The Queen of Sarmatians: You two shall deal with the northeast part!
Princess: I will, mother.
Prince: Mother, you have to be more careful too.
Sarmatians is one of largest kingdoms on the land. As the queen owned a demonic servant that never lost a battle, rival states did not dare initiate battle without a careful thought Moreover, the prince and princess were both experts of magic, especially the princess for her fiery spells. Other countries were deterred from launching an invasion.
However, not long ago, the queen’s demonic servant was confined for a failed mission. Circe knew from her heart that the king would not forgive her servant. To save its life, she lifted the contract between the two and secretly let it go.
Somehow, the news traveled to the outside. States joined their army and raided Sarmatia.
The boundary of Sarmatians had been pushed back to about four miles from the capital. Circe had conjured a defensive shield to ward off attack. Yet, the queen could not sustain it by herself...
The king proposed the creation of a gap in the northeast valleys, leaving the enemies only a narrow trail to attack; and the prince could lead an army to retaliate against the reduced number of invaders. Upon hearing this, the princess insisted upon going along, helping her brother reach the frontline.
Of course, the rival states were not foolish. While dispatching an army to the Northeast, they also sent guerrilla soldiers in the opposite direction. They hoped to swiftly assassinate the king and queen.
The Queen of Sarmatians: Hmph, looks like a few rats have sneaked in.
The end of the war was proof of the king’s plan. Numerous enemies were dead or wounded; they dared not assault again. Hence, the king gained an edge in bargaining power. As to the war itself, it ended with an international peace treaty; the condition of which is that the Sarmatians shall refrain from unjust invasions of other states.
The current king had ascended to the throne because of the hereditary monarchy, and Circe was nominated for queen both because of her distant royal birth and mastery of magic. Fortunately, the king was not a disloyal or lecherous person. Except for his occasional capriciousness, Circe could probably endure or even help him solve the situation. However, there were still times where she would sit alone and complain...
The Queen of Sarmatians: Alas.
The Queen of Sarmatians: The lost of a demonic servant has already caused the deaths of so many.
The Queen of Sarmatians: My king, Your Majesty, when will you come to your senses?
The Queen of Sarmatians: Your Majesty, you know our daughter’s stubbornness.
The Queen of Sarmatians: If she decided to marry that warrior, she would never change her mind.
The Queen of Sarmatians: The royal bloodline can be carried on by our son.
The Queen of Sarmatians: Why not let our daughter marry the warrior?
King: Then you should also know; I will never change what I have decided.
King: Agreeing to her suggestion of organizing a tournament
King: was just to let her meet the royals,
King: so she could choose a husband from amongst them.
King: As long as it is her choice, it does not matter whether he has won.
King: The competition was not important at all!
King: But out of all the people, she chose a commoner!
King: Not to mention a foreign one!
The Queen of Sarmatians: Please calm down, Your Majesty.
The Queen of Sarmatians: Our daughter was only following the custom of tournaments for a spouse,
The Queen of Sarmatians: where she should marry the winner.
King: You think I do not know her little scheme to disqualify the royal
King: who should have won?
King: Tomorrow, I will declare a death sentence to the commoner.
King: Then our daughter can choose another spouse from the royals.
Leaving the king’s study, Circe sighed while massaging her temples...
The Queen of Sarmatians: Our daughter’s stubbornness is why I am here.
Circe’s daughter met and fell in love with a foreign adventuring warrior, so she made every attempt to marry him in a justified way. She suggested the tournament to grant the commoner warrior a decent title, so he could marry her, the princess. Yet, the king was extremely insistent about the bloodline.
The Queen of Sarmatians: Hm? Who is the person who just rushed into the forest...
Since the international war, Circe had been responsible for the remaining capital’s safety by controlling the forest with magic. As the forest was created by Circe, she could sense even the slightest movements inside it; she could also control every single tree without looking at it.
Just now, Circe felt the presence of her daughter’s power. And she was not alone...
The Queen of Sarmatians: Sigh. Like father, like daughter!
The Queen of Sarmatians: Silly kid. The number of demonic creatures in the forest is ridiculous!
The Queen of Sarmatians: Now let me open up a road for you. Take it as my last present.
The Queen of Sarmatians: It is good to leave with him,
The Queen of Sarmatians: at least better than waiting for a death sentence here.
The next day, Circe regretted helping her daughter escape...
The day after the princess’ elopement, patrolling soldiers found a centaur-shaped burnt body outside the jail. They then ran inside and checked. There was no one but a few bodies palpably burnt by fire before. Learning of this, the king immediately ordered for the warrior’s capture. However, soldiers searched every inch of the state to no avail. What they brought back was yet another bad news: the princess had gone missing.
Circe knew that the prince had practised animal-shapeshifting magics for days. When she heard about the body, she immediately understood what had happened: her daughter, to save her love, killed even her own brother!
Circe’s heart broke into pieces; she kept blaming herself for letting her daughter go. However, this was just the beginning...
King: Unworthy daughter! Killing her own brother for a commoner!
King: Find them! Kill them on sight!
King: Who lets them go shall be sentenced to death!
The king was outraged and did not listen to anyone. Circe had no ways to stop the king from killing his own daughter; she could feel nothing but total disappointment towards him. Because of the various pressure sources, memories flashed back in her mind...
The king, for his greed, continuously invaded adjacent states; thus, indignation abounded throughout the realm. Circe failed to dissuade the king and hence summoned her demonic servant to protect their home.
The king wanted an all-cure gem and sent the servant to claim it; Circe did not wish to rob from others but lacked the power to prevent it.
The demonic servant failed in a mission and was sentenced to death by the king; Circe could only lift the contract and let it go. States then allied to seek revenge and invaded their land, causing numerous casualties.
The king once wanted another treasure. His warriors returned with no result. It was Circe, yet again, who persuaded the king not to execute them.
This time, the king was insistent about the bloodline. He caused their daughter’s elopement and their son’s death. Now that he would not let the last of their blood go...
Resentment built up as the past flowed back. Circe finally broke down!
Circe, with a small bottle of fluid in her hand, walked towards the king’s bedroom...
The Queen of Sarmatians: If the king does not show any sign of regret, I should let him taste my pain.
The Queen of Sarmatians: From now on, I, Circe, no, the Queen, will take over the state!
The princess went missing; the prince passed away. The people’s emotions were already fluctuating while they received yet another bad news: the king had perished.
Even though the cause of death was suspicious, no one dared suspect the queen, for that they understood how much pain she had borne. However, they had no intention to stay in the state. They packed and left but the queen did not impede them. The only ones left were loyal officials and subjects who were willing to follow her.
The queen set up a magic circle again. The enclosing forest grew until it enveloped the whole state and suddenly stopped. Since then, Sarmatia disappeared on the map...
The Ithaca clan enshrined an artifact from generation to generation. It was said to be created by fragments of an ancient dragon. Along with the artifact, texts related to the power of dragons were also enshrined there.
In the past, when Odysseus returned after hunting, he discovered that the artifact was taken by a group of adventurers. He blamed himself for a long time and could not understand why his father forbade him from searching for it. Now, his father had led the clan to sojourn in a foreign city and had even handed the sacred texts to the queen there.
Clan Leader: We just need to follow the artifact’s will.
Clan Leader: As for other things, we do not need to, and are not able to, consider.
Odysseus: So you’re really listening to the woman and leaving today?
Clan Leader: It’s just one night. We will return tomorrow.
Seeing the Ithacas’ departure, Circe started the preparation work of her experiment. Since reigning as queen, she bore stress from various matters every day, especially those from rumors.
Although there were individuals willing to stay and follow the queen, they would sometimes speculate — was the king poisoned by the queen? Circe adopted her usual ways to stop the spread of the rumors, but people’s respect toward her gradually turned into fear. It was not until the Ithaca clan brought her texts of magics did she feel having a chance to change her life.
Circe learned various magics of great practical value. One of which intrigued her to experiment.
Circe, Witch of Dark Magic: Men, announce my order.
Circe, Witch of Dark Magic: When the moon comes out tonight, gather at the central square!
Circe, Witch of Dark Magic: Now, let me try what this magic can do.
Crowd: Your Majesty, please spare our lives!
Crowd: Why do you turn us into pigs?
Circe, Witch of Dark Magic: Because you talk too much!
Circe, Witch of Dark Magic: Experiment...succeeded...
Circe, Witch of Dark Magic: ...From now on, people would no longer dare speak out of turn about me.
Because of Circe’s magic, all Sarmatians became pigs.
Circe granted the name of Sarmatia to the clan which returned to the state. They resettled there and became the new Sarmatians, while Circe herself stayed indoor most of the time. She devoted herself to the study of magics in the texts; hence, she was reckoned as the witch of the clan. The artifact and texts, then, were passed on through generations here in Sarmatia.