The loss of a family member is never easy, but the aftermath of Andalie’s death felt more like a passing rain shower than a monsoon. Her children mourned for their mother, of course, but the distance between them meant that life returned to normal rather quickly.
Emmeline gave birth to her second child, a girl with lavender skin like her father. Her name was Adelaide, and her family called her Addie for short.
Addie grew fast, as all babies do, and in the blink of an eye, she had grown into a child with her own personality and her own aspirations. Addie’s favorite passtimes were cleaning house and making mischief. Here she is in CAS:
Meanwhile, Roxas grew into a teenager….
Having inherited his mother’s eyes, hair color, and nose, Roxas was the spitting image of Emmeline. He was a romantic like his Aunt Andalie, but Roxas was also clumsy, and his romantic pursuits often suffered as a result. Fortunately, Roxas was generally happy and content as long as he was surrounded by nice things, and had big dreams of someday building a mansion of his very own.
Here he is in CAS:
Milo’s young adult birthday also came and went, and he promptly proposed to Juliana.
Milo had always envisioned a traditional white wedding, surrounded by friends and family, but Juliana marched to the beat of her own drummer. She wanted to wear pink, and to get married quietly, in the privacy of their new home. Milo agreed, of course – he loved Juliana fiercely, and would do absolutely anything to make her happy.
One thing they did agree on was that they both wanted to start a family as soon as possible.
Sylvie’s love life, on the other hand, was on hold while she settled in at her new job at the local science lab.
The long hours meant she was spending less time with Abe, but Sylvie didn’t mind – they kept in touch over text, and she wasn’t opposed to a little game of hard-to-get. More importantly, the impending heir announcement meant that she didn’t know which direction her relationship with Abe would take – if she was named heir, he’d be relegated to the role of baby daddy. But if her sister was named heir, then who knows what could happen? In the meantime, she just needed to lay low and wait for her aunt to make a decision.
As for Emmeline, choosing between her two nieces was harder than she’d ever thought possible.
She considered the heirship a great honor, but the years – and her enduring relationship with Enrique – had shown her what an invaluable gift her freedom had truly been. Sylvie was older and perhaps more equipped to bear the burden, but hadn’t Emmeline herself resented being passed over, underestimated, on the premise of her age? Come to think of it, only firstborns had ever been named heir, and that suddenly struck Emmeline as highly unfair and discriminatory. Perhaps it was time to give a younger sister a chance to shine….
Emmeline called her nieces to the Hall of Founders for the inevitable announcement.
Aurora and Sylvie held hands as they descended the steps, preparing for what was to come. The portrait of the new heir hung prominently on the far wall, still concealed by a glimmering white curtain.
Aurora: Is it weird that I don’t even know what I want?’
Sylvie: I don’t really know what I want either. Some days I wake up thinking I really want to be the one to further the legacy. But other days….. Other days I don’t want the responsibility, and I think the whole idea of making “pretty” descendants is warped and so superficial and so, so stupid.
Aurora: I think great-grandma Grainna just wanted a better life for us than she had. It does seem superficial, but the legacy meant so much to her, and so much to Grandma Sera, too. It was even important to mom, when she was younger. I think Mom might have forgotten the true meaning of the legacy, but I don’t think it’s just about pretty descendants, you know? I think it’s about…. family.
They smiled at each other and then turned to face their aunt.
Emmeline: It’s an odd feeling, that I’m the one to make this decision. When your mom was named the heir all those years ago, I thought my world had ended. I was so angry! All I wanted was to be important….I just never thought it would happen like this. I guess what I’m trying to say to you girls is that even though only one of you can be the heir, you’re both essential to the legacy and to each other. The legacy needs you both, in ways you can’t even begin to imagine…..
Emmeline’s voice cracked with emotion, and Sylvie jumped in.
Sylvie: Aunt Emmeline, you’re not going to hurt either of our feelings. Okay? We promise. Aurora and I will both be fine, no matter which of us is the heir. And we’ll be here to support one another no matter what. We’re sisters……family. And as my very wise little sister just told me… that’s the point of this, isn’t it?
Emmeline smiled, clearly relieved. As a young woman she had fantasized about this day, about giving this speech, about making this very decision. But she’d never known how hard it would be. She’d raised her nieces like her own children – and now she held their fates in her hands.
Emmeline looked at the portraits on the walls around her, and suddenly felt suffocated. Her breath quickened, panic overtaking her.
Emmeline: I’m sorry, girls. I think…. It just isn’t right for me to do this here, in the Hall of Founders. As much as I always wanted to be, I’m not the heir. It feels wrong for me to announce the decision here…..
Aurora raised her eyebrow at Sylvie – they both knew Emmeline had more than earned the right to give the announcement in this sacred place – but the sisters respected Emmeline’s wishes, and followed their aunt outside.
Emmeline inhaled deeply.
Emmeline: I am so very proud of both of you, and either of you would be a wonderful heir. But Sylvie – you’re in love, it’s clear to see, and I want you to be free to explore that.
Emmeline: Aurora, you are young, and though some will underestimate you, you should never underestimate yourself. You are the Generation Four heir, and I know you will make us proud!
Aurora’s eyes widened and Sylvie gathered her in a hug, whispering in her ear.
Sylvie: Together, Rory. We do this together.