Abuud: the One-Eyed God
politicians do. It is no concern of mine."
    "There are those on the Council who will wish to make it your business," retorted Duke Graves. "While your mercenaries are impressive, the Council controls the army. Surely a few words from you are worth the potential trouble these sinister people can create?"
    "Very well," sighed the voice after a long pause. "Why can't people let me be? Do not ask me about my family or lack of one, but I will tell you that I have no relatives living in Tagaret. Anyone who purports to be my heir in this city is a fraud."
    "As I thought," declared Duke Zalski. "What do we do about her now?"
    "Your Council is an interesting device," commented the voice. "It would seem to me that you should desire to fill your vacancies with people who do not bring any alliances with them. If the Council continues its current path, all of you will die like Duke D'Ales did."
    "You already know about Duke D'Ales?" questioned Duke Tredor. "I did not realize the news was released yet."
    "I do not wait for news to be released," responded the voice. "I presume that Duke Engar has already been arrested?"
    "At the Council meeting this morning," nodded Duke Zalski. "Not more than an hour ago."
    "He will not be the last," declared the voice. "You three should really look into the use of mercenaries. They are expensive, but do you wish to save your money as Duke D'Ales did?"
    "How could you possibly know about Duke Engar?" inquired Duke Graves. "We are councilors and just found out about it. In fact, Duke Everich just found out this morning himself. You could not possibly know unless you were involved."
    "Be careful of your accusations in my presence," warned the voice. "While I may not care much for your Council, I am a law-abiding man. In fact, it was I who alerted the authorities about the assassination. That they failed to act in time to save Duke D'Ales is not my responsibility."
    "You reported the assassination before it occurred?" asked Duke Tredor.
    "I felt it was the duty of a good citizen," answered the voice. "Mind you I am not the type of person who offers information to others, but this situation did appear to be unsettling. Duke Everich and Duke Jiardin appeared to be thankful, and I fully expected them to take immediate action. This Contest of Power you play is very destructive. I am glad that I have no desire to be involved in it."
    "So they knew last night," scowled Duke Tredor. "We should have words with them."
    "Your attitude needs work," berated the voice. "There are ground rules for dealing with me, so let me state them now for those of you who do not know. Never, and I mean never, allow others to know that your information comes from me. I will not allow it. While I am a lawful man, I have learned many ways of legally destroying a man. If you affect my reputation by using information that I give you, rest assured that your destruction will be swift and permanent."
    "Nothing we learn here will ever be attributable to you," promised Duke Graves. "I think the rash response of my colleague stems from his frustration, but I am sure he would never compromise you."
    "What are we do about the nominations now?" Duke Zalski asked his fellow councilors. "We cannot continue to promote Niki."
    "We need someone who has no connection to Duke Everich," snarled Duke Tredor, "and that will be hard to find."
    "And someone who is not likely to be persuaded by him after being accepted on the Council," added Duke Graves. "Perhaps you have a suggestion, Sir?"
    "As I said, before," responded the voice, "I am loathe to get involved in politics. Were I you, I would nominate someone of considerable station, but preferably someone new to the city. Seek out someone who has not been here long enough to get involved with the other players."
    "Do you know of such a person?" inquired Duke Zalski.
    "There are several," replied the voice. "I have files on all of them."
    "You keep files on everyone?" asked Duke Graves.
    "Of course," chuckled

Similar Books

Love Me Tonight

Gwynne Forster

Pick Me

Erika Marks

Mercury Rises

Robert Kroese

Four Just Men

Edgar Wallace

48 - Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns

R.L. Stine - (ebook by Undead)