(I think that about a month is long enough putting off this update. I can’t put into words all the argh that I have over the first section, but I quite like the second, so I figured that putting them both together would ease the transition. Yes, I know that this is a pretty passive narrative chunk. I want to break it into portions to tell this time better, but I haven’t quite been struck by inspiration recently to fix it. So I’m just going to jump over it for now and come back to it later on. Thanks for bearing with me!)
Time passed. As the King’s closest adviser, the Grand Duke assumed the role of steward while Edmond was growing up. With the help of his oldest allies, they began to implement changes that they’d long desired to make during the reign of King Richard.
And all the while, Edmond grew.
Trying to save face for the kingdom, Tatsuo hid the boy prince away. His companions were children of other nobles who lived and worked in the nearby capitol of Castleguard. As soon as those children realized that their fathers treated Edmond different, a strange rift formed in their friendships. Overt maltreatment would have been unthinkable, yet gradually the children picked up on their parents’ critical attitudes and subtly began to ostracize him.
Edmond found solace with the children of the maids and servants. The older ones held him with some degree of awe and were not much fun to play with (it’s difficult to play a proper round of Dragon’s Hoard when none dare to challenge the dragon). The youngest ones had not yet learned that they were different from him and adored any sort of companionship.
His boyhood was a melding of bargaining for the respect of his peers, appeasing his those older than him, and basking in the attention of those younger. Thus Edmond grew, out of sight and mind of the nobility – that is, until he entered adolescence, ceased attempting to please his elders and began to forge his own path.
The Grand Duke had a minor heart attack when he realized that the time was soon approaching when his grip on the throne would be forcibly removed when the dreaded common heir came of age. At that point, he and his associates began to observe the young prince a bit more closely. Continue reading