1866-08-14: Legacy
Summary: Aidric attempts to teach his daughter about the legacy of their blood… it doesn't go well.
Date: 1866-08-14
Related: A Talk that Certainly Never Happened

“Here they are,” Aidric says as he lifts the lantern to cast its golden light on a portrait in the vaults below the royal library. It wasn’t the sort of vault where valuable things were kept under lock and key, but a high-roofed chamber that happened to be where things were put that were otherwise wished to be forgotten.

Aidric’s guest, a dark haired child of four years of age, stares up at the portrait that towered above her, depicting a fair haired man and a fair haired woman, standing together clutching each other’s hands and smiling. The couple was finely dressed and crowned with gold and painted above their heads was the reason this painting had been doomed to the vaults of the Royal Museum and replaced with a less offensive doppelganger in the gallery above: the combined arms of Rivana and Couviere.

“Who are they?” the girl asks.

Aidric scoffs and turns to his daughter, “I need to get you better tutors,” he grumbles as he crouches down, still holding the lantern high enough to shine light on the couple’s faces. “That is King Stephan and Queen Katerine. They are your great-great-grandparents.”

“Oh,” the girl, Casella, says. She looks to Aidric, with wide eyes the same shade of green as his own. “Can we go?”

Aidric swallows his frustration with a grimace. “No, not yet. Do you know what that means don’t you? That they are your great-great-grandparents?”

Casella shakes her head.

Aidric sighs.

“Besides, again, that your tutors are deplorable, it means their blood flows in your veins.”

Casella blinks without comprehension.

“Of course not,” he says testily before he tilts the lantern slightly to illuminate the crowns on the heads of the king and queen more fully.

“Do you know what those are?”

“Crowns?” Casella offered weakly.

“Thank the One, yes, crowns,” Aidric said with a nod. “Do you know what they mean?”

Cassella chewed her lip, then opened her mouth a moment, before closing it again and shaking her head.

“Hrm,” Aidric says. “It means they are king and queen.”

Again. Nothing.

Aidric lowers the lantern, to rest his arm as he thinks.

“You know how where you live people have to listen to Sir Donal and Lady Dara?”

She nods

“Well it is like that with kings and queens, but, well, everywhere, not just in one house.” Well King Stephan and Queen Katerine had wanted it to be everywhere at least.

He glanced to his daughter, she nods, her mouth making an ‘o’ shape.

Aidric frowns. It was even money if she was getting any of this. Perhaps four was too young for teaching legacy. He lifts the lantern again, illuminating the faces. He knew them as well if not better than his own. When he had been at court, he’d spent hours staring at it. Both Stephan and Katerine had been dead then, but their memory had loomed large, but more than that, they were his royal ancestors and that meant everything.

He looks to his daughter, who was standing beside him fidgeting. She stopped as soon as she spotted him looking.

“Though clearly not to four year olds,” he remarks to himself. To be fair he was twice her age when he came to court and first saw the portrait. Maybe she would understand then that royal blood, would put her above the parade of tutors and nurses who’d be tasked with tending to her.

Casella looks at him with a silent question in reply to his words.

Aidric put his hand on her shoulder. “Nevermind,” he says, before an uncomfortable silence settles into place between them. Letting go of her shoulder he offers Casella his hand, “You’ll understand one day,” he says then offers what he hoped was an encouraging smile, “For now though, let’s find something nice to buy. Do you like drawing at all…”

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