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Bear This Together

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The emperor fidgeted as he was dressed. Nemer pretended not to notice, but when the emperor readjusted his collar for the third time, he had to ask: “Does Your Serenity not approve of this jacket?”

“It’s fine. We understand that the emperor must be properly attired.”

“Yes. But... Your Serenity has many proper jackets with lower collars.” Nemer knew that he shouldn’t smile, but couldn’t quite stop himself.

For a moment the emperor sat like a statue, his face still. Then he met Nemer’s eyes and, very slightly, his mouth curved up. “Well,” he said. “As long as it’s proper.”