Clovis listened intently as his father ran him through all the preparations. There was so much thought into this… he actually felt honored. It was rare for the Emperor to take time out to be a father to any of his children, last of all the one son failed to truly understand. Yet, every moment he spent with Clovis was cherished by his middle son.
"Does that sound pleasant? I mean it won't be a intimate gathering but it should give you an idea of who you want." he finished explaining with a smile and Clovis nodded, having truly paid attention to every word.
"It sounds effective. My only concern is cost." Clovis responded, unable to turn off the treasurer side of his mind. The Emperor's face turned stoney cold.
"Clovis, you are the Fourth Prince of My Empire. Your mother is the only woman to ever sit on the Throne as Mother of this nation. Bastil was born to a noble concubine, as was Damar. You and Alexi were the only sons born with a royal mother. If I can't spend at least as much on a ball to find your bride as I did buying Carina's hand for Damar, then there is something very wrong. You have put yourself third for the empire and remained been money conscious long enough." The Emperor replied sternly, the entire spill catching Clovis off guard. There was no mirth in the Emperor's words. He was more serious than he had seen in a very long time. It took several moments for Clovis to clear his throat.
"Yes, Father." he replied careful to keep his voice from cracking. The emperor smiled as that serious tone melted away.
"I love all my children, but when it comes to the throne there can be no mistake as to who has the most right to rule. Empress Evelyn has always been a amazing woman and the perfect mother of our empire. You are her son. My son." The Emperor continued as if his son had not responded. The slight tint of sadness confusing to the boy.
"As it should be. Father, thank you. I am sure whoever Raina and I choose will be a good match not only for us, but the Empire." Clovis replied nodding and making it clear he intends to find a Empress the People can be proud of. This wasn't about him in his mind, and his words and actions showed it.
The expression on the Emperor's face straddled between proud and unhappy with his answer. "I also think it is important the first wife matters to you. If I didn't have Evelyn I never would have survived my first year on the throne. Keep that in mind." he added with a nod. "However, have you considered your Companion? Your only required to have one."
"I have given that a lot of thought. I am considering Leopard or perhaps wolf. Both have their strengths." Clovis replied honestly having contemplated most the animals in the forest. The Empress nodded slowly, processing this with a bit of surprise. "Is that a surprise?" Clovis asked seeing his father's response.
"Just not what I expected from you. Lions and Tigers have always been your draw since you were a child, yet you considered neither." The Emperor replied and Clovis chuckled. He nodded his agreement as he took a small peach blossom crisp from the plate in front of him.
"I considered both but the two Male lions are at your side and barely get along. I do not want them to lose their position in the pride with a young upshot." Clovis pointed out, sincerely worried about it. Two Lions was hard enough to manage without blood. He didn't have the time or energy to fight with that. "Tiger, well that's simple. The only Tiger in this garden was taken in by my elder brother."
"Both are valid points but not completely true." The Emperor replied pulling a pale tan parchment from inside his robes. The edges were singed jaggedly as though fire had ran the length on either side. A blue ribbon tied around it to keep the scroll closed. He offered it to Clovis with a grin.
The Emperor loves seeing Clovis Squirm.
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