That afternoon, the Prince found Luvian standing on the balcony of the Throne Room.
“Lieutenant? Are you well?”
“Come back in, we’ve use of you in Father’s study.”
Luvian took a deep breath and turned to the Prince. “Your Highness, if I may….”
The Prince discerned Luvian’s use of the honorific Your Highness and immediately remarked upon it.
“I’ve – I’ve….” Luvian stopped. He had been wrestling with himself all afternoon on how to approach the Prince. He had fulfilled his oath to Major Corlander, seen that the Prince had received the documents, seen that Prince was safe, and aye, even seen that the King had received his documents. He’d helped the Prince as much as he could. But he felt that now his oath had been fulfilled, and he was anxious to see his family. How to express this to a Prince in his Palace while he and his father the King were bombarded inside by soldiers from Ambsellon, with unknown traitors walking their very halls? Thus, he wrestled with himself over whether to even ask for the time to leave at all. Luvian would never forgive himself if either of them were assassinated with him not in the Palace.
“Come on, man, out with it.”
“I wondered, if – if I might check on my family. Just check on them, and return.” Luvian scraped a hand across his chin nervously.
“Luvian. Have you family here in Fairview?” asked the Prince suddenly.
The Prince’s use of his first name shocked him. But he sucked in a breath and nodded. “Yes. Yes, Sir, I have. In South Fairview,” Luvian replied quietly.
“But, but Luvian….” The Prince held him by the shoulders. “Why did you not ask to see them before now?”
Luvian looked the Prince in the eye. “I was fulfilling my mission, Sir. I’m a soldier.”
The Prince said nothing but stared at him for a moment. Then he nodded. “Good man. Of course, of course you can take leave to see your family. Take all the time you need, Lieutenant. We’ll sneak you out the way you came in, and if the stable on 8th Street is still standing, take any horse you please.”