do not want us to spill more needless blood in the wars of others. Though honorable Premier, we must ensure that our commitments to the LoC is kept. I assume you will summon our ambassador to the palace?”
“We have made the preparations my Nuwang for a meeting with his excellency. As we speak our mission is en route to the LoC taskforce.” Answered Royal Premier Sima Yi
“Very good. Sir Kukkonen, how about the stabilization of the Eastern region?”
“We have effectively secured and fixed high importance infrastructure in the region. Both railways and roads are fixed and fully operational, though the fan-rong croplands are still in disarray and the peatlands would need to be revitalized. There is also a matter of the nuclear plant, where we will need to neutralize the radiation.” answered Lord-Minister Kukkonen
“When should we expect a completion?” Asked The Peony.
“It would take another 6 months to fully revitalize the Eastern region from this earthquake my Nuwang. Full containment of the nuclear reactor will need some more time and we might go over budget.”
“How much over budget, Royal Exchequer?”
“The estimate is almost 2x as large. Our recommendation would be to increase the debt ceiling.” Answered Lord-Exchequer Kim Sol
“The edict needs to be agreed on, ensure an edict written and presented to the People’s Council. We must ensure the government does not shut down from this.” Responded The Peony, “I want a financial report of the severity by tomorrow.”
“Understood my Nuwang.” Answered the Lord-Exchequer.
“I have other engagements tonight. We shall reconvene tomorrow in the Council should the weather allow us. Ladies and Gentlemen.”
“Your honored excellency.” the ministers responded.
The Peony turned off the call and took off her headset in annoyance. She pinched the bridge between her eyes and continued clacking away on her computer.
“Rin.” answered The Peony.
“My Nuwang.” Rin responded, “the manor grounds are secure and the heaters are on. The exotic plants are also moved to the greenhouse.”
“Excellent. Tell the matron to make me some tea, and bring me some crackers.” she said as she drank some tea.
“Yes my Nuwang” said Rin, she viewed how frizzled The Peony’s hair and how red her eyes were.
“My Peony, this is just me talking to myself.” Said Rin, with careful tact, “surely you’re weary, but you have not slept in days.”
“I am fine, Rin. A couple sleepless nights is not abnormal for me.”
Rin could only give a sigh. It was not the first time The Peony didn’t sleep. Yet now is a highly abnormal for The Peony to be awake for so long, and Rin knew her adopted sister enough to know how she would act. Rin knelt down by her Monarch’s side.
“My Peony. You must sleep.” Said Rin. “Why don’t we retire and work once more in the morning?”
The Peony did not look at Rin, she opened the drawer in her desk and dropped some eye moisturizer on her eyes.
“Not only must I finish the writing of my dissertation for tenureship, we also risk a government shutdown. I must finish these reports if our Peocracy is to survive.”
“Yan, our Peocracy will still be here by the morning. Please get some rest, you are her monarch.”
“Rin, I must continue to seize the day if I were… If I were…”
The Peony started to slur her speech, and her eyes became so blurry.
“Rin… Where is… My tea.”
And in that moment. The Peony flopped to the side of her Guardian. Rin caught her in panic.
“My Nuwang, my Nuwang? Yan?, Yan?!?”
The Peony hears the sounds of Rin radioing the guardians, she couldn’t make out the words anymore. Light came out of The Peony’s eyes, as if she flew up to the skies.