They would be wrong, of course.

Shion frowned and settled back to listen to his father’s advisors. As always, they were full of ideas to improve thing in the march. Some seemed to be genuine in their interests, but for the most part the young heir to the regions saw them as self-serving. He looked up sharply at the mention of his own name.

Once more, Mikal’s father wanted him to be sent to another court. “There are those that say you keep him too near your side, my lord; that he hasn’t the opportunity for growth. He might do well at the king’s court as squire,” the older man was saying.

“I can see the validity of that argument,” his father allowed. For a brief moment, Shion was afraid his Lord Father would relent and send him away. Then he continued, “However, since very soon he will be taking on special duties during my own absences from the march, it would be best for him to remain here.”

“Some say, my lord, that your son deserves a broader experience,” the man persisted.

Shion rolled his eyes, thinking of Mikal and wondering if the older boy had complained to his father that he was bested at arms practice by a boy four years his junior. He remained silent however and found relief in the fact that his father let the subject drop. It was settled, if only for now.