“None of it?” said Jamal. “You upset your parents that much?”
“Oh yes,” Amelia laughed. “You know that rebellious phase that young people go through? It was not a phase for me. My parents and I saw the world in vastly different ways. And they passed that on to my brother and sister, who then passed it on to all of their children. In their eyes, I was always the corrupting aunt. They thought me a nuisance, at best. An opponent, at worst.”
“Er... an opponent?” said Hector.
“In their power games. The Carthraces and the Lumenbels have a long-enduring rivalry with one another. And now, with so many of those Lumenbel boys dead, I am sure my nephews are seeing it as a great opportunity to further our family name. Unfortunately for them, the Queen has no obvious successor with whom they may attempt to arrange another marriage. In theory, if both Helen and William were to die tomorrow, rule would pass to the already-married firstborn son of her oldest brother. There is also the very likely possibility that the Queen has preemptively appointed someone else in secret--someone who will only be revealed should such a crisis ever arise. As you might imagine, the political seas in Sescoria are rather stormy, right now. I am most glad to be here with you fine gentlemen, instead.”
Garovel floated over Amelia. ‘Hmm. Ask her what the origin of this dispute between the two families is.’
With effort, Hector managed to.
“Oh, I could not tell you. That was before even my time. But it has sustained itself over all these years due to continually renewed feelings of ill will. In recent memory, there was the matter of Prince David upsetting my niece Delilah so much that she plainly refused to marry him no matter how my brother attempted to coerce her. Which was no small feat, mind you. My brother could have given lessons to mules on stubbornness. Even on his deathbed. The doctors said he had three days left, at most. He didn’t let go of this mortal coil for another month.”