Elissa did not know what response she had desired from Hereward, only that the defensive outburst did nothing to calm her frustration. Despite losing her temper she had been very measured with her dressing down, while deep down her anger desired for her to forcefully berate him. Compelling him to a very real submission to her authority. Fortunately sense and reason won out, as they usually did. But did these desires speak anything of what she had completely desired? An apology, perhaps, however grovelingly. It was frustrating that he did not even accept that he had done wrong.
"Then, then I have placed far to greater faith in you" Elissa spoke grimly, anger had subsided for regret and disappointment. She cut her cousin a disappointed glower before she turned and took her seat behind the laurel draped table that was her makeshift desk. "I did expect you to stand there and nod along as I spoke. You can call it sycophancy, I'll call it public loyalty. Your battered pride, fearful of denigration, is not frankly something that concerns me Hereward."
This was what has been so gut wrenching for Elissa. So dejecting. Such was the principle that whatever reservations a man might express in private, he would back his leader to the hilt in public. This was the crux of what loyalty meant to the queen.
"That you are 'pissed' by my reaction shows that you have learnt nothing" Elissa said irritably, her words were steadily growing courser, such that were capable of grating on the ears of any supplicant fearful of her displeasure. "Stand up straight, and do NOT use profanities in the presence of your queen again.
"If I desire your advice I will ask for it. I can not fathom how you considered that I craved such wisdom as we parleyed with the enemy." she added furiously, "but since you have given it less us assess its value, shall we"
"First. Settling this dispute in the Landsmeet. The place where it began" Elissa was now speaking calmly, she took a sip from her goblet as she raised her index finger as if to count. "this dispute was settled a year ago, but Anora disapproved of the result. Should we return this to the Landsmeet until she is content with the outcome? t was determined by the Landsmeet that her return to Ferelden would mark her as a traitor. She has gathered here at Ostagar with a hostile force intent on deposing Ferelden's legitimate monarchs. Perhaps you might enlighten me as to how you would deal with this threat? Wait, do nothing and allow her to carve up the southern part of our nation?"
"Two. My terms. Far more generous than a rebel and a traitor can expect." Elissa said carefully, she lifted a handkerchief to her mouth as she coughed in effort to clear her throat of the flem wrought by shouting. "I do not know Anora's mind, and you do not know mine. An hour ago she had nothing but this ruin of a castle and her liberty, Maker be good in the next few hours she'll lose them both. Had she accepted she could have been been a Teyrna. Your assumption that these terms are unacceptable presupposes I have something greater to offer. My crown, perhaps. That is what she desires after all. It is enlightening to know what in her position that you would have rejected this offer for peace, in favour of bloodshed only previously decried?"
"Three. A political marriage. With whom, and for what reason? I can not think of any candidates to offer, nor any that Anora would accept." Elissa said, "plenty of advice, Hereward, precious few solutions. I can not deny it is heartening to hear this declaration of devoted trust, it is only a pity that you did not trust me in my words as we parleyed with the enemy. I trust you with my life Lord Hereward. I do not trust you with Anora's."
She left the sentence hanging a moment, giving her younger cousin a moment to consider those words without replying before she continued. Elissa rose from her velvet lined oak chair, and focused her marble eyes met his, "you shall repeat. 'Anora Mac Tir is a dirty traitorous bitch, and I will severe her head if my queen demands it.'"