The imperial family returns home. He goes about his business taking care of his kingdoms but he finds that his thoughts return back to Valhalla and a certain person. He has wonderful memories but also conflicting feelings about the courtship, especially the fact that he may harm Marielena by separating her from her close family. He is please that all of the parents get along- Galina and Robert liked him well enough and of course they got on with his mother, who knew them from the past. How would she fair having to live out in his kingdom, having to adopt his people as her own? In the past, she returned home when her deeds were done. She demurred when he tried to assuage her by telling her of the sorts of duties she could undertake as the Empress. She did not merely have to produce heirs and look pretty. He really did see her as an asset to his cabinet. An ambassador or advisor at least. He saw her as being as his mother was to his father.
The Emperor took to his bed in the mid of the day and asked for any matters to be delivered to his chambers but that he would not attend the court. He climbed into bed and put the covers over his head. He reminisced. He recalled the last time he took to his room. It has snowed and he thought of her and how he wished she was there next to him. The wish was granted not too long ago as Valhalla was greated with a healthy snowfall.
His brother Chris visited him and teased him greatly for being lovesick. His sister Sora visited and brought words of comfort. She echoed Chris’ observation that it seemed that the court was pushing Mirabelle to press her suit since he did enjoy her company. His mother visited last and as usual, her counsel was sound. She also said that she knew that he would never make a reckless decision that would jeopardize himself or his people.
Marielena was saddened by the departure of the Emperor but she glowed with her memories. She had been flirted with in the past but this is a different experience for her. As she went on with her work, she thought of him and began writing letters. Pasha teased her by saying that she has now turned into their sister Eugenie. He expected that now they would hear of nothing but her “Dorosha.”