Hi, Chief! It’s Anna. I’m sorry I’m late with my column draft again. Things have been super hectic, I’m sure you’d agree. I’m still getting things back on their feet after the war with Russia. You’ve been reporting on Princess Katina’s departure back to Saint Petersburg, right? Ever since the war began you had your printing presses operating round the clock and your reporters in the fray with my soldiers. I hope none of your war correspondents were put in harm’s way.
I know you’ve promised to publish glowing articles about our kingdom’s victory, and you’ve already started writing about our kingdom’s new influence among the European powers. It’s slightly embarrassing, but thank you. We could use the encouragement.
You probably already know of my pact with Lord Yixin and my taking the reins of leadership in the Exalted. I know better than to hide anything from you, so I’m going to give you all the information you need to help me in my objectives. Only the inner court knows of my new position.
The true purpose of the Exalted goes much deeper than Yixin has so far revealed. Katina has told me already, and soon I’ll need to take a secret trip to Peking to see him. I place my trust in you in deciding whether to print news about my journey. I only ask that you keep my leadership of the Exalted a secret to everyone except the inner court.
See you soon, and I look forward to reading your paper at breakfast with Kristoff as usual.
Good morning, everyone!
I saw off Princess Katina a few days ago at the rebuilt harbour. I hope we can see her in Saint Petersburg at some other point, when she feels she can open up more to my friends and I.
For now, there’s much work to be done. Not just to ensure that our citizens feel safe, but also that we never suffer an invasion like one of Russia’s ever again.
My schedule’s quite full for the next few weeks. I have harsh words for the British, French, and Austrian ambassadors. Apart from that, I’m excited to share with you what the Arendellian monarchy is doing to protect and serve you.
- I’ve asked serakser Tileke and her Mansure Army to go on a search-and-rescue mission for Queen Colisa, the Duke of Weselton, and Prince Hans. The last time I heard from them, they’d been defeated by Grand Duke Yaraslaf while trying to stop him from reaching Arenfjord. I won’t spare any expense in finding my allies. Once I have word of their safety, I’m going to re-establish the Entente of Small Kingdoms right away.
- I must attend to a royal fugitive who’s just arrived in Arendelle, seeking asylum from the Spanish Empire as well as some honest work. Her name is Luna Bourbon, and she’s rumoured to be quite the soprano. Could she be from that Bourbon clan? The family that’s given Continental Europe so many monarchs through the centuries?
- And finally, my heart still aches for the late intelligence officer Sergeant Severin, who was a grizzled elder commander in our armed forces. His legacy lives on, though – after the war, General Mattias opened a letter from Severin that he’d promised to read only when peace prevailed. I was shocked when Destin showed me. The good sergeant has a grand-niece, right here in Arendelle! She’s apparently called Selene Severin. I’m told she’s also a jobseeker, but has designs on working in our biggest library (I suppose she didn’t follow in her uncle’s military footsteps). I’ve asked for a meeting already.
As you can see, I’m busier than ever. Please accompany me on this new journey of mine. I need you now just as much as I needed your support during the war. The kingdom might be back to normal, but there’s a lot I’m handling behind closed doors. Sadly, I can’t reveal much of it now. Please forgive me. I hope, in time, I’ll be free to. I hate hiding things from people. But even as my political reach grows, I feel increasingly constrained… as if the very weight of my secrets is pressing on my small shoulders.
I’ll always be me. I know you wouldn’t want me to be anything else. But for Elsa, for this new period in our kingdom’s history… I might need to be someone more than me alone.