Clovis instantly recognized it as a contract, before his fingertips touched the paper. The power snapped against his fingers as he took it. He uncoiled it and looked at the first line. "Binding of the Silver Tigress the Shadow" he read aloud and raised an eyebrow. "I didn't consider her because she's so rare, I figured you wanted her for the collection?" the Emperor laughed.
"She is a beautiful addition it's true, but that contract will be met and she will be set free. I have no intention of binding her a second time. If she is close to you it would be an advantage for us if she wishes to stay on on her own." The Emperor replied having already thought this through. However, Clovis did not sign too quickly. His plan still seemed best. There was no telling what had happened with this Tigress over the last few weeks since the night she saved Raina. He also had to consider that no one had seen her much since then, fleeting glances near the palace occasionally but nothing substantial was known about her as of yet.
"I will keep her in mind. We have a few days till The Gathering. I intend to end my search then, when the animals show their loyalties. I do not think it would be wise to do so before, since if I choose a wolf and he bows to my brothers then I would be the fool back at square one." Clovis explained his plan as he watched his father finish his tea and pour another cup. There were many redeeming qualities to the meek and mild Mally, but her tea skill was by for the most exceptional.
"That is a good plan, however you have never been bowed to in the history of the gathering. What if that happens again?" The Emperor asked curiously and Clovis just smiled.
"Honestly? I expect this year will be no different. If that happens then the ones who bow to the Empress or those who refuse to bow at all will be my options. I can turn the head of one loyal to my mother fairly easily. However, though it will take more work I would prefer one who did not show a loyalty." Clovis expressed how he felt rather simply and the Emperor nodded. Overall this plan seemed well thought out and he could hardly find fault with it.
"Ahh, alright. You will have less than a year to prepare though. The Final trial will begin as soon as all four sons have their backing. Speaking of, Your Brother in Law seems to be your first backer. Have you given consideration to whom you will seek for your second?" The Emperor added and Clovis shook his head.
"Years ago I leaned on King Panna and Queen Vaxlyn as my supports but… I do not think they would be willing after their grand daughter left my side." Clovis replied honestly having struggled with this for a few days. There was so much to prepare… the four key points before the test of will were the most difficult and tiresome. The actual trek to the temple Clovis was certain would be easy enough. The worst part would be leaving little Raina for so long and worrying for her safety.
"It couldn't hurt to reach out to them. I do know they are not supporting Bastil or Dannon." The Emperor added with a bit of a shrug. "You might also consider the King of Serpents Gate, he would be a decent ally." The second suggestion was less promising than the first, but it was a option. The Serpent king, Sylas was known for staying clear of other Kingdom's struggles but the one thing that he did care about was his nephew, Mordrin.
"I don't want to use Mordrin as a connection more than I have to. If he offers I will not decline, but I will not ask for his help. His support is more than enough." Clovis replied firmly. There was a connection between him and his brother in law, but he would not push it.
This is truly the lat chapter for tonight. I will be back Friday with 3 chapters. (1 extra as a teaser for the mass release).
Have a good Thursday.
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