143.2 \ 335

The King Proxem assessed his adult daughter, his challenger. Her jumpsuit armoring was of exotic make, without adornment, effect, or decoration. It was complex, and lightweight-plus. The Princess Ascendant’s lips were an unusual deep space black, maybe signifying something. A change in her, certainly. The sword. The scroll. Black hair braided, and rolled into the high-necked collar of a half-deployed hood. Here in this room, not long ago to him, she’d worn a family colors ballgown.

Some part of him must have thought he might just talk her home, but that likelihood was not prevalent. He couldn’t exactly feel his position, so he pivoted to the situation. She looked supported, and strong. He flexed his experienced hands at his sides, also noting the pen in the scroll. He felt physically comfortable in usual light official suiting, wearing just the emblem of the Old Armor that had been reworked into a sparse chain harness. At his sides were the knife and the short sword he knew well.

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