Damn her.  That stupid, stupid girl.  How dare she question my
authority in front of the entire family?!  Oberon would have killed her
where she stood.  It took all that I had not to order her death, and death
she deserved!  What could that idiot have been thinking?  Even Sandr moved
with more sense that day than she did.  How indescribably infuriating!  A
year has nearly passed and I still grow angry just thinking about it.  She
will ask my pardon for her trespass, or she will be welcome in Amber no

	What did she think?  That after I became king, her casual
relationship with me would remain the same?  I would understand if she
were unwise in the ways of royalty, but with the high price she places on
knowledge, I will not grant her that assumption.

	Well, my purpose for restarting this journal was not to vent my
dissatisfaction with my cousin Melanie.  Although, it does deserve its
place here as it is the event that caused me to put the journal up in the
first place.  There was so much to be done after we returned from that
strange Shadow.  Laughter was not herself for weeks afterwards.  I hope to
repay the person who stole that part of her innocence from her and kept
her smile from me for so long.  Her recovery began with the forging of the
swords and has progressed, so that I very nearly have her restored to me.

	It is exciting to watch the children grow within her.  Women can
be as fascinating as they are infuriating.

	The army comes along apace.  A personal guard; the Royal Guard,
has been established for Laughter and myself.  Claudio is my captain; a
position he holds well.  I have not found it so easy to trust a stranger
before.  There is an honesty in him that is almost alien to Amber.  His
twin is found in Mok, the captain of Laughter's guard.  She is better
suited to deal with his temperament than am I, and I know that he shall do
his best to keep her from harm.

	I train the Royal Guard and the captains of my army on an almost
daily basis.

	Ulysses has enlisted Fiona's aid in dealing with the multiple
Patterns.  For that I am grateful.

	The soil in Arden is being adjusted.

	Sandr brings me tidbits as the whim hits him.  He did warn of the
dangers inherent in the Badlands, and the newcomers were warned.

	Caitlin continues to adapt to Amber's environment.  I often spy on
her and Claudio's sessions with Benedict.  I watch with some small envy,
remembering the days when I held his attention in such a manner.

	I've talked often with Vialle over the past few months, in an
attempt to come to know the man who was my father.  He had changed so much
in the time after Patternfall.  He still feels near whenever Vialle and I
speak of him.  It's inspired me to attempt a relationship with my own
sons; one that seems to be going well enough.  I have not declared an heir
yet, but I must admit to leaning towards Flynn.  He would appear to be the
eldest as well.  Not that I'm in a hurry to declare an heir.  Call me
superstitious, but I can't shake the feeling that I only step nearer my
own grave in doing so.

	Still no word from Jubal or Kalyn or Brenner or Dalt.  Nor any
idea who spirited Laughter away.  An unease is beginning to grow within
me.  Amber has been idyllic for far too long.

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