Asad gave a slow nod. “You may be right, Lord Hamza. Perhaps it is nonsense. I will not claim to know whether or not such unity is truly possible. But that is a discussion for another time. Here and now, I am only trying to inform you of my intentions. My sincerest hopes.”
Hamza didn’t have anything to say to that.
But Abbas did. “Asad. That is all very nice. On the whole, I agree with your sentiments. A better relationship with the Rainlords would go a long way. But we cannot forget that we have problems of our own and that our first obligation is to our subjects. The current state of Calthos is particularly troubling to me.”
“I understand that,” said Asad. “But we could still provide the Rainlords with some support, if not our full strength. I will volunteer myself, of course.”
‘It is simply unwise,’ said Worwal. ‘We would be jeopardizing our relationship with the Vanguard while Abolish is practically knocking on our door.’
A chorus of concurring grumbles arose from the men and reapers.
He was losing them, Asad knew. Worwal’s point was a good one. But as Asad was about to voice his counterargument, the golden phone on Abbas’ desk rang.
Everyone turned to watch him answer it. The man listened, thanked the person on the other end, and hung up again. He stood and placed both hands on his desk. “Word has just arrived from Rheinhal. The Rainlords have begun their assault.”
Chapter Ninety-One: ‘When the Lake is quiet...’
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Red Lake Castle retained less than a third of its occupants from the previous day. Emiliana had known that a lot of people would be leaving all at once, but even still, the sudden change was a little unsettling, especially when she considered that many might not return.
These last few days, she’d been trying to stop being so reclusive, trying to get to know more of the people who were laying down their lives to protect her family, but now, it seemed like too little too late. There were so many servants whom she’d barely even met, and only a handful of them had stayed behind. Aunt Joana was still here, thankfully, as were a few of the Redwater servants and the apparently well-known Dimas Sebolt, tasked by Lord Abel Sebolt with protecting the Elroy children while the strongest Rainlords were away.