Featured image art “Emerald dragon,” by Arute (@ast05water)
To: His Imperial Highness Lord Yixin
From: Her Majesty Queen Anna
Do you feel that breeze outside your window? My letter has been delivered to you by one of our kingdom’s nature spirits, Gale. She’s done her best to get this to you quickly, just a couple of weeks after Elsa’s battle with Grand Duke Nykras. We in Arendelle are exhausted by this war with Russia, and even with Tileke’s reinforcements, we can’t hang on much longer. I don’t even know if Elsa can last in an all-out battle with Katina’s last Grand Duke, Sora. Elsa’s recovering, but I’ll do everything in my power to ensure she never suffers from an imperialist or colonial power like Katina.
You wanted my big sister to join the Exalted, but you never lashed out at us after she turned you down. You had the chance for another Arendellian, Countess Vi, to sit among you, but that didn’t work out, either. I’ve always been aware of the special attention that you harboured for Arendelle.
Now, I’m here.
I’m in a desperate position. If my entry into the Exalted will cripple Katina’s place in it, then I’ll gladly accept the place you’ve prepared for me. I see this as the only way that’ll decisively outflank her and destroy her dreams forever.
I’m still cautious about Peony Sinclair, despite her help, and I despise Will Harrison. However, I plan to not just beat Katina, but also sever her from the levers of Exalted power. For that purpose, I’d gladly do for you what Elsa and Vi didn’t. I shall assume the seat that you’d reserved for a ruler from Arendelle all those years ago.
I no longer care that you might be arranging all this because of our past disagreements. I suppose I displeased you back then by saving Countess Vi, but now… well, I’m offering myself to you, aren’t I?
I wish for you to accept me into your Exalted, to teach me your ways, and in return for my discipleship, to help me make Arendelle a superpower that will never be bullied or attacked by the likes of another Exalted member, colonial power, or empire like Katina’s again!
Elsa is Arendelle. I’m a temporary custodian. You’ll never be able to have my sister under your wing, but you can have me. If Arendelle, Elsa, and all those I love can be protected… then I’m yours.
If you can accept my terms, Your Imperial Highness, then let’s get to work.
To: Her Majesty Queen Anna
From: His Imperial Highness Lord Yixin
What a lovely little nature spirit. To respect your urgency, I’ve written my response and urged this “Gale” to deliver it to you as fast as she can.
Your heart is aching and confused, girl. But you’ve made the right choice. I’ve steered world history for hundreds of years, so you’ll find me guilty as charged: yes, I wanted Elsa to join me. Yes, I tried to force Countess Viola Mundilfari to be her replacement. Perhaps I erred in my methods. But never have I doubted you and your family. Rest assured that any friction that came between you and me is forgettable compared to the great things you’ll achieve as an Exalted member.
You know that Arendelle needs to be much more if it’s to ever survive another attack like Russia’s. Only the Exalted can provide you with the necessary resources if you wish for your kingdom to become a global power that can control entire economies and nations from behind the scenes. Indeed, if it’s to endure into the modern age.
Elsa abdicated before I could draw out her greatness, but you’ll make an even worthier queen.
As Peony and I anticipated, Sora already came to bargain with me for Katina’s life a short while ago. Had she not, the stars wouldn’t be aligned and we might not be having this conversation. But just like you, I have Sora exactly where I want her. Just a little longer, my child. The world will soon lie at your feet. I’ll also make you one more offer you can’t refuse. Katina will soon discover that I’m stepping down as an Exalted member, and that the Exalted shall be your fiefdom. She who has brought so much destruction to your kingdom is irrelevant to our future goals. The time to reveal this ancient group’s noblest purpose draws close! And I want you to spearhead it all.
You already know the Sapphire Phoenix, who’s none other than Peony herself. The Gold Deer and the the Ruby Tiger have yet to be revealed. That’s why you’re here: to recast the Exalted in your own image.
Welcome, my Emerald Dragon.
Aisin Gioro Yixin