Swamped Chapter 16 Page 13

“I was trying to get information from him. Of course I had to tell him something – and all I told him was what he already suspected. I thought it worth the risk if it convinced him to release me, so I could return with the information sooner.”

You look at each council member in turn.

“I hadn’t realized that you’d already decided to attack. Now, why exactly did that happen? It hadn’t even been a full day since we got the report of the egg harvest.”

Claws glances at Mantis.

Someone apparently received his sign from the gods.”

“I will not have you mischaracterize my prayers,” Mantis says. Is he actually angry? “I was seeking guidance, knowing the decision was of great importance.”

“And then you settled your vote right after you found out your disciple Requiem got poisoned. Are you telling me that wasn’t what made up your mind?”

“I was, of course, deeply upset by the news. But I had already concluded that this was my path by then. Requiem’s poisoning merely strengthened my resolve. And I do not believe I made the wrong decision.”

“The hell is that supposed to mean?” Claws snaps. “Rider’s gone!”

“In the end, we called off the attack and learned that the Bogknights were not behind the poison. I believe this was the will of the gods. That we were meant to prepare for an attack, only to cancel it. In time, the reasons why will become clear.”

“What a load of…” Claws shakes her head. She doesn’t really want to go there. “Or maybe you made a mistake, and the attack was cancelled because the gods didn’t want it.”

“You are welcome to disagree,” Mantis says. “These are merely my own thoughts on the matter. The will of the gods is difficult to decipher, and ultimately none of us can ever be sure we walk the right path. We can only strive to do the best we can.”

“That’s enough,” Razor says. “If you want a religious debate, have it on your own time. Stick to the matter at hand.”

“Which is what, at this point?” you ask. “I’ve explained what I told Captain Long and why. Am I, at last, permitted to leave?”

“Just one thing,” Razor says. “The one-armed prisoner we were talking about earlier. I don’t want you questioning them, or meeting with them under any circumstances, without a council member present.”

That could be inconvenient. You’re not even sure you could trust Claws in this matter.

“Or would another councilor care to object?”


“Well, you have your orders, Mudviper. You may resume your duties now while we discuss other matters.”

“Thank you, Council,” you say, before walking out of the chamber.

Then you give the nearest wall a good punch.

How dare he!

Marshall’s been left in the dark for seven years now. You can’t just let that continue.

But you’ve been ordered to stay out of the way. And worst of all, whatever your emotions may be saying – you know Razor made the same call you would have if you were in his place. As angry as you are, you can’t even object in good faith.

So what are you to do?

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Better go talk with Corvus.