"Thank you, My Lord. My reasons are pure, I assure you. I have no intention to seek vengeance. Only to prevent and protect future harm to my Kingdom and my family." Clovis replied placing his fists together and bowing his head in gratitude. The Emperor nodded, knowing the sincerity of the actions he just witnessed.
"We will hold the ceremony tomorrow, however there is a slight problem." The Emperor pointed out finishing his tea. Reflexively, Clovis poured him another. "You are several steps behind your brothers." he pointed out taking another sip. The realization took a second to sink into Clovis' mind. He indeed was behind the steps.
"Yes, I am aware however they are not difficult ones to pass and I am ahead of my brothers in a couple more difficult areas." he countered realizing why The Dowager Empress had been so helpful the last few days. She had been silently working on his war path. The Emperor raised a brow.
"Oh and in what ways?" he asked honestly pleasantly surprised. Clovis seemed to have thought this through more than he expected.
"First off, I have taken over palace duties already. I manage the budget meetings and inspect the troops on a regular basis. I also have the support of several foreign dignitaries including my brother in law and The Emperor of the Flaming Wolf Country." Clovis pointed out stirring his tea. The leaves danced around the cup as he did so. The Emperor chuckled pleasantly.
"That is true. Lord ShadowVeil and Lord Celestor are both very strong Allies. The palace duties are good additions, but you still need a wife and a beast." The Emperor replied logicly. The statement sounded like a warning but he knew the Emperor was also praising him. Clovis winced slightly at the mention of a wife and the Emperor sighed
"You know you have to let what happened go and find a new wife." The Emperor reminded him gently. He knew the boy's wound still burned deep within. Little did he know, the death of the first Fourth Princess Taleena had not caused the deepest wound in Clovis' battered heart. Another name was etched on that blade.
""Yes, Father. Mally will help me find a decent beast to fit my hand. A bride will take a bit longer, perhaps but I will solve both issues soon." Clovis replied, honestly wanting to see Mally. He knew her calm mind would sooth him greatly. She had a way about her, like the soothing spring or graceful dance of a jungle cat.
"Good. I suggest you begin working on both. I will set things in order for the meeting tomorrow. Your brothers will be there." the mention was more than just a passing statement. It was a thinly veiled warning. The 5 brothers would fight Clovis entering the race again. He was the rightful heir according to status, and he would have the backing of the Elders. "Beauty Mally currently has a visitor. Her sister I believe." The Emperor added, remembering he was to meet the pair shortly. Now it was Clovis' turn to be surprised. That gave the Emperor a small surge of satisfaction.
"I see. I will bother her later then. For now I must tend to Raina. I have taken to checking on her every few hours now if she's left with the Queens." he replied standing to bow. The Emperor sighed and nodded slowly. He took a small jade pendant from beside his seat.
It was a small lion cub carved from jade and tied to a elaborately woven children's belt. A few beads hung from the straps. "Take this cord. It is to give her access to the Cold Palace. The guards will not stop her from taking the main path. I do not want her lost again." The Emperor admitted as his son took the soft brown cord from him. The purple beads made it clear this was made for Raina. It wasn't something he had laying around.
Clovis stared at it a moment, a torrent of conflicting emotions running through him. 'Perhaps the Emperor feels remorse?' he wondered quietly before nodding. After one last bow he left the Emperor to finish his tea.
Clovis is taking a stand. Can't really blame him.
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