"I assumed that had something to do with why you were coming to visit me at such a odd time, Father." Clovis replied as Mally set the tea pot and cups down on the table. She poured tea for both men and left again, going to tend the kitchen for the treats to go with the tea. The Emperor nodded as he took a sip of the warm tea. The faint aroma of jasmine and dragon's fang herbs filled the air around them.
"Yes, it has played a large part in it to be honest. I have decided to take your matchmaking into my own hands since your mother is unable to do so for the moment." The Emperor replied calmly, nearly causing Clovis to coat the Emperor in tea. Lucky enough, he managed to reverse it and simply scald his throat and end up in a coughing fit.
"I beg your pardon?" Clovis asked, blinking a bit unsure if he had heard the old man correctly. The Emperor nodded sagely and smiled. There was that mischief in his eyes again and Clovis could straight strangle the man. Yet again that look was directed at him. Some nights Clovis wondered why his father couldn't turn that mischievous talent for making trouble on his brothers. Any of them would be fine, just as long as it wasn't Clovis.
"I have decided that since your mother has decided to stay in the cold palace a while longer that I will plan your marriage in her stead. It is best for you to pick the bride of course but I must come up with a pool of candidates first, just as your mother would have." The Emperor explained and Clovis managed to take another sip of his tea as a excuse not to reply right away. There were so many responses going through his head and not one of them would sit well with the Emperor.
"I see, have you looked through the eligible families and tried to come up with some names? Perhaps I can help you with this?" Clovis asked almost hoping to be able to weed out some of the women that on paper would be fantastic, but in life he would end up hating. Namely, any woman who was ever close to him before Raina was born, or anyone with ties to Feya. The last thing he wanted was someone who he would have to watch his back against.
"Yes, I have actually. There are many good candidates but I think I have come up with a decent solution for you." The Emperor replied and Clovis restrained his wince. All the signs were there. The chances of him liking the next part was very low considering the Emperor's excitement. "We will hold a ball for all the eligible ladies that fit your status and you will chose five candidates to pursue from there."
Clovis blinked. It took several moments for him to consider the Old Man's proposal. He was amazed to find he didn't mind this solution at all. It would allow him to meet everyone, and no one could complain that they weren't given a fair shot. He would talk to the women, remove any who had ill intentions toward Raina or rubbed him the wrong way and if luck worked out, find a woman he could tolerate and perhaps… just maybe, love. After several moments of mulling this over and letting the Emperor sweat his reaction being a added bonus, Prince Clovis nodded.
"Alright. Send invites to all the eligible women. The Emperor's suggestion is wise and fair. I think this will yield a proper mother for Raina as well as the kingdom." Clovis replied, agreeing to his father's request. There was no reason not to after all, short time caused for bigger groups of women at once. When there were mere months left till the next stage of the Trials began, all at once might be a good thing.
"Splendid, Splendid. I believe it will also be best to have Raina there with a few people she trusts of course. Perhaps she will see something in one of the charming women that will help you make a good decision." The Emperor continued.
So this is the last chapter for tonight. Tomorrow is Dungeons and Dragons... Wait... No this is not the last chapter for tonight. I need to post Thursday's chapters.
So From now on we will consider Thursday's my day off. We just won't have chapters on Thursdays effective next week.
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