FOREVER KNIGHTS: #14 Broken Birds

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MARDICHI - Norris Wants Answers

Wilhelm Kingdom, Dread Country

MARDICHI

The audience with King Jonis could come in a few more days.

King Jonis had agreed to a lengthier reprieve.

I’m putting it off. Mardichi admitted to himself. I don’t know how to broach the subject yet.

“Where are you going?” Norris queried. Standing before the door while Mardichi faced him glowering. Meaty arms crossed as he cupped his elbows waiting for the smaller man to move.

Home.

“WaterRose.”

“Again?” Norris blinked rapidly.

Yes, Elsabet is still floundering.

“I’ve a friend there that’s suffering.” Mardichi muttered.

“A woman?”

Not the way you’re implying.

“Aye. But no’ one I’ve any inten’ of romancin’. More a wee sister then a woman, really.”

Bast’s woman.

“What of this woman?” He nodded toward where the other chambers lined the hall.

Where the Raven is roomed.

“What of ’er?”

“What is she?”

A Dread of some kind. Mardichi knew that much. But that wasn’t the most important part about her to him.

“A woman.”

“I’d gathered that much.” Norris said dryly. “What claim do you have?”

“The only claim.”

The true one.

“Which would be?” Norris persisted.

“Why are ye annoying me wit’ foolish questions?” Mardichi snapped. Eyes flashing red.

“Don’t look at me all red and glowy.” Norris pointed a finger. “Especially not because you merely don’t like the fact that I feel some answers are due me.”

You likely are due that answer and more.

“Due for wha’?”

“My efforts.”

To keep me from berserking. A strained, incessant effort, no doubt.

“Efforts in eatin’?” Mardichi eyed his belly.

“What would you make fun of, did I not have this?” Norris slapped the rotund mound with both hands.

“I’m certain there’s somethin’.” Mardichi’s eyes narrowed.

“Keep challenging me, Old Friend.” Norris said. “And I’ll tell the Captain of all your strange activities.”

Such as what?

“Do ye threaten me or blackmail me?”

“I warn you that I am not above a tattle.”

To the Captain?

“Nay, ye are no’.” Mardichi snorted. Finally strolling around Norris to reach the door.

“Would either work?”

“Either wha’?” Mardichi asked impatiently. Rolling his head impatiently.

“Threatening or blackmailing you?”

Not likely.

“If ye threatened ta take away me ale perhaps. Anything else…Nay.”

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