Travant was walking around the castle. He has decided to postpone his work for today. Something he had learnt after years of hard sacrifices was how much his body could take in lack of food or sleep. So after not feeling well that morning he had detected that it was time for him to have a day off.
His feet guided him towards the training grounds in the castle. He saw there the children having their afternoon lance practice with their instructor. Altena launched her attack towards Arion. She tried to hit him first in the shoulder, the leg and the arm but he blocked all of them. Maybe it was not totally fair to pit an eleven year old against a fourteen year old but he knew this will make her stronger.
"Altena! You are being too slow," Travant shouted.
The girl's head turned to where he was, a moment her brother used to attack her on her leg making her fall to the ground.
"That's not fair," she protested.
"Yes, it is. The fight wasn't over," Arion answered in complete calm.
The two looked at their father, searching for his opinion, to be honest for his approval, in the incident.
"You have to always keep your attention to your enemies, Altena. Life is not fair," he explained.
The girl looked down while the boy first looked at her but later his eyes were fixed on his father and asked him, "father, do you have the afternoon free?"
He was always busy, "I'm resting for today," he answered and looked directly to the instructor, "the practice ends for today. You are dismissed."
The instructor bowed and went out. Arion helped Altena to get up and when he was leading to to his room, Travant stopped him putting his hand on his shoulder, " I want you both to come with me."
The two looked at each other with surprise and followed him in absolute silence when he started walking to his study. Inside, the children sat on the same sofa while he sat in the armchair next to the sofa and the silence remained with them until Arion broke it with a question a little insecure, "Is something wrong, father?"
"Does something need to happen to be together?" Travant said while the boy shocked his head slightly, "I just wanted us to rest together. When was the last time we had a day off and spend it together?"
"Three months ago, we went to observe the wyverns." Altena answered.
"Right. We should do another."
"To see the wyverns?" The girl's eyes shined brightly.
"Maybe, why not?"
Silence invaded the room.
"How's your training doing?"
"Really good. The instructor says that I'm born gifted with the lance" Altena was the one to answer again.
Travant laughed a little, "I hope so. And your classes?"
"Good," now it was Arion's turn to answer.
"That's good then," Travant leaned to the front and looked directly at his son's eyes, "In my last reunion with Blume he came with his kid, he's one or two yeard younger than you. For the next one, I want you to go with me. Blume needs to always remember that he doesn't have any right to any part of Thracia and we are the ones here to reminder him that."
Arion looked a little scared. He felt Altena taking one of his hand and squeezed it. He looked first at the two hands and later to her face which was with a radiant smile and she said, "I know you will do great."
He smiled confidently looking at his father and he got up bowing in front of this king, "I promise, father, I will not dissapoint you."
"I know you won't. You can go to your room."
His eyes followed how his son exited the room and when he looked to the sofa and he encountered the girl bowing at him, " I promise, father, I will also train hard for yours and the sake of our people."
Travant smiled. Since she had ended in his arms, Travant had been wondering how an arrogant bastard like Quan had been blessed by such an amazing daughter. A shame he couldn't spend a lot of time with her.
" You're the perfect princess Thracia deserves."
Altena smiled and went out the room, "I love you, father"
Travant as every day that passed he felt more and more that three words.