Wadzanai: Okay. Let’s start with your official title. What is it?
Stefan: I am Stefan Rumianstev Leventis, Emperor of Terrahgonia, Rightful King of Nisyros, Duke of Antalya, and Prince Consort of Arsinia.
Wadzanai: That is a mouthful.
Stefan: That is why my herald normally announces it.
Wadzanai: When did you become Emperor?
Stefan: When I was four years old. But I did not fully come into my crown without the need of a regent until I was eighteen.
Wadzanai: Who was your regent?
Stefan: My mother.
Wadzanai: Was she a good regent?
Stefan: She was overbearing and manipulative.
Wadzanai: I’m sorry to hear that.
Stefan: I don’t need your pity.
Wadzanai: I didn’t mean to offend you.
Stefan: What is the next question? I am a busy man, and I didn’t even want to do this interview with you in the first place.
Wadzanai: Okay. My apologies for wanting people to read about you. Next question. What is your greatest fear?
Stefan: That is awfully personal.
Wadzanai: Please just answer the question.
Stefan: No. What is your next question?
Wadzanai: (Sighs) What do you think about ruling so many people?
Stefan: The weight of the crown can be a daunting thing. Thankfully I am a natural born leader.
Wadzanai: You are clearly very modest too.
Stefan: Modesty is not befitting of an emperor.
Wadzanai: If you say so. Are you presently married?
Stefan: Yes, I am married to Empress Aruna, Maharani of Arsinia.
Wadzanai: Do you love her?
Stefan: We are allies and reasonably good friends. Nothing more.
Wadzanai: Do you not have anyone whom you love?
Stefan: I have a Royal Paramour.
Wadzanai: What is that? Is it like a mistress?
Stefan: No, it’s not. Mistresses have no protection once their emperor is dead. A Royal Paramour is always treated with reverence, and their children can be in line for the throne.
Wadzanai: Okay, so who is your Royal Paramour?
Stefan: Pietro D’Amori, Earl of Illazkyria.
Wadzanai: How old is he and how long ago did you become man and paramour?
Stefan: Pietro is twenty-six. We began seeing each other four years ago and officially became man and paramour a year later.
Wadzanai: Alright. Do you have any siblings?
Stefan: I have an older half-brother and a younger sister. My brother is named Erin. He is 24. My sister is named Illyria, and she is 19.
Wadzanai: Do you get along with your siblings?
Stefan: That is hard to say considering they are never around. I had Illyria sent up north to New Raghallach for her own protection and as for my brother… I don’t want to talk about him.
Wadzanai: Alright. We won’t talk about him. Tell me about Illyria. Has she ever had a role in your court?
Stefan: My sister’s only job is to wed whoever I order her to wed.
Wadzanai: What about what she wants?
Stefan: (Clenches hands) Her wants are irrelevant.
Wadzanai: Do you love your sister?
Stefan: What kind of question is that? She is my sister.
Wadzanai: That doesn’t answer my question.
Stefan: Of course I love her. I just… What is the next question?
Wadzanai: Is there anyone else special in your life?
Stefan: (smiles) My daughter, Adelaide.
Wadzanai: How old is she?
Stefan: Three years old.
Wadzanai: Is Empress Aruna the mother?
Stefan: (shakes his head) No. I don’t know who the mother is. Pietro is the biological father. I adopted Adelaide shortly after she was born.
Wadzanai: And you were okay with Pietro having a child with some random woman?
Stefan: He made it clear the woman would have no part in Adelaide’s life. So yes, I was fine with it.
Wadzanai: And what if in the future the woman changes her mind and wants her daughter back?
Stefan: Pietro already paid her to leave. If she goes back on their agreement I will punish her.
Wadzanai: You have a nickname. Something the commoners like to call you. What is it?
Stefan: (Shrugs) They call me the Emperor of Shadows.
Wadzanai: Do you like the name?
Stefan: I am more than the shadows I wield.
Wadzanai: Fair enough. I think that will be it for now. Thank you for sharing your time with me.