Duty. Honor. Country. If a word would fit right in on an armed forces recruiting poster, it probably also sums up Wildcount Volger, a.k.a. Count Volger, or just Volger. Volger is Alek's fencing master, and despite his much lower noble status (all he really has is a title), a close and long-time friend of the royal family.
Volger is that one older friend who's good, but also kind of annoying, to have around. He's a mentor and a teacher, which means he spends a lot of time telling Alek what he's doing wrong, and it's infuriating because he's usually right, plus he's often the one pulling Alek out of trouble. Nobody can take Alek down a peg or two quite like Volger: it's clear that while he respects Alek's position, he knows Alek is still an untested fifteen-year-old boy, and he's not going to let him forget it.
Volger is a lot of things to Alek. On one hand, he tried to convince Alek's father not to marry his mother, but once they were married, Volger got on board and supported them. He's also done everything he can to protect Alek for a long time, including going with Alek's father to beg the pope to make Alek the rightful heir, outfitting a sweet castle hideout, and sacrificing everything to help Alek escape.
Everything in Volger's character is motivated by his sense of duty to Alek's father, and now, to Alek. "'Everything you've done has been to protect me'" (38.47), says Alek at one point, and it's true. If we didn't know better, we might say our crusty friend loves Alek just a little bit.