Who buries an empty coffin?
Bryvin opened his door and a rather non-descript figure left without
looking at anyone. As soon as it disappeared around a corner Bryvin
called for Kiomo.
There was something about them as they passed the Lord's assistant
that didn't sit well with him. Kiomo's eyes held a hint of wariness
as he entered the room. "It seems you've had a busy morning, sir."
"Yes," he said shortly. There were several things on Bryvin's mind
among them dealing with their guest Holder and son. "I received some
information Kiomo," he said staring hard at his assistant.
"Information that told me my daughter, Lady Xeladrie's child, was
killed. She didn't die peacefully in her sleep."
"I don't understand, sir," Kiomo said with a shake of his head, though
he could feel the muscles in his back tightening. "I've seen the
healer's report, as have you. She died in her sleep."
"And yet a Captain of my acquaintance passed his experience in
Turquoise bay talking to a servant who saw blood in Lady Xeladrie's
chambers." He turned and went behind his desk and sat pulling a knife
out of his drawer and set it on his desk. "Now, I learn that my
daughter's coffin is empty."
Kiomo bit his tongue before he could dispute the claim about the
blood. They had smeared a bit on the wall just in case Xelfin
demanded to see for himself, but when the Lord Holder was satisfied to
just take his word, Kiomo had been very careful to wipe away every
trace. But the coffin... How did Bryvin know about that? "I was at
the funeral, sir. We buried your child, with flowers just as you had
"Yes, there were flowers. Just no body." Bryvin picked up the knife
and began cleaning his nails. "I'm going to kill them. They lied to me
and they're finished."
Kiomo could feel a chill run down his spine. He knew Bryvin meant it.
They were all in danger now. "But who? Who lied? How do you know?"
Bryvin tilted his head at Kiomo. "Who buries an empty coffin?" He
shook his head. "Only someone who is trying to pull the wool over
someone else's eyes. That's who. The only person not there with a
vested interest in the child is _me_."
"Lord Xelfin then?" Kiomo had to know who the Lord Holder would be
directing his rage at. He would not allow himself to wonder if it was
coming back on him. Showing guilt or fear could be his death in this
moment, he was sure.
"And my former Lady wife," he snarled. "If she killed the child in her
addled state. I don't care what happened. She'll pay too."
Kiomo choose his words carefully and kept his tone soft. "My Lord, I
admit I was not privy to every discussion and every meeting at the
Hold on those days, and I don't know what plans were made in my
absence when I came back here to inform you of the tragedy, but I
heard no rumors or whispers of violence. There's even a report from a
Master Healer saying the child died in her sleep. Are you sure these
rumors should be believed? Rumors do not always prove true and over
time events can become clouded in a person's mind."
Bryvin's eyes narrowed and he snorted with flatly furious eyes. "Then
where's the body? Why can't we check the facts? Someone is trying to
mess with me and they aren't going to succeed, Kiomo."
"I admit, sir, that is a little hard to explain. Perhaps that was
rumor, too?" Kiomo said, hoping that was the case, though something
inside him told him it wasn't.
"I understand you don't want to believe. Neither did I," he said and
sat back in his chair staring out the window at the cloudy sky. There
was a storm on the horizon and in more than one way. "That's why I
sent someone to check."
Of course he did. "This is disturbing news indeed," though Kiomo was
relieved to hear that it seemed he was not on the list of those Bryvin
intended to make war on. **War...** That's what this could turn
into, over lies _he_ told. **Damn those pretty eyes.** Well, he
could not stand by and watch that happen. "My Lord, if all this is
true, than I was fooled as much as anyone else, and revenge does sound
satisfying. But if there is more to the story than this, then we
could be risking a blood feud with our neighboring Hold that could
go on for Turns. Please, Lord Bryvin, allow me to go to Turquoise Bay
and see if I can't discover the truth."
Bryvin continued to look out the window while his mind clicked. After
a moment he looked at Kiomo. "Alright," he said slowly. "But I am not
going to wait for long."
"I understand, my Lord," Kiomo said with a bow. "With your
permission, I will leave right away. May I request dragon transport?"
"You may," he answered and waved his hand in dismissal. "Soon Kiomo,"
he warned as the younger man left.
Last updated on the June 15th 2019