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Jessi meets a new friend.

If they're rejected, they will continue down the line of succession."

"So can it only be one of the royal family who becomes the heir?" I asked curiously.

He shook his head. "The necklace doesn't discern between gender, family line, or even species. There are records of it moving to another family when no viable heir is found in the current one."

"Okay, so, it was the necklace that was missing?"

He nodded. "It was stolen, nearly twenty years ago."

As I processed that, he turned back to Drell. "You didn't say that they found the necklace, but instead found the heir. So it was already placed on someone?" Drell nodded, a somber look on his face. "Who?"

"It was found on a young human woman."

We both stared at him in shock, unable to respond.

"They were following a lead on one of the women who had been involved in the theft. Supposedly she died not long after the fact, and the necklace was placed on her daughter. It is apparently clinging quite tight to the girl." He grinned suddenly. "It blasted a knight clear across the room when he tried to snatch it off."

Anthony chuckled. "I do seem to recall your distaste for knights." He sobered up quickly, running a hand through his hair as he thought. "Is she being brought to the castle now?" Drell nodded. "How many people know?"

He shrugged. "Most of the castle I believe. Everyone is preparing for her arrival. There's a lot to be done before a new heir is sworn in, especially being that she's human."

"Wait wait wait," I interrupted, confused. "I thought humans weren't really considered people here. So how come they're just going to let this girl become the future queen? Wouldn't they just, I dunno, kill her to get the necklace off?"

The two men exchanged glances, before Anthony responded. "The law is immutable. When the necklace decides on an heir, it's decision cannot be challenged. The only way a new heir can be chosen is if the current one chooses to remove it of their own free will." I sat back in my chair, shocked at the revelation. A human was going to become queen. But what did that mean for the rest of the humans in the kingdom? They certainly couldn't keep treating us as if we're not real people, could they?

"-won't be long before news spreads into the city," Drell was saying as I tuned back in.

"I can't see that going well," Anthony murmured, sitting back in his chair with a thoughtful look in his eyes. "What is the mood in the castle?"

Drell shrugged uncomfortably. "A lot of people are unhappy. Mostly the noble families. I fear the knights may attempt something when she reaches here." He paused, fingers tapping restlessly on the table. "I believe she may have the army's support for the most part though. We are loyal to the crown only, whoever that crown may currently belong to. There are also a number of human sympathizers in the ranks, so that helps."

"That's good. I'm worried about the reaction in the rest of the city though."

"That's part of the reason a number of us were recalled to the castle. They wanted someone a little more trustworthy guarding the girl," Drell responded. The men stared at each other for a moment, before turning to look at me.

"I'm sure the heir will be well guarded," Anthony started slowly, "but I'm more worried about people turning on the other humans in the city. I don't believe any of them will be safe once word gets out."

They glanced at each other, seeming to communicate silently. A thought struck me suddenly and I gasped. "Am I in danger?"

"Normally I would say no, as long as I kept you holed away in here," Anthony responded. "I'm a fairly secretive man, and nobody would have ever guessed I own a human slave. However..."

"However, now the dressmaker knows," I finished for him. "And he has good reason to want revenge." The men glanced at each other again, nodding.

"Alanna, could you please go to the library for a little while?" He asked, tone apologetic. I sputtered, pushing to my feet and glaring at him in outrage.

"You're trying to sen

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