Chapter 29

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The knights and remaining guests had the pleasure of listening to the madrigals and minstrels from Mhaktyelle Deep. After the performance, some of the knights stayed at the castle and, amidst ale and other spirits, cursed the misfortunes they encountered during the afternoon Contest to those who would listen. Others chose to explore the city and drown their disappointments in the consoling arms of some young, starry-eyed paramour.

The latter was the case with the big knight from Sevhert'ah. Or so he told his companions. He had been careful to stay out of Mharkhel and Setryv's sight since he had arrived in Bhel'Ehzz. It was not much of a problem during the Contest as he wore a helmet and visor, which he kept on even after the tournament ended and the knights offered each other their respects. But he was extremely uncomfortable at the banquet, though he had wrapped part of his head in bandages and wore an eye patch to disguise his appearance. At his first opportunity he left the castle, making sure that several people heard of his plans to venture into the capital in search of a one night stand.

He found the person he had made arrangements with the previous evening waiting at the prescribed meeting place, an alley behind a tavern in the lower class part of town. They talked quietly for a couple of minutes, passing time, making sure no one had followed either of them. They both became alert at the faint sound of scraping from down the alley, but upon investigation, found the culprit to be a mangy dog. When he finally felt the place secure, the knight from Sevhert'ah held out a pouch and eyed the other man. He was almost as big as the knight, though not quite as tall or muscular. That's all right, the knight thought, no one'll know the difference when I get through with him. The other man grabbed the pouch and pulled out a knife, all in one motion. He smiled and shaking his head, said to the knight, "Qyqyx." But before he could draw another breath, there was a glint of steel and the knight had buried his own knife in the victim's throat. Another knife swiftly entered the man's chest and he dropped to the ground dead, disbelief still in his eyes. The knight quickly swapped clothes with the man and placed his bandages and eye patch on him. Then he proceeded to disfigure him beyond recognition.

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