('nother meenee-update, will post the major one once Zula updates)

That settles the affair, Alford says to himself. The matter of Tileot had yet to be resolved. He had not seen his son in almost a year by this point. In truth, Alford was one of the very few who knew that Tileot was not his nephew, but his only child. Even Tileot himself was unaware of the fact. Alford's brother had agreed to take the child under an oath of secrecy and raise him as his own.

Now it was time to build bridges. Tileot had never been close to him, nor had Alford gotten much opportunity to talk to the boy. He did not approve of all of the decisions taken in Tileot's upbringing. Alford had even wanted to name the boy Rowen, but his brother, being the foster father, had made it clear that if he was to take on such a burden, then Tileot would be his to manage as he saw fit. It was his only condition.

Alford has de Mon lead him to the private apartment provided for Tileot. He knocks at the door lightly, and waits. For once, he is the one seeking permission to enter. It is a strange feeling, for a king.

A young man opens up for him, wearing plain yet formal garb to his feet. His hair is golden and curly, like his true mother's had been. Tileot perks up at seeing his uncle, and invites him in without hesitation.
"It's been a long time, uncle. I mean, my lord. My king."
Alford waves the formalities away.
"No need for titles in the presence of your... uncle... Tileot."
"As you wish, sir." Tileot replies plainly.

After an awkward silence, Alford seats himself and looks out of the window.
"So, boy, tell me. How is life in Northstone? How fares your mother?"
"She is fine. Times have been hard since father was taken by the gnolls, as you can imagine. But thanks to your gracious funding, the farms run well, and the peasants are happy."
"That's great." Alford replies, trying to sound genuinely interested.
The boy pouts idly, patting his lap to pass the time.
"So, what about you?"
"How are things?"
"Oh. Fine." Alford replies. "Although, uh. There's the whole rebellion business, I'm sure you've heard of it. Pesky bandits. You know. Haha. Nothing your old man can't handle."

Alford makes for a brief and hearty demonstration of punching thin air and barks a laugh afterwards.
"We'll show 'em!"
Tileot forces another smile.
"Yeah. You're the best."
"Mm. So, kid." Alford manages. "Did your father teach you how to use a sword?"

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