The Emperor looked at the woman who spoke for a moment then offered a soft smile to Bastil's wife. Feya stood tall, adorned in a dress the same color as her husbands. Her graceful posture seemed uncertain as her face showed the soft hints of concern. "You may speak, First Princess Feya." he replied, honestly curious as to what she would have to say. She was the last person he had expected to speak up, and Clovis' reaction had not escaped his interest. Kira smiled, hoping this girl would prove her worth today.
" Thank you, Your Majesty. I am concerned and a bit confused to be honest. Is it appropriate for Clovis to reenter the sacred competition for emperor? I was under the impression he forfeited that right when he abandoned the kingdom the first time he asked to take his palace crest from the branches. Should a Emperor's dedication to a kingdom have ever come into question?" Feya spoke gently as though she did not wish to say these words, but felt it was her duty to do so. The Emperor's eyes softened as he watched her delicate concern, for a moment he thought he would not be displeased with her as the Mother of the country. Yet Clovis knew that concern was not for him or the country, it was concern for the threat she knew was coming.
"Yes, I can see where your concern is coming from, Princess Feya." The Emperor replied with a slight frown. These were indeed points he had not considered previously. Alexi shook his head and broke away from his mother's side. She reached for his hand to stop him but he shrugged it off.
"Father, If I may, it is true that Clovis asked to be removed from consideration I do not think it was out of lack of dedication. We should at least let Clovis shed some light on why he made his choice." Prince Alexi stepped up glancing at his father who smiled. There was peace among his sons, and that was a warming site despite the fact that the brothers would be competing.
Clovis nodded at Alexi. "Thank you for your support, brother. However my reasons.." He began but a delicate hand touched his arm. Vella stepped forward, away from her husband and into her father's line of site.
"It is true that My brother removed his name from the running, but that was not his choice." Vella spoke clearly stepping forward. Clovis looked at her, his eyes flashing slightly with Alarm. He knew what she was to say and he did not want her to do this to herself.
"Vella…" Clovis began but she shook her head. Her eyes were calm and sad.
"You have protected me long enough. It's time I come to your side, brother." Vella replied stepping forward, beside Feya. The Princess of the Shadow Veil Kingdom stood strong before her father, but there was a note of shame in her eyes. Mordrin watched from his position at the Empress's side but he didn't wish to be there. He wanted to be at his wife's side, but he knew she needed to do this herself. It had been weighing on her for so long now…
"Princess Vella, did you have something to do with why Clovis removed his name from the Phoenix Tree?" The Emperor asked raising a eyebrow slightly. When Clovis had first removed his name, it was believed that his daughter's tender age after losing her mother had pushed him to want to be a father to his daughter rather than the country. Vella cast her gaze down, allowing herself to bow her head slightly to show she was ashamed before taking a deep breath and raising her eyes to meet her father.
"Yes, I am the reason that Clovis took his name off the tree the first time." Vella's words were met with silence for several moments.
"Family should not come before the Kingdom." Feya reminded her softly but Vella ignored her words.
"My brother gave up his position so I would not be selfish and start a war with the Shadow Veil Kingdom."
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