Litany of Heroes

Disclaimer: If you recognize it from Dave Duncan's fantastic works, then I don't own it (except in paperback).


047. Truth.

If there was one thing Ivyn Kromman loved above all else it was the truth, and using that truth to protect king and country. It did not matter to him how others might feel about his actions, because he had sworn his loyalty to the Dark Chamber and to the House of Ranulf. He would not, could not make a lie of that.

"You were told to wait for the Blades!" Commander Montpurse snapped at him. Ivyn ignored the man, watching instead as the body of the traitor was removed. "We could have stopped this!"

He fixed his gaze on the other man. They were probably the same age, but the Blade had never lost that soft, baby-faced look. Ivyn had always felt it made him look ridiculous, especially in the current style of livery the king insisted his Guard wear.

"Nutting's Blade will still stand trial. If he survives." He couldn't keep the sneer out of his voice; Blades and Inquisitors never saw eye to eye, and for the life of him, Ivyn could never see why the Blades thought so highly of themselves. They had to be conjured to be faithful; a simple oath was enough for anyone else.

"Durendal was not involved in this mess save for the fact that he was bound to that worthless waste of space," Montpurse snarled.

"The auguries indicate he is a threat to the king's life. He will stand trial with the other traitors," Ivyn replied calmly.

"The auguries also claim the king will die twice, Kromman, so you can see how very little faith I have in those," Montpurse retorted. Ivyn resisted the urge to sigh; conjured swordsmen did not understand.

"They have never once been wrong before. Now why don't you go make sure Sir Durendal is ready to stand trial." He kept his deliberately blank gaze fixed on the commander, watching his face redden, before the other man turned and stormed off, no doubt to lodge some sort of complaint with the king.

Once alone, Ivyn did allow the sigh to escape. Montpurse had been right, of course; fate predicted that the king would die twice. But it was not his job to interpret the meaning of such things. Here and now, there was a threat to the king, and he would do everything in his power to see that Durendal never had the chance to fulfill his destiny.


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