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With a mother like this…;
_Karish was never meant to be the Duke. His older brother had had the title, and from what I learned had been thrilled to indulge in the aristocratic lifestyle, but he'd ruined everyone's expectations by dying before marrying or having children. That left it to his mother, the Dowager Duchess, to choose the new titleholder. For some reason, she'd chosen her second son, the Source she'd been happy to send away to the academy, the son who'd never had a moment of training in the duties of being a titleholder and a landlord, when there were several more qualified cousins clambering to take the title.
_Karish hadn't wanted the title, for which I'd be forever grateful. He couldn't be both a Source and a Duke, with all the Duke's responsibilities. If he had taken the title, he wouldn't have been able to work as a Source, which would mean he'd have no use for me. Bonded to him, I wouldn't be able to work with any other Source. I would have been left with nothing to do.
_Karish pulled back and straightened his shoulders. "The Empress obviously misunderstands the gravity of the situation and merely needs instruction."
_"And the fact that pursuing the title could get you hanged, what about that?"
_"That's just the law. What is the law to her?"
_Marvelous. The blasted woman was going to get us both killed.