For a time, he does not believe what he is hearing. It is true that, even as his superior, Parson could not have gotten away with simply labeling the matter “classified” as long as it involved Rainlord territory, but even still, this is more than absurd. That such an old friend would threaten his family while they are so vulnerable is a betrayal beyond anything he has ever experienced.
But all the same, he does what Parson asks in the end. An international road is left unguarded for a single evening. It only connects Sair and Intar. He cannot imagine what need Parson would have of it. Vanguardian troops can already move between the two countries with relatively little difficulty. Perhaps Parson intended to move such a large volume of people that taking them through the proper channels might have spooked the other Rainlords. But if that was truly the case, then why would Parson not simply tell him so?
Then the news arrives.
House Elroy has been slaughtered. Only a pair of teenagers have survived.
And he realizes. This is no coincidence.
He contacts Parson immediately.
“I advise you not to say anything,” Parson tells him. “Else you may find yourself shouldering the blame for their deaths.”
“Parson... What did you do, exactly?”
“Again, I’ll thank you for your discretion, as long as you’ll thank me for mine.”
He can pull no more information out of the general. He learns from the other Rainlords that Abolish was the culprit, but they are all disturbed and bewildered by how such an apparently large and dangerous sect of Abolish could infiltrate Sair undetected.
And he finds himself faced with a choice. Remain silent or risk telling them what he knows.
It tears his heart out, but he and Rholtam decide to say nothing. They believe that, with how little they know of Parson’s plot, even telling the other Rainlords a “version” of the truth would likely blow up in their faces. They must not attract attention.
Thankfully, the other Rainlords discover a lead on the Abolishers, anyway. His House helps hunt them down while Ibai is kept under guard at Marshrock. The hunt ends abruptly and with little satisfaction when they find that the Abolishers have already been obliterated. Their severed heads have all been put on gruesome display. He later asks in private, but unsurprisingly, Parson does not claim responsibility.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Written by George M. Frost