Preparations for the Ceremony

"Do I really have to go through with this?" Gladian complained. He was standing in his room while the Meteios' head servant Rodiki was fussing over his outfit.

"Now Master Gladian, this is your Emergence!" she said. "You must make your absolute best impression in front of your peers. Tonight you'll be making your first step into your adult years."

"Must it involve all of this?" he asked in exasperation. He heard a chuckle from the doorway and saw his sister standing there, an amused looked on her face.

"What's the matter, bro? Too much prestige for you?" she teased. "Just you wait until it's your turn in a few decades," Gladian retorted. "We'll see who's laughing then." Hesmirked as he saw Shi'ora grimace at the thought. She crossed her arms.

"So are you ready for your big debut?" she asked seriously. As ready as I'll ever be, Shi'ora," Gladian replied. Rodiki put down her needle.

"You are all set for the ceremony Master Gladian," she said cheerfully. Gladian took a look at himself in the mirror. He wore a short, navy cloak from his shoulders, with contrasted with his silver dress tunic. His family emblem, a silver dragon bursting through a black thunderhead, shone brightly on his chest. His wild mane of hair had been combed into a controllable ponytail. Shi'ora looked up and down at him approvingly.

"Not bad bro; I didn't think you'd clean up this well." Gladian rolled his eyes.

"Very funny sis. Did you just come here to poke fun at your brother, or did you need something?" Shi'ora nodded.

"Actually, Father sent me to get you. He wants to speak to you before you leave for this evening." Gladian sighed.

"Great, time for another speech about the honor of the Meteios. Alright, let's go, I'd like to get this night over with." He saw Rodiki look disapprovingly and Shi'ora giggle at his comment. He followed his sister to the family gathering chamber of their estate. The room was the pride of his mother, who had taken the time over the last couple centuries since he'd been born to redecorate piece by piece, adding more furniture to compensate for the growing family. She sat in her favorite recliner, dressed in her usual robes. She smiled at the two as they walked in, but didn't say anything. Gantinus was leaning back in his own recliner, the original one reserved for the firstborn.

"What's up, bro. Looking actually kinda sharp for a change, huh?" he drawled. Lord Meteios, who'd been sitting in the clan head's chair, scowled at his eldest.

"Be quiet Gantinus. This is your brother's Emergence, so do be civil." He turned to Shi'ora. "Thank you for retrieving Gladian, Shi'ora." She nodded and bowed.

"Of course, Father," she replied. She went to sit down beside her mother. Lord Meteios stoop up and walked to the center of the room. Dressed in his own formal apparel, he walked to the center of the room and folded his arms. He looked at his second son dead in the eyes. "Gladian Seleiza Meteios," he spoke in a commanding tone,

"It is time for your to find your place within Ignatia's noble society. After tonight, you will be considered a full-fledged drake by other dragons, and will be held accountable for your actions. However, you are still and always will be a Meteios. Will you do everything in your power to bring honor to this family?"

"I will work ceaselessly to bring prestige and glory to our name, Lord Meteios," Gladian answered promptly. Lord Meteios nodded. He took a long curved dagger off of a table behind him. The scabbard was pure silver, and studded with sapphires around the hilt. The Meteios emblem was on the guard of the blade. Lord Meteios presented the blade to Gladian.

"Then wear this with pride, son," he said warmly. Gladian was stunned as he reverently took the blade; normally only firstborns could receive the family ornamental blade. To have another created for a secondborn was a great honor indeed. Gladian drew the blade a bit and look at his reflection in the flat of his blade.

"I will, Father," he replied. He strapped the dagger to his side.

"It looks simply stunning on you, dear," his mother said happily. Shi'ora nodded and gave Gladian a thumbs-up.

"Not bad bro. Now you actually look like you're a real man," Gantinus agreed. Lord Meteios shot him another look before turning back to Gladian.

"You should start making your way to the great hall in the main castle. It'll take you a bit of time on foot to get there. Your siblings will arrive later for the ball."

"Yes, Father," Gladian replied. He turned around and left the gathering chamber. "Knock em' dead bro!" he heard Shi'ora call out. He walked down the hallway to the entrance of clan's abode. While he knew his parents loved and cared, it didn't change the fact that Gantinus would lead the family. 'The only destiny for a secondborn noble is to fade into servitude as a branch family,' he thought glumly. He steeled himself and put on a determined face. 'Well, if this is going to be the start of a dismal life, might as well face it with dignity," he said to himself as he walked out of the door.

The End

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