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【书籍搬运】The Wolf Queen, v2 狼心女王 第二部

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狼心女王:第二部

3E82

在孙女帕特玛公主嫁给Solitude王国国王Mantiarco十一年后,皇帝尤里尔 Septim二世离开了人世。他的儿子,柏拉鸠斯二世,在继承皇位的同时也接下了父亲留下的烂摊子——几近枯竭的国库。

此时,作为Solitude的新王后,帕特玛 则要面对诺德贵族的对抗情绪——一方面帕特玛不过是个外人,另一方面,人们怀念国王去世的前妻,觉得她才是真正的王后。前王后的儿子,Bathorgh,比他的继母还要大两岁,对帕特玛自然也没什么好感。但是国王却很喜爱他的新王后,这让流产多次的帕特玛总算有了一丝慰藉。终于,在她二十九岁那年,帕特玛生下了一个男孩。

3E97

“疼!快想想办法!随便什么办法!”帕特玛叫嚷着,嘴可怕地张了开来,露出雪白的牙齿。还真像一头分娩着的母狼。旁边的医生Kelmeth不禁想起敌人给王后所起的绰号来。然而这一次他发现了它不合理的地方。“狼心王后”以前不过是一个抽象的概念,它不是说,王后长得像一头狼。但现在,医生第一次觉着它是这样的鲜活。

“王后陛下,它不是来自您的外伤……恐怕我实在是无能为力……请恕我冒昧,在我看来,也许这样的疼痛是每一个孕妇所必经的,况且对孩子的出生也有着好……”医生本想多说几句安慰的话,但在这之前他不得不先躲开王后朝他扔过来的镜子。

“我可不是什么长着一张猪脸的乡下姑娘!”她嗥叫着,“我是Solitude的王后,帝国皇帝的女儿!啊,迪德拉!我召唤你们!我愿以我全部的灵魂,来交换那哪怕是一丝的解脱!”

“陛…下!”医生慌慌张张地跑到窗边拉下窗帘,好像王后的声音跟早晨冬日里的阳光一样,可以用窗帘把它们隔开。“即便是玩笑,恐怕也不能说出这样的可怕交换。天上那湮没的眼睛(eyes of 湮灭地狱)无时无刻不在注视着我们呢”

“哈,医生什么时候也开始讲起湮没来了?”她嚷着,但是她的声音明显已经平静下来。同时,她发现,现在已经不是那么痛了。“好吧,替我把刚才扔给你的镜子拿过来。”

“王后陛下,您这不是准备再扔一次吧?”医生脸上绷着笑容,把镜子递了过去。

“我会的。”她照着镜子说道,“并且下一次我不会失手。啊,我看起来糟糕透了。Vhokken领主还在大厅准备见我么?”

“是的,王后陛下。”

“好的,告诉他我整理完头发就可以进来了。对了,到时候你先退下,一会疼来的时候我会吼你过来的。”

几分钟后,Vhokken领主被领进了房间。他身材魁梧而带着秃顶,不论是朋友还是敌人都称他为“山岭”Vhokken。他声音低沉,像远处轰隆的雷声。Vhokken凭外表就吓到了许多人,但王后却不是其中之一。Vhokken深知这一点。进来的时候,他朝她微微一笑,以为致意。

“王后陛下,您现在觉得怎样?”他问道。

“糟得很。但是您看起来倒像是Vhokken山岭上迎来了春天一样。我猜,您一定是被任命为军队的最高长官(warchief)了吧?”

“暂时的而已。还要看国王对我的前任——Thone领主叛国指控的调查进行得怎样。”

“只要您照我说的布置好证据,那么Thone无疑就是叛国的。”帕特玛笑了一笑,随后在床上挺了挺身子:“来,跟我说说,Bathorgh王子现在还在城里么?”

“哈,您这样的问题。”“山”笑了一笑,“今天是耐力竞技大会,您知道王子从来不会错过它。那家伙每年都弄出些稀奇古怪的新花样到上面卖弄。我想,您不会忘记,去年他卸甲进入角斗场,二十分钟之后他撂倒六个剑士,自己却毫发无伤。随后,他把那次胜利献给他去世的母亲,前王后Amodetha。”

“倒是有这么回事。”

“王后陛下,请恕我冒昧,我知道王子对我或者您并不友好,但是您也许还是应该给他应有的尊敬。您要知道,那家伙打起架来,动作快得很。他总是能在别人没有料到的时候出手,以此占据上风,最后击败对方。有人说,他从南方的半兽人那里学来了这套玩意,除此之外,他还从半兽人那里学来了运用某些神秘的方法来预测对手的攻击。”

“切,哪有这么神秘”王后轻轻地说,似乎是在自言自语,“还不是从他父亲那里学来的。”

“Mantiarco的动作倒还真没这么个快法”Vhokken笑道。

“我从没说他是。”帕特玛说。她闭上眼睛,可以感觉到牙齿在不断地哆嗦。“又痛起来了。帮我把医生叫过来吧。对了,在这之前,我必须问你件事——新的夏宫建设已经开始了吗?”

“我想已经开始了,王后陛下。”

“别给我以为来以为去!”她嚷起来,手不自觉地拽紧床单,紧咬着嘴唇,直到鲜血从她下巴缓缓地流下来。“你亲自去给我盯住!一定要确保马上开工,今天就要开工!你的前途,我的前途,这个孩子的前途全部在它身上!赶紧给我过去!去!”

四个小时之后,Mantiarco国王来到房间看他刚出生的儿子。他先轻轻地在妻子的额上吻了一下,而王后则抱以虚弱的微笑。当他把孩子抱在手里的时候,一行热泪从他眼里流了下来。一行,又是一行。

“陛下…”她满含爱意地说,“我原知道您多愁善感,没想到您还真…”

“倒不全是因为这孩子。虽然他确实很漂亮,跟她母亲一样。”Mantiarco转过头来看着王后,语气却略带伤感,“亲爱的夫人,宫里似乎出了些问题。这么说吧,这孩子是现在唯一一件让我感到宽慰的事。”

“发生什么了?是不是竞技大会出问题了?”帕特玛设法从床上挺起身来“跟Bathorgh有关?”

“不,倒不是竞技会。但确实跟Bathorgh有关系。亲爱的,我想现在我最好还是不说。你需要休息。”

“不,我想听,你要告诉我!”

“我原打算给你和孩子一个惊喜,于是让人着手重新整修一下夏宫。那是个漂亮的地方,至少它曾经是。我想你应该会喜欢上它的。…好吧,其实这原来是Vhokken的主意。它也曾经是Amodetha最喜欢的地方…”,国王的声音愈发愈痛苦起来,“不过现在我知道为什么了。”

“为什么?”帕特玛静静地说。

“Amodetha欺骗了我。他跟我最亲信的军官Thone好上了。我发现了他们之间的书信。那是世界上最恶毒的文字,但是却不是恶毒的事情。”

“那是?”

“这些书信的往来日期正好对上Bathorgh出生的那会儿。Bathorgh,我的孩子,我爱着的倾着心血养护着的我的孩子”Mantiarco的声音显得有些颤抖,“却是Thone的孩子,不是我的。”

“我亲爱的…”看着伤感的老人,帕特玛不禁有些内疚。她搂着他的脖子,让他的泪流下来,肆意地流下来,到她身上,到她们的孩子身上。

“既然这样,”他轻声地说,“Bathorgh就不再是我的继承人了。他将被逐出这个国家。而你今天给我带来的孩子,将成为Solitude的国王。”

“或许还不止,”帕特玛说道,“他还是皇帝的孙子。”

“我们将给他取名为Mantiarco第二。”

“亲爱的,这很好…”帕特玛吻了下国王眼泪纵横过的脸庞,“但允许我建议把他叫尤里尔,以我的祖父,那个成全我们的皇帝的名字。”

Mantiarco国王笑着朝妻子点了点头。这时,从房间一边传来了敲门声。

“国王陛下,”“山岭”Vhokken说道,“Bathorgh王子殿下已经结束了比赛,正在等候您给他的奖励。他成功地击败了九个射手加上我们从落锤省/落锤之地买来的巨蝎。整个人群都为他疯狂,人们称他‘打不到的人’”

“我会见他的。”国王的语气略带悲伤,随后离开了房间。

“是的,他能被打到,这我确定得很,”帕特玛自言自语着,略显疲惫“虽然这需要花上点精力。”

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The Wolf Queen, Book Two
by Waughin Jarth
Life of Queen Potema, Book Two

 From the pen of the first century third era sage Montocai:
3E 82:
A year after the wedding of his 14-year-old granddaughter the Princess Potema to King Mantiarcoof the Nordic kingdom of Solitude, the Emperor Uriel Septim II passed on. His son Pelagius Septim II was made emperor, and he faced a greatly depleted treasury, thanks to his father's poor management.
As the new Queen of Solitude, Potema faced opposition from the old Nordic houses, who viewed her as an outsider. Mantiarco had been widowed, and his former queen was loved. She had left him a son, Prince Bathorgh, who was two years older than his stepmother, and loved her not. But the king loved his queen, and suffered with her through miscarriage after miscarriage, until her 29th year, when she bore him a son.
 
3E 97:
"You must do something to help the pain!" Potema cried, baring her teeth. The healer Kelmeth immediately thought of a she-wolf in labor, but he put the image from his mind. Her enemies called her the Wolf Queen for certes, but not because of any physical resemblance.
"Your Majesty, there is no injury for me to heal. The pain you feel is natural and helpful for the birth," he was going to add more words of consolation, but he had to break off to duck the mirror she flung at him.
"I'm not a pignosed peasant girl!" She snarled, "I am the Queen of Solitude, daughter of the Emperor! Summon the daedra! I'll trade the soul of every last subject of mine for a little comfort!"
"My Lady," said the healer nervously, drawing the curtains and blotting out the cold morning sun. "It is not wise to make such offers even in jest. The eyes of Oblivion are forever watching for just such a rash interjection."
"What would you know of Oblivion, healer?" she growled, but her voice was calmer, quieter. The pain had relaxed. "Would you fetch me that mirror I hurled at you?"
"Are you going to throw it again, your Majesty?" said the healer with a taut smile, obeying her.
"Very likely," she said, looking at her reflection. "And next time I won't miss. But I do look a fright. Is Lord Vhokken still waiting for me in the hall?"
"Yes, your Majesty."
"Well, tell him I just need to fix my hair and I'll be with him. And leave us. I'll howl for you when the pain returns."
"Yes, your Majesty."
A few minutes later, Lord Vhokken was shown into the chamber. He was an enormous bald man whose friends and enemies called Mount Vhokken, and when he spoke it was with the low grumble of thunder. The Queen was one of the very few people Vhokken knew who was not the least bit intimidated by him, and he offered her a smile.
"My queen, how are you feeling?" he asked.
"Damned. But you're looking like Springtide has come to Mount Vhokken. I take it from your merry disposition that you've been made warchief."
"Only temporarily, while your husband the King investigates whether there is evidence behind the rumors of treason on the part of my predecessor Lord Thone."
"If you've planted it as I've instructed, he'll find it," Potema smiled, propping herself up in the bed. "Tell me, is Prince Bathorgh still in the city?"
"What a question, your highness," laughed the mountain. "It's the Tournament of Stamina today, you know the prince would never miss that. The fellow invents new strategies of self-defense every year to show off during the games. Don't you recall last year, where he entered the ring unarmored and after twenty minutes of fending off six bladesmen, left the games without a scratch? He dedicated that bout to his late mother, Queen Amodetha."
"Yes, I recall."
"He's no friend to me or you, your highness, but you must give the man his due respect. He moves like lightning. You wouldn't think it of him, but he always seems to use his awkwardness to his advantage, to throw his opponents off. Some say he learned the style from the orcs to the south. They say he learned from them how to anticipate a foe's attack by some sort of supernatural power."
"There's nothing supernatural about it," said the Queen, quietly. "He gets it from his father."
"Mantiarco never moved like that," Vhokken chuckled.
"I never said he did," said Potema. Her eyes closed and her teeth gritted together. "The pain's returning. You must fetch the healer, but first, I must ask you one other thing -- has the new summer palace construction begun?"
"I think so, your Highness."
"Do not think!" she cried, gripping the sheets, biting her lips so a stream of blood dripped down her chin. "Do! Make certain that the construction begins at once, today! Your future, my future, and the future of this child depend on it! Go!"
Four hours later, King Mantiarco entered the room to see his son. His queen smiled weakly as he gave her a kiss on the forehead. When she handed him the child, a tear ran down his face. Another one quickly followed, and then another.
"My Lord," she said fondly. "I know you're sentimental, but really!"
"It's not only the child, though he is beautiful, with all the fair features of his mother," Mantiarco turned to his wife, sadly, his aged features twisted in agony. "My dear wife, there is trouble at the palace. In truth, this birth is the only thing that keeps this day from being the darkest in my reign."
"What is it? Something at the tournament?" Potema pulled herself up in bed. "Something with Bathorgh?"
"No, it's isn't the tournament, but it does relate to Bathorgh. I shouldn't worry you at a time like this. You need your rest."
"My husband, tell me!"
"I wanted to surprise you with a gift after the birth of our child, so I had the old summer palace completely renovated. It's a beautiful place, or at least it was. I thought you might like it. Truth to tell, it was Lord Vhokken idea. It used to be Amodetha's favorite place." Bitterness crept into the king's voice. "Now I've learned why."
"What have you learned?" asked Potema quietly.
"Amodetha deceived me there, with my trusted warchief, Lord Thone. There were letters between them, the most perverse things you've ever read. And that's not the worst of it."
"No?"
"The dates on the letters correspond with the time of Bathorgh's birth. The boy I raised and loved as a son," Mantiarco's voice choked up with emotion. "He was Thone's child, not mine."
"My darling," said Potema, almost feeling sorry for the old man. She wrapped her arms around his neck, as he heaved his sobs down on her and their child.
"Henceforth," he said quietly. "Bathorgh is no longer my heir. He will be banished from the kingdom. This child you have borne me today will grow to rule Solitude."
"And perhaps more," said Potema. "He is the Emperor's grandson as well."
"We will name him Mantiarco the Second."
"My darling, I would love that," said Potema, kissing the king's tear-streaked face. "But may I suggest Uriel, after my grandfather the Emperor, who brought us together in marriage?"
King Mantiarco smiled at his wife and nodded his head. There was a knock at the door.
"My liege," said Mount Vhokken. "His highness Prince Bathorgh has finished the tournament and awaits you to present his award. He has successfully withstood attacks by nine archers and thegiant scorpion we brought in from Hammerfell. The crowd is roaring his name. They are calling him The Man Who Cannot Be Hit."
"I will see him," said King Mantiarco sadly, and left the chamber.
"Oh he can be hit, all right," said Potema wearily. "But it does take some doing."

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