“Someone informed me that you may have heard word of an attack planned against the caravan,” you say to the two siblings.
Selyna’s face goes pale and she glances at Natin who tenses for a moment, then scowls.“Whoever it was either lied or was misinformed.”
You eye Natin. “You, young lord, are a horrible liar.”
He glares back, but you have almost a foot, not to mention at least seven years on him so you are far from intimidated.
“Natin,” Selyna pleads. “We can’t keep this up. We have to trust someone. How can we ever dream of convincing Father if we can’t convince others too? We have to start somewhere.”
“What loyalty mercenaries may have is always for hire,” Natin says.
“I sell my services as a warrior, but not my integrity or honor as a man,” you correct. “I have been hired by your father to protect his family and his household. He holds my loyalty for as long as the contract stands and I will do all I can to fulfill that agreement.”
Natin scoffs at that. “And who will protect him from his own blindness? What happens if your honor says you should do one thing and yet your employer orders you differently?”
You sigh and wonder if this bristling cub would still annoy you this much if you weren’t exhausted. “Employers come and go, but one’s honor is etched in the soul and that cannot be shed.” Funny how some childhood memories remain just beneath the surface while other memories fade away. Of course, painful lessons do tend to be memorable.
“We don’t want to hurt anyone,” Selyna whispers. “We’ve done everything we can to avoid it. The people helping us, they plan to drug the wine so that everyone will fall asleep.”
“We just want to know what Gallino is doing under the cover of the caravan.”
All in all, you’re still pretty dubious about the possibility of a connection to some instance of strange deaths – as well as the motives of the Selyna’s mysterious informant. Besides, she didn’t want you to mention their talk. “So what reasons have you to suspect a cover up?”
“Gallino hates the caravan,” Natin says. “He hates sleeping on the road. He deems it beneath his ‘station’. He was furious when father insisted he take over the business five or so years ago. So when I came of age, I offered to start helping on the trips. Gallino laughed it off, but when I went and got Father’s approval anyway, Gallino grew furious and threatened me.”
You shrug. “Maybe he’s just skimming off more than his share of the profits. It’s common enough in such situations and he might worry about you finding out.”
Selyna seems to mull that one over.
On the other hand, Natin rolls his eyes. “I’m sure he’s been doing that since the first, but there’s more to it than that, I’m sure of it.”
“So is that all you really have? A hunch?”
Natin narrows his eyes. “Fine, when I have more, I’ll let you know. I’ve seriously underestimated him once before. I have no intention of letting it happen again.” He bows to his sister, then returns to his room and slams the door.
Selyna sighs but avoids your gaze. “I’d better go tend to the kitchens.” Then she too hurries away.
Left alone, you proceed to the closest window to see the mid-morning sun. You can probably sneak in one more hour of sleep before reporting to Galen. Heading back to your room you reflect on the tangled mess you seem to be in the middle of and wonder what in the world are you going to report to Galen.
So, what are you going to tell him?
Nothing – just forget the whole idea.
Voting is open until Friday.
For those who missed the rules for this game or an index check them out here!
And to see how this adventure began, see Renegade Project #1