Swamped Chapter 54 Page 4

Whoever drew these sketches is real good. This wasn’t some hobbyist, this was someone who made their living as an artist. Probably these were preliminary sketches before making full-on paintings.

And looking at the sorts of things in here… there’s a lot of what looks like ceremonies. Medal ceremonies for soldiers, big banquets, this looks like a treaty signing… You’ve seen a few of these before, when making deliveries. They’re very detailed, because they’re meant to serve as proof. So they depict things as little as which finger a ring is on.

In short, this was the work of a royal artist. Which means the sketch at the end, the King of Kandria holding a child, can only be one thing.

A proof of heritage. A proof that the King of Kandria recognizes this kid as his own.

In other words, an heir.

Which is real funny, considering you distinctly recall delivering quite a few messages fifteen years ago debating which nobles the Guild should back after said king died with no heir.

And Rider wanted Marshall to have this, without being connected to the delivery. Could that mean…

…well, that might be going a bit far. The kid’s missing father is in here, that’s probably reason enough for Rider to hand it over. And the other stuff, especially the last sketch, would explain the ridiculous secrecy on its own.

Maybe that’s all it is.

Maybe. Whether it’s true or not, though, you sure as hell wouldn’t want anyone of importance in Kandria jumping to that particular conclusion.

So that leaves the question – how much of this do you tell the poor kid?

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Tell the kid the whole truth but make sure to do in a way that doesn’t result in tears.