As the right hand, it was Fantumar's role to be the advisor of the king. One of the conditions to achieve that role was to be the first ranking noble, just one rank below the king and the trust of the king. The rankings of the nobles determined their social statuses and in order to be on the rankings, they either played politics or great deeds in the battlefield. It was not uncommon to rise in the ranks due to battle contributions, but it was also not uncommon to fall from grace due to political intrigue just like the Ambroses.
The Ambrose Family was already at the bottom of the barrel, but Fantumar's pressing further by asking the princess and the king not to socialize with Emery was pushing it.
Gwen stomped the ground and glared at the fat noble. Her voice had a sense of sharpness in them. "Lord Fantumar, you may be my father's right hand but you're out of line telling me who I can and cannot be friends with!"
Fantumar furrowed his brows. This princess had always been a pain in the ass for their family. He turned to the boy instead and ordered, "Boy, raise your head let us see your face."
Emery, feeling brave because of the princess backing him up, raised his face and looked Fantumar directly in the eyes.
Fantumar smirked. The light of the moonlight reflecting on Emery's eyes confirmed his suspicions. He wasn't sure when he had seen this kid earlier at the gate but now he confirmed. "Do you see it, sire? The boy has his mother's eyes."
"What do you mean Fantumar?" asked Richard.
"You see, sire." Fantumar leaned closer and whispered, "He's a half-blood. A—"
"A Fey Chrutin!" exclaimed Richard, staring at Emery's eyes.
Fey Chrutin were humans who lived in the deep forested areas of the Britons. It was said that they loved to socialize with the mysterious creatures of the forest, the fey creatures. The fey chrutin lived without following the kingdom rule.
For hundreds of years, the fey chrutin and the people of the kingdom people had always been at war. The Lioness Kingdom's military had attempted to burn these forests multiple times just to drive out the fey chrutin, but for reasons unknown, the fires never seem to spread out. Thus, all sorts of rumors from the fey chrutins knowing black magic, witchcraft, mythical creatures, etc. began to spread.
At this moment, another figure walked in. It was Geoffrey Ambrose, Emery's father. He didn't waste one more second and got down on one knee in front of the king. "My Liege, I apologize for the behavior of my son. I hope he didn't offend you in any way. I will discipline him better!"
The king stared at Geoffry with a complicated look, he said, "Is what Fantumar said true? That your late wife — is a chrutin?"
Emery didn't know what was going on. What was a chrutin, what about his late mother, all these were things he had never known. He looked at his father kneeling to the king and felt a pang of pain in his heart. He didn't like seeing his father like this. The strength, power, the confidence of his father seemed to have faded.
Geoffrey replied with a heavy tone, "It-it is true, my king."
The king's face darkened; his wrinkles appeared, fist tightened and mouth clenched. The chrutins were the reason he had lost his wife. He hated them with all his being.
Emery also noticed how Gwen's face had changed. He still didn't understand what was happening. Everyone except him seemed to know what was going on.
"Gwen, come with me right now." Richard turned to the father and son and said a single word that was full of hate, "Leave."
"Now!" roared Richard.
Gwen was startled. Her father had never shouted at her, this was the first. She looked at Emery with a complicated face and said, "I'm sorry. I don't think we can be friends."
Richard grabbed Gwen, prompting her to drop the box Emery had given, and dragged her back into the palace.
Emery blankly stared at the broken box with figurine pieces on the ground. He was about to pick it up when the palace guard barred his way. They were then shown out of the palace.
Once they were outside, the gates behind them were shut. Emery was at a loss as he gazed at the towering wooden gate wondering what did he do wrong? Why did the princess and the king look at him like that?
He asked his father for answers, but all his father gave was a weak smile. The ride home was full of unbearable silence. Emery wished instead for his father to just scold him.
Back at the palace, Fantumar watched the Ambrose father and son riding their horses. He deviously smiled on how they were now on the king's bad side. However, that wasn't enough for him.