The Sky is lit with thunderous applause,
To each Venora fighting for their cause
Zvez for her love of Lord Burhan,
Fighting averse a King she cannot stand;
Andraska a writer, a Knight a steed,
All the city, Andaris he shall feed,
A justice that violence cannot quell,
He'll send those cri-mi-nals off to hell!
Willow is wise, for she loves her children,
Only despondent for she cannot see them,
Her love for Lord Kaleb has forever waned,
And now in her heart he cannot swell change
And now at the end of our prose,
We ask of the fate of the Wilted Rose?
Lord Alistair, heir, child of wisdom
Can he not see this powerful schism?
He speaks, he breathes, he cannot feel a thing
O love we have for our Wilted Rose,
But will he find love for the people he chose?
"They wrote a song about me," he said to Lord Riley, the man who had operated as his therapist for a long time. "The Wilted Rose," he said. "They've called me that for a long time. At first my family was offended as they thought perhaps it meant the people were calling me incompetent. No . . . the people of Venora do not consider me incompetent. Instead, they consider me . . . dubious. Morbid. Frightening. I think they've begun to realize my - what you call sociopathy. Do they respect me? I believe so. Fear me? Yes. But will they ever love me?" He frowned, leaning back into his seat. He could not know such things - he could never know. The things that laid in the hearts of men were startling to say the least, and he did not understand them. Perhaps that was why he was this 'sociopath' that everyone declared him. Unfeeling, unmoved, always. It saddened him to hear it, but what could one man do to resist that reputation? Certainly not all the things he'd done thus far; reject proposals, break hearts, make public appearances with a face as cold as ice. Something needed to change - within him, or without.
He looked away from the doctor, staring at one of the paintings he'd kept beside his desk. "I've begun to think about this. I love Sabaissant, somewhere in me. I love my home, I feel comfortable here and in a way happy. It doesn't resound strongly through me, and it's faded, but something is there. Something akin to what others call love. I feel the same love for my brother, Andraska. It's dim, but I know I have it. I just . . . I just need something to bring it out in me, you know? I don't understand the things that everyone is so moved by. Frankly I find a lot of the civilian expressions to be ridiculous - the sort of vacuous words they use to sway the minds of others. Like this group before that spoke of opposing the nobility, saying they felt they 'could not breathe' while we sat in such a position of high power. But clearly they can breathe. Things like that bother me, Ser Walter. The compulsion to emotional response so often comes from lies and statements seething in falsehood. The love many people share is rotten, I've found, with closer inspection. I think people should rather say 'I'm attached to you' than I love you, so many times, as that's what it is; a need, a nostalgic connection, while love itself seems a concept made to bind individuals together under false pretenses. I do not know if I have seen true love. Is it that familial sense of protection? If so, I love more than many. But a love for others that I am not bonded to - such a thing is . . ." He paused. "Not real."