“How can you be so calm?” Arell exclaimed as she and Vhindr followed Jizalpii through the manor to the Grand Priest’s room.
“Why should I not be calm?” Vhindr replied, “What is there to be agitated about?”
“You cannot be serious?” Arell balked, “The Grand Priest of the Sect of Artāre has been murdered. Once word gets out it will be chaos.”
“Word will never get out,” Vhindr was quick to reply, “The Temple of The Five have always been good at keeping things secret.”
“But people will eventually know that the Grand Priest is dead,” rebutted Arell.
“And that is the key word: dead,” Vhindr smiled, “People die all the time, and Jaysis was quiet old. What the people will eventually know is that the Grand Priest died peacefully in his sleep. Am I not correct Jizalpii?”
“What?” the priest looked at them both in surprise, as if he had not heard a word they had said.
“How much further?” Vhindr asked.
“The end of the corridor,” Jizalpii replied, seeming distracted and sobbed to himself.
The morning light streamed in through the large windows as Jizalpii led the way along a short corridor and to a beautifully carved redwood door.
“He loved this room,” the priest remarked before he began crying again.
Awkwardly Vhindr moved past the priest and through the door into a large bed room. The heavy curtains were drawn back to let in the light which filtered through the trees outside and illuminated the dust particles as they danced on the air.
Vhindr walked slowly into the room, his eyes glancing around to every corner before they finally rested upon the large four posted bed where the Grand Priest lay. On his back in the middle of the bed was Jaysis, his eyes stared unseeing at the paintings on the ceiling and his hands upon his chest on top of the rich sheets. Stabbed deep into his chest between his hands was a long sword with a golden hilt and gems encrusted into it. The blade also had beautiful designs engraved down the blade with more gems stones upon it.
“The Sword of Artāre,” Vhindr remarked as he looked closer at the blade, “Curious weapon of choice.”
Without much more regard for the sword Vhindr casually pulled it free and tossed it to the foot of the bed, causing Jizalpii to whimper.
“There is not much blood on the blade,” Arell remarked as she looked at the weapon, “Not really much of a sword either. I mean it’s beautifully crafted, but it would break easily, the metal is poor.”
“It is purely ornamental, Arell,” Vhindr replied as he lent over to look closer at the wound.
Roughly pulling back the blankets and sheets Vhindr bent very close to the wound in the old man’s chest.
“So why use it then?” Arell wondered aloud before moving to see what Vhindr was looking at. “Anything?”
“Quite a lot actually,” Vhindr remarked and pulled back from the wound before rolling the Grand Priest on to his side.
“I’ll have you show some respect,” Jizalpii exclaimed angrily.
“Of course,” Vhindr mumbled dismissively, “Arell come here, what do you see?”
Jizalpii fumbled over a few words in outrage as Arell joined Vhindr .
“There is no blood,” Arell remarked with a gasp, “Surely there should be some.”
“Indeed,” Vhindr nodded and smiled slightly, “The sword pierced the heart, so he would not have bled much. But there would still be a pool on the sheets beneath him as the blood would be drawn out by gravity. Yet the sheets a perfectly fine, well apart from the sword puncture anyway.”
“I don’t understand,” Arell shook her head in confusion.
Ignoring her Vhindr gently rolled the Grand Priest back over and looked closer at the man’s face. Carefully he pulled back the old man’s lips, revealing his yellowed teeth and bluish gums. Vhindr took a slight sniff before he examined the man’s eyes to see that the whites were also a strange blueish colour.
“Poison perhaps?” Arell asked as Vhindr stood back and looked thoughtful. “But then why stab him with the sword if he had already been poisoned?”
“That, is a very good question Arell,” Vhindr nodded and woman smiled, “He was killed by either a poison I do not know of, or a spell, which I also do not know of. If poison he would have induced it at yesterday’s lunch or dinner. No earlier I would think. But if it is indeed a poison or a spell, like you say, why then impale him with the Sword of Artāre?”
“To make sure he was dead?” Arell shrugged, but Vhindr shook his head.
“The man was already dead,” replied Vhindr, “The lack of bruising around the wound is evidence of that.”
“So, there are two murderers than?” Arell remarked and Vhindr nodded slightly.
“Come, let us talk with the guests,” a slight smile came to Vhindr’s face as he led the way from the room.
“What of the Grand Priest?” Jizalpii asked as he trailed after Vhindr and Arell.
“He is dead, do what you need to,” Vhindr dismissed Jizalpii, causing the man to stop and Vhindr and Arell to leave him behind.
Vhindr moved swiftly back through the monastery and to the dining room where everyone waited. Jizalpii had gathered the few monks and priest which lived at the manor to keep everyone under control. However Vhindr was still surprised that no one had decided to leave the place. Although there were the two young Helwyr still here who had remained after giving Lord Phanish a demonstration at yesterday’s lunch, Vhindr doubted that those two rookies would be able to stop the likes of Rivien, Drizzen or Vhal if any of them wanted to go. Those three were clever though, and they would realise that leaving now would only make them look suspicious.
Vhindr continued to ponder the current events, and in truth he had already suspected someone of the crime.
“Perhaps you should take the lead on this investigation, Arell,” Vhindr offered with a bemused smile.
“Why me?” Arell was quick to ask and give Vhindr a curious look.
“Why not you?” asked Vhindr, “You could use the practice, and it is not like this is difficult mystery to solve.”
“Speak for yourself,” Arell scoffed, “I don’t know where to begin.”
“Question the guests, obviously,” Vhindr quipped, drawing a scowl from his companion.
“I know that,” Arell replied dryly, “You know what I mean.”
“I do,” Vhindr laughed.
“Alright, I shall be the lead investigator,” Arell sighed and smiled, “But just so we are on the same page: the Grand Priest was killed with poison and the sword was an afterthought. Right?”
Vhindr nodded, “It certainly seems that way.”
Arell nodded her head thoughtfully, “Well, they say poison is a woman’s weapon.”
“Do not make assumptions like that, whatever you do,” Vhindr was quick to say, “I believe you are up to the task of solving this, please do not disappoint me with childish suppositions.”
“Alright, calm down,” Arell backed off and rolled her eyes playfully, “I was thinking out loud. Of course I don’t think such common sayings have any real weight.”
Arell giggled to herself and led the way into the dining room where everyone was sitting and talking among themselves. All guest were present, although Vhindr immediately noticed that Berron was in fact not among the occupants, a fact which concerned him. But it could not be helped and there were more pressing matters to attend, he just had to have confidence that Berron would not get himself into trouble, and also that it was not Berron who committed the crime.
“Is it true?” Lord Phanish exclaimed when he saw them enter, “Is the Grand Priest dead, murdered?”
“Indeed it is true,” Vhindr replied seriously, “And the murderer is in this room.”
Lord Phanish’s face went white and he choked on his next words.
“The inhumanity of it all,” Lady Phainsh wailed dramatically, “Daughter, my smelling salts, where are they? Give them here I feel faint. Quickly child.”
The daughter fumbled in her mother’s purse and obediently handed them to her mother.
“We will be talking with each of you,” Arell spoke up, “One at a time, so please stay in here until we are done. If you leave all you will achieve is making yourself appear as a suspect.”
“What?” Lord Phanish balked, “But I cannot stay in this room, I need to inspect more of this place so that I may be satisfied before giving my daughter to the Sect of Artāre.”
“Like you have not decided to do that anyway,” Vhindr quipped cause the Lord to again choke on his next words.
“If you are so eager to leave, my Lord,” Arell said with a smile, “Perhaps you would like to be the first we question?”
“I do not wish to impose,” the Lord mumbled and fiddled with his many rings.
“Too late, it’s decided,” Arell was quick to reply, “Follow me please, my Lord.”
Lord Phanish looked as if he wished to argue, but with a sheepish glance around he followed Arell from the room. Vhindr chuckled to himself in amusement as he fell in behind Lord Phanish. Arell led the way down a few hallways and to the main lounging room where she motioned for the overweight noble to take a seat as she herself did so.
“How did the Grand Priest die?” Phanish asked hesitantly, “If I may ask.”
“You may not,” Arell replied seriously.
“Poison,” Vhindr spoke up, drawing an angry glare from Arell.
“I see,” the Lord nodded sadly, “May The Five watch over his soul.”
“You spent a lot of time with the Grand Priest, my Lord,” Arell remarked, watching the man closely. “Ever since the old man arrived you have almost always been at his side. You had any number of chances to slip some poison into his drink.”
The Lord’s round face went white, “You cannot seriously believe that I killed the Priest? Why would I?”
“Perhaps he refused to accept your daughter as a mother of a Helwyr,” Arell suggested, “Perhaps he did not show much respect. Rich Lords usually get very angry when people do that.”
“How dare you,” Lord Phanish snapped back.
“See what I mean?” smiled Arell sweetly.
“I will have you know that the Grand Priest was a perfect gentlemen,” Phanish replied pompously, “And he was overjoyed that I was donating my daughter to mother a Helwyr.”
Arell did not reply and she studied the large Lord for many quiet minutes.
“Why would I have him killed?” Phanish blurted out as he grew increasingly uneasy.
“Thank you Lord Phanish you may go,” Vhindr said suddenly and Arell shot him another annoyed look.
The overweight Lord was very quick to jump to his feet and leave the room.
“I thought I was leading the investigation,” Arell remarked once Lord Phanish had left.
Vhindr smiled, “You are. I am simply moving things along.”
Arell pouted and crossed her arms across her chest.
“Come now,” Vhindr laughed, “You could see as well as I that Lord Phanish did not kill the Grand Priest.”
“Maybe,” Arell shrugged.
“Come on, let us call for the next suspect,” Vhindr smiled and Arell sighed and nodded.
“I am getting the feeling that this all just a game to you,” Arell mumbled and narrowed her eyes playfully at him.
The next person they called upon was Lady Phanish who came into the room with a sorrowful wail. Her eyes were blood shot and her dark eyeliner was running down her cheeks as she held a silk handkerchief to dab at her tears.
The interview did not last long and again Vhindr drew it to a close, dismissing the crying Lady and drawing another annoyed look from Arell.
“How did the Grand Priest die?” asked the next suspect sweetly, and the daughter of Lord and lady Phanish looked sadly to Vhindr.
“Sword through the chest,” Vhindr remarked as he studied the girl closely.
The daughter could not have been in her twenties yet, but still her parents were eager to sell her to the Artāre Sect.
“What is you name girl?” Arell asked nicely.
“I am Miss Lizalla Victoria Phanish,” the girls replied properly, “Forth daughter of Lord and Lady Phanish of Beldōrin, Norrendōrel.”
“And you are being sold to the Artāre Sect to mother a Helwyr,” Arell added and Lizalla looked away.
“Do you want to mother a Helwyr?” asked Arell.
“What I want is not an issue,” Lizalla replied sadly, “It is the duty that my mother and father have chosen for me.”
“Until she is married she is virtually property of her parents,” Vhindr added to help Arell understand. “It is a rather archaic tradition in Norrendōrel.”
“Crudely put my Lord,” Lizalla nodded, “But I suppose it is accurate. It is a tradition, and I am sure it must seem strange to someone not from Norrendōrel.”
“And to anyone who is not a traditionalist in Norrendōrel as well,” Vhindr added with a slight smile.
Lizalla looked to her hands and picked some dirt from under her nails, but did not reply.
“Is the deal off now that Jaysis is dead?” Arell asked, drawing the girls eyes back to hers.
“I cannot say,” Lizalla shrugged.
“I would say it is,” Arell continued, “I would also say that you were betting on the fact that it would be.”
“What exactly are you saying, my Lady?” Lizalla asked seriously.
“You were beside your parents for the entire time,” Arell said, “And they were beside the Grand Priest the entire time. You had ample opportunities to slip some poison into his drink.”
“I thought you said he was stabbed?” Lizalla asked curiously.
“I was lying,” Vhindr replied as Arell gave him yet another annoyed look.
“It was poison that killed him, and you could have done it,” Arell said and Lizalla looked horrified.
“My Lady please, I could not have done such a thing,” Lizalla begged.
“Many would say that prison is a better life than to mother a Helwyr,” Vhindr said seriously, “You would certainly live longer, for the majority of Helwyr mothers die at child birth.”
“But I did not kill him,” Lizalla said again and tears began to well in her eyes.
“Ease yourself, girl,” Vhindr sighed, “We know you did not commit the murder. You may go.”
Lizalla nodded and sniffed before she quickly departed.
“Well I think she might have done it,” Arell said irritably as she turned to Vhindr.
“No,” Vhindr shook his head, “I gave her the chance to admit to it and be released from the duty of birthing a Helwyr. But she was adamant that she did not kill the Grand Priest.”
“Maybe she is just as dense as her mother said she is,” Arell was quick to reply and Vhindr laughed.
“No, Lizalla did not kill the man,” confirmed Vhindr as he shook his head.
“Perhaps you could just tell me who did then, and end all this messing about,” Arell said irritably.
Vhindr smiled mysteriously, “Shall we bring in the next suspect.”
“Fine,” Arell sighed heavily, “Jizalpii perhaps?”
“No,” Vhindr was quick to say, “Let us bring in both Rivien and Drizzen.”
Arell gave him a perplexed look.
“Let us end all this messing about,” Vhindr replied with a grin.
Arell sighed again and shook her head.
Not long after both Rivien and Drizzen were sitting on the couch in front of Arell and Vhindr, an uneasy silence filling the room.
“I am surprised you asked for both of us at the same time,” Drizzen remarked, breaking the silence.
“Tell me why,” Vhindr said suddenly, drawing curious looks from all in the room.
“What do you mean?” Rivien asked with a slight laugh.
“Tell me why,” Vhindr repeated and the two Helwyr looked at each other curiously.
“I am afraid I don’t follow,” Drizzen replied slowly.
“Neither do I,” Arell added, “Vhindr?”
“Yesterday after lunch,” Vhindr finally said, “Drizzen went off with Arell into the gardens.”
“I don’t see how that is relevant,” Arell balked and blushed slightly.
“And you, Rivien, spent the entire afternoon with me,” Vhindr continued, “I know that I am naturally charming, even when I am not trying. But still I wondered why you two were showing a sudden interest in us. In truth I only started to become suspicious that evening, when not only did you continue to stay with me Rivien, and Drizzen with Arell, but we all became increasingly drunk. I did not drink much and never do I, but the effects of the wine seemed very potent. By all appearances everyone had a good dinner, and a good night. Rivien and I stayed with each other, as I did you and Drizzen, Arell.”
“I don’t see how that is relevant,” Arell began to say again, but Vhindr cut her off.
“And it was a pleasant night,” Vhindr said with a smile, “I hope it was for you too, Rivien. But these facts give you both the perfect alibis. It was this morning when I knew that something was wrong. Not only did I not have a hangover, but there was also lingering taste of blueberries in my mouth. Having not had any blueberries it could only point to one thing: draught of Serengish. A potion not many know about, but I, Vhindr Varrintine, know it well and its effects. News that the Grand Priest had been murdered came as no surprise then. The only surprise came when I inspected the body to discover a poison which I know nothing about. And why someone would stab the Grand Priest in the chest after he was already dead.”
Vhindr paused and Rivien and Drizzen looked to each other in confusion.
“So, tell me why,” Vhindr said and the two Helwyr looked back to him before looking to each other again.
“Tell me Vhindr Varrintine,” Rivien said seriously as she looked back to him, “Are you similar to your brother Vythe?”
Vhindr cocked his head to the side, “What do you mean?”
“Are you as honourable as he was?” asked Rivien seriously.
Vhindr narrowed his eyes slightly, “Honour is trait which runs in our family and is taught by our father from a young age.”
Rivian looked back to Drizzen who nodded slightly.
“Then you will be able to understand why,” Rivien sighed heavily, “The moment I recognised your name I knew our plan would not go flawlessly.”
“Murder seldom does,” Vhindr added when the Helwyr paused.
“Why we killed the Grand Priest is this,” Rivien said after she took a deep breath, “He had turned this holy monastery into a place of deceit and dishonour. Do you know how many Helwyr are alive today?”
Both Vhindr and Arell shook their heads.
“Ten,” said Rivien, “And that includes the three who are still in training.”
“So few,” Arell remarked.
“More and more of the women are dying before childbirth,” Drizzen said, “The monks and priest do not know why. Usually when a woman gives birth to a Helwyr their name is recorded and they are buried with great honour.”
“But not when they die before the birth,” Vhindr remarked, starting to catch on.
“I discovered what the Grand Priest was orchestrating last time I stopped by,” Rivien continued, “Those who died were being thrown away like used rags. And the Grand Priest was keeping it a secret, all the while advertising the need for more Helwyr mothers. Why do you think Lord Phanish is here? But Jaysis’s depravity does not stop there. The Sects of The Five need revenue to continue, so guess what the Grand Priest had established? He was selling the corpses of the failed mothers as animal meat.”
“That’s disgusting,” Arell exclaimed and covered her mouth.
“As soon as I learnt of this I sent word to all the Helwyr,” Rivien continued, “Only Drizzen responded and together we planned what to do.”
“So why just kill the Grand Priest?” Arell asked curiously, “Surely the whole monastery is behind this.”
Drizzen shook his head, “No, we learnt that many of the monks and priests were against this arrangement. But being lessors they could not openly go against Jaysis.”
“What was the poison?” Vhindr asked.
“It is an extract from a plant which only grows in The Southern Kingdoms,” Rivien replied with a shrug. “The southerners simply call it Silent Night.”
“The Southern Kingdoms?” Arell balked, “South of the Gornl Sea? How’d you get there? No ships go that far south.”
“I took a boat at the southern tip of Norrendōrel,” Rivien replied, “We Helwyr travel to all places. In fact there a still two Helwyr in the Southern Kingdoms.”
Vhindr nodded slowly, “Why stab him with the Sword of Artāre then? A statement perhaps?”
“We did not stab the Grand Priest,” Drizzen shook his head seriously, “Rivien drugged the wine while I poisoned the Grand Priest. I then stayed the night with Arell, and Rivien with you, Vhindr, to solidify our alibis as you said. And I must apologise for deceiving you Arell, but I did thoroughly enjoy your company, my Lady.”
Arell looked away and blushed slightly.
“And neither of you went to the Grand Priest’s room to run him through?” Vhindr asked seriously.
“I wish I had now,” Rivien shrugged, “Great symbolism. As if he was struck down by Artāre himself.”
A sudden though came to Vhindr’s mind and he stood up and quickly left the room. the other three were quick to follow as he strode swiftly through the mansion and into the main dining room. Stopping at the doorway he scanned the room, looking for someone specific.
“What is it Vhindr?” Arell asked as she stopped beside him.
“I don’t know,” Vhindr said slowly and he clutched his head in confusion, “I feel like I am forgetting something very important.”
“Now that you mention it, so do I,” Arell replied, “But all the guests are here. Lord Phanish’s family, Jizalpii, Rivien and Drizzen beside us, and look even Berron has decided to show up.”
Vhindr blinked several times and rubbed a hand across his forehead. He was forgetting something, he knew he was. But as hard as he tried he could not grasp it. With a growl of frustration Vhindr banged the door frame with his fist and walked slowly into the room.
“Do you know who did it?” Lord Phanish asked curiously as Vhindr walked towards the guests.
“It is past time you returned to Beldōrin, do you not think, Lord Phanish,” Vhindr remarked shortly.
“I shall leave once I know who the culprit is,” Phanish replied indignantly.
“You will leave when I say,” Vhindr snapped back, “Do not forget that House Varrintine is the third most powerful in Sesserrech.”
“And we are in Norrendōrel, master Varrintine,” Lord Phainsh said confidently.
“Do I need to outline House Varrintine’s connections with Duke Val Raine of Sparren?” Vhindr was quick to reply, “Now pack your bags and teleport home. Send Lizalla to be a governess or some such, for there will be no more Helwyr’s for some time. And if you must say something about the Grand Priest say that he was struck down by Artāre for sacrilege.”
“Very well, we shall go,” Lord Phanish nodded curtly, “Good day to you all.”
With that the fat Lord and his family left the room and everyone turned a curious eye to Vhindr.
“Jizalpii, did you know what Jaysis was organising here with the dead women?” Vhindr asked seriously as he turned on the priest.
“Yes,” the thin man nodded, “But what was I to do? I didn’t kill him.”
“I know you did not,” Vhindr sighed heavily and lent on one of the chairs.
“What am I forgetting?” Vhindr mumbled to himself angrily.
“It was you two who did it?” Jizalpii exclaimed as he came to the realisation and pointed a finger at the two Helwry. “How could you?”
“Someone had to,” Rivien was quick to reply.
“You could have at least shown some respect,” Jizalpii wailed.
“That is why we used the poison,” Drizzen remarked with a sigh.
“But then you stabbed him through the chest with the Sword of Artāre,” wailed Jizalpii and collapsed to a seat.
“We did not,” Drizzen replied firmly and the priest looked at him in horror.
“What?” balked Jizalpii and stood up, “What are you saying? Could Jaysis truly have been struck down by Artāre?”
“It seems that way,” Arell remarked, “Unless you can explain it Berron?”
Berron shook his head.
“Who is this boy anyway?” Jizalppi asked seriously.
“No one of importance,” Vhindr cut in loudly, “Arell, Berron, we are leaving. Get your things.”
“What? Just like that?” Arell asked in surprise, “What of the murder?”
“I solved it, let us go,” Vhindr replied as he headed for the door. “The Artāre Sect can work out what to do now.”
“What of Fay?” Berron asked seriously, “You remember the reason why we came here, don’t you?”
“Open your eyes boy,” Vhindr snapped, “Fay never came here. They have nothing to do with her death. This lead was a false one, accept it.”
“But they have to be…”
“They are not,” Vhindr interrupted Berron angrily. “You would learn a lot more if you stopped being so single minded and view the evidence instead of having a pre-existing conclusion in your head. Perhaps then you would have discovered a better lead than this one. Now I am leaving, perhaps you and Arell would like to join me?”
With that Vhindr left the hall and made a quick path for his room to gather his things. Arell was close behind him and they collected their possessions before leaving the mansion. Outside Berron had brought the horses and was looking quite miserable, and without a word the three of them mounted up and trotted from the courtyard.
That night they camped on the side of the road with the bushy trees leaning into the firelight and letting the twin moons filter through their leaves. Very little had been said between the companions all day, although Arell had informed Berron about what had been happening at the monastery. But now they sat in silence as they finished their meal.
“I admit I am not surprised Rivien and Drizzen did what they did,” Arell remarked, “I don’t think we should have left so abruptly through.”
“It does not matter,” Vhindr replied as he stared into the fire.
“I thought you would be happier, Vhindr,” Arell remarked seriously. “Do you still feel like you are forgetting something?”
“Yes,” Vhindr replied stiffly.
“What’s the big deal?” Berron sighed loudly.
“The deal,” Vhindr was quick to say, “Is that I have not forgotten anything since I was five. And this one time is something that feels like it was more important than why Rivien and Drizzen killed the Grand Priest. I know it would have put the whole case in a new light, but for the life of me I cannot remember.”
“Well anyway, we can now focus back on Fay’s murder,” Arell said and smiled at Vhindr.
“I guess,” Vhindr sighed heavily.
The next day Vhindr’s mood had not changed much, and neither did it change when they came across a pair of travelers who had been slaughtered brutally and lay beside their horseless cart which was filled with empty crates.
“It looks recent,” Arell remarked as she examined the bodies.
“Hey, this is the bait salesman from Ulteross,” Berron exclaimed as he looked closer at one of the bodies. “I recognise him. He always said his bait was the best.”
“His bait was human flesh,” Vhindr said with little interest. “Let us be going.”
“I wonder who killed them,” Arell remarked as she and Berron hopped into their saddles and the trio continued on.
“Rivien and Drizzen most likely,” Vhindr shrugged.
No more was thought on it and they continue on their slow trek back to Ulteross. Several days later Vhindr was sitting at a table in the ‘Ulteross Tavern’ quietly reading a book and sipping a cup of tea.
“Well it seems Berron has moved in with Fay’s parents,” Arell remarked as she sat down at the table, “Apparently he fishes with Andle now.”
Vhindr grunted in reply, not bothering to stop reading.
“Still annoyed about the monastery?”
This time Vhindr lowered his book and fix Arell with tired expression.
“Well, I have been thinking,” Arell began.
“What have a told you about that, Arell,” Vhindr quipped and took a sip of his tea.
“Very funny,” Arell replied sarcastically, “But seriously, I think we need to return to Pentra. To wash ashore in the bay she had to have been dumped in the sea closer to the capital.”
“Interesting you should say that,” Vhindr replied.
“Because I was going to return to Pentra tomorrow,” replied Vhindr.
“And when were you going to tell me?” Arell exclaimed and Vhindr smiled playfully. “Why do I put up with you?”
Vhindr chuckled and closed his book.
“Mister Varrintine,” Tavothe called as he came by, “A letter just came for you.”
Tavothe stopped briefly and handed Vhindr the letter before going about his work. Curiously Vhindr took the letter and opened it.
“What’s wrong?” Arell asked seriously as a look of shock came to Vhindr features as he read the note.
“My brother Vythe is alive,’ Vhindr breathed in disbelief, “He is at my father’s house in Port Na’brath.”
“Well that’s good,” Arell smiled widely.
“That is not all my father writes,” Vhindr features suddenly went dark, “Grand Magi Cardonian has also been assassinated by agents from Krnōrel.”
“But that,” Arell began in shock.
“Could mean war,” Vhindr nodded gravely, before he hurriedly stood up and headed for the rooms.
“What are you going to do?” Arell asked as she followed Vhindr into their room.
“I am heading to The Port as soon as I get packed,” Vhindr replied as if it were obvious, “Fay’s murder will have to wait. I must see my brother.”
“I understand,” Arell nodded as sat on the bed.
“You could come as well, if you like,” Vhindr said slowly as he stopped packing his belongings. “I mean you do not have too. But if you want you are most welcome.”
“No, it’s alright,” Arell replied with slight embarrassment. “I will go back to Pentra and search for some more leads of Fay’s death. You will come back to Pentra soon, won’t you?”
“Of course,” Vhindr nodded and smiled, “I will meet you in Pentra as soon as I may.”
Arell smiled and stood up, “Well alright then. I look forward to your return. Give my best wishes to your family.”
Arell held out her hand for Vhindr to shake.
“I shall,” Vhindr smiled and took Arell’s hand before giving it a slight kiss and returning to his packing.
A few minutes later Vhindr was finished and with a final farewell to Arell he teleported from the tavern room. The wooden walls and Arell’s pretty face blurred and shattered like glass and the next thing he realised he was standing in the stone courtyard in front of his family’s mansion many hundreds of miles to the north of Ulteross in Port Na’brath.