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24.03% The Tiger Within / Chapter 168: Royal Tea Part 1

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Chapter 168: Royal Tea Part 1

The royal family settled down around the table while servants prepared the tea and placed it upon the table. CLovis smiled as he took his seat at the Emperor's right side beside him the Empress settled onto the low pillow. He reached out and steadied her, helping his mother to a resting position.

"Thank you, Princeling." Eve's warm voice sincere as she spoke kindly to her son. There was a moment of a smile between the two. "Congratulations." She added glancing at the nervous white tiger who stood near the doorway. Her smile faltered as she realized the tigress was less than at ease entering this palace. She could hardly blame her, the stench of death could never be truly cleansed from these halls.

The Emperor before the current, Clovis' grandfather was known for the blood of his reign. So many shifters had been slaughtered in these halls. A young Shifter Monkey called Saya had been put to death in this very hall only twenty years ago. Evelyn had been here then, and watched as the Emperor's Second Queen was drug into the tea hall and her second form revealed. She had been killed on the spot, without the chance to explain herself at all. Forced to marry the king for her beauty, and then killed because he could not accept who she truly was. Such a sad story… Eve could remember her own nervousness to enter the tea room since then. Her posture had been similar to this Tigress, and who could blame such a nobel beast stepping into a den of indecency?

"Clovis, It seems she may be uncertain." Eve pointed out and Clovis nodded turning back to her.

"Moondance, join me." He called to her, offering a warm smile. It was so similar to the look he had given Kyera the night before that she felt more at ease. She moved toward him, her graceful posture carrying her well to his side.

Kyera sat at his side, between him and the Empress, still keeping a slight distance between her and the Emperor, Clovis as a buffer. Her eyes traveled over the two queens as they both took their seats on the left side of the table. Bastil and Feya sitting at Queen Kira's side as she instructed the servants to pour the tea for the Empress first and move around the table. Alexi took the pot and poured the tea for his brother Damar and Queen Fae, seeming unwilling to let the servant do so for his family. This action earned a curious glance from Kyera.

"Good girl." Clovis' soft assurance was enough to draw her eyes away from the wives of the brothers and their behaviors. J

"So Clovis, congratulations on another step toward catching up the race." Fae greeted with a nonchalant smile. Alexi cut her a look while adding a lump of sugar to her tea, stirring it gently. Kyera tilted her head curiously, her golden eyes fixed on them both a bit confused at the tension that suddenly seemed to flood the room.

"Very well actually, Queen Fae. I only have a single step behind my siblings now." Clovis replied offering a kind smile. He seemed to be the only one not bothered by this question. Curiosity did prickle at the back of her mind as she wondered what little secrets she had yet to learn.

"Oh? Are you sure? We wouldn't want you to be disqualified for missing a step." Queen Kira added seeming genuinely concerned as she looked up from her tea. "Perhaps later we could sit down and discuss your plan. Since The Empress has been in the Cold Palace, perhaps I could help you catch up since she is still ill?" She offered and Kyera couldn't help but rumble deep in her chest. Something about that offer seemed so… conceited.

"No, that's alright. My mother is more than capable of helping me, but I thank you for your thoughtfulness." Clovis replied, offering a kind but cool smile to the Queen. Kyera picked up on each little fluctuation of emotion, and even more so when a solid wall formed between the outside world and his feelings. The control was back but this was the true force of his ability, and now Kyera could see the usefulness of it.

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