Chapter 19

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Mharkhel cleared his throat. "Forgive me Your Highness, but I think our surveillance will be for naught." Vhyqyrd's jaw tightened at the dark knight's comment. "By the way he operates, I am beginning to think this one may be of the Khezef Ahf. He seemingly appears and disappears at will. He has at his disposal extremely powerful and rare poisons. He had the audacity to murder the senior member of the Ministry and, not to mention, he was probably the one who gained entrance to the castle and did away with that rogue in our own dungeon."

Vhyqyrd exercised his rank. "I am afraid you may be right. However, we still need to try to cover every possibility, even though they be unlikely." The Prince wore an exasperated look.

There was a knock at the door and Ellycyn entered. She stopped suddenly when she saw Mharkhel. Upon seeing her, the dark knight fought a recurring battle in his heart. Ellycyn was exquisite in her own simple way. She was a genuine, down to earth person whose disposition was typically bright and cheerful. And though the Princess was not a striking visage, she was very pretty. But the dark knight felt he was not deserving of her.

Ellycyn and Mharkhel glanced at each other for an instant and Rhenycyn could have sworn the temperature in the room dropped by twenty degrees. The Princess made a distinct move to turn her head towards Setryv. "So here you are," she said to the blonde knight. "They told me I might find you here. I was hoping you would do me the honor of escorting me to the opening ceremonies of the MidSummer celebration tonight."

Shock registered on the face of the Prince. Vhyqyrd's reaction was no reaction. Mharkhel showed outrage quickly followed by hurt. But Setryv, always smooth, responded with a stiff bow and said, "My lady, I would not only be honored but delighted to escort the fairest maiden in the land."

"Excellent," the Princess said with a short laugh. "I will expect you to call at the fourteenth hour. Until then." Ellycyn inclined her head towards Setryv and turned to leave but gave Mharkhel a quick look before doing so. Her hazel eyes were unusually cruel and a tight smile played at her lips.

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