Mercy is the Mark
Daud raised his head as one of his followers entered the room. "What is it?"
"Corvo has vanished from confinement, from the whole area. And the men on duty swear they saw absolutely nothing. It sounds impossible, I know. The Greaves refinery restarted. What do you make of it?"
Daud responded bluntly, "That he knows your work better than you do. Deal with the sentries as you see fit. As for Corvo, I suspect that in time he will come to me here. He'll have to."
He started recording an audiograph, his own thoughts on the ironic fate of the Hiram Burrows, formerly Lord Regent. Curious that Corvo had let the man live. Curious, and concerning. He was a wild card in a deck that he knew inside and out, the only variable that he couldn't predict with reasonable certainty.
"So you've lost it all. Ruined at last. Lord Regent. Royal Spymaster. Hiram Burrows. You small, worried man. You'll never know how many times I've thought about trying to get close to you again, just to put a piece of sharp metal in your eye. But now there's no need. You've been taken down by the same apparatus that gave you life to begin with. Laws and courtrooms and the mighty swell of public outrage. Good riddance to you, sir. So many schemes you had and so many contracts. How many people did I kill for you. None like the last. None like her. I'd give back all the coin if I could. No one should have to kill an Empress."
The assassin standing guard by the door behind him walked out the doors on the far side of the room, perhaps seeking privacy for his thoughts. Daud was unconcerned. He moved forward to read some papers on what amounted to a desk. His hand unconsciously drifted toward his key, hanging on the desk. He stood stock-still when he realized it was gone. He checked his pockets, only to find that his pouch of coins had gone missing as well. Daud could scarcely believe the ramifications.
Corvo had been standing in the very same room, within a dagger's reach of Daud himself, taken the key and his coins, then just walked away. It was one thing to spare the Royal Spymaster. After all, he was just a plotter, not a man of action. Daud had personally run the Empress through, felt his blade dig into her stomach and her blood wash over his hand. And if the rumors were true, Corvo should also have had a personal stake in avenging her death. Yet here he stood, alive and well.