Three months have passed since the assassination. Life in Grian was again running its course, the peasants were working as hard as ever and everything seemed to be turning back to normal.
The newly coronated King Fasach renounced the Royal Palace and decided he would stay at his Villa in Fiadha. He argued that strategically, his Governor residence is more appropriate for his needs. The protests of the nobles, who saw it more fitting for the monarch to take his place on the throne in the Royal Palace, fell on deaf ears, so they eventually surrendered their claims.
-M.G., who are you? You know your mission failed. You know I shouldn’t have learned of your existence, nor should I be breathing still. You messed up, pig! You are forced to come to me again, but this time I will be waiting for you. Show yourself, murderer!
Loud pounding on the wooden door broke the silence of the room. King Fasach folded the letter found on the assassin and put it back into the drawer of his massive desk.
With a cricking noise, the door moved slowly inward, letting light from the candles outside fill the room. A small, fat man entered.
-My Lord, I have news!
-Another brawl between peasants for life stock? Or some cretin nobleman slept with another’s wife? These are no concerns for a King, I told you! Whatever it is, see to it that Minister Caradh hears of it. I placed him in charge of such matters.
-No, My Lord, none of that! It’s about your brother’s death.
-What? Speak! Don’t waste my time and tell me what have you found? Do you know who’s M.G.?
– No, Sire, but your brother had a traitor close to him. It is the only way the assassin could know where you were.
-What? Do you think I’m some kind of imbecile? Of course there was a traitor! I should have you hanged for coming to me with such inapt news.
-My Lord, there’s more!
-Then speak already, you moron!
-Of course, Sire, I apologize! After the assassination, we searched the body of the murderer and found a strange scar on his left shoulder. It looked like a crescent with an arrow next to it. It took us some time, but we realized this is a symbol of a Northern Assassins Guild, called Fius Dubh. They are known for working in the shadows and mastering dark spells that can rob light from day, so they can move unseen. This might be why it was so dark in the forest that cursed day.
-Northern Assassins? Do you know who hired them?
-No, Sire, but we analyzed who knew of you and your brother’s whereabouts at that time. Eleven men had that information. Ten of them are still within the Royal Palace. Only one has left right after the assassination.
-Who is the scum?
-Lord Fream, Sire! He left the Palace the same day you went hunting and has never been seen since this morning.
– You found him? Where is he now?
-He’s dead, My Lord! We found him in the outskirts of the Capital, his throat cut clean. There was a letter on him, Sire.
-What letter, what does it say?
-I have a transcript of it, Sire, I can read for you if you want!
-Give it here!
You imbecile! You guaranteed the two brothers would be dead and we could move forward with our mission. Now I have to think of a way to get rid of that savage, Fasach. It shall be no easy task, now that he’s King!
Despite your incompetence, you have the nerve to ask for payment? Your stupidity only made matters worse. And know you think you can extort me by threatening to go to Fasach? I thought you knew better what I do to traitors!
But, by all means, you’re right, you do deserve something for your effort. My associate will deliver it to you!
Goodbye, Lord Fream!M.G.
-Yes, My Lord! It appears that Lord Fream was the traitor, but he wanted to turn himself in.
-He would have received the same fate here, too!
-Yes, of course, but we would have learned so much about our enemy before, Sire.
-Would you trust the words of a traitor? Of a man that had his own King slain like a dog? One who tried to give his Kingdom to Rioghachad? I wouldn’t have listened to a sound that came from the mouth of that worm!
-Of course, Sire!
-Tell me, why haven’t you figured out his absence since now?
-He deceived us, Sire. He had planned this in detail. Months ahead of the assassination, he spoke of how he was to part Grian with business right after The Corn Festival. That was two days before the event. No one spoke of his absence because we all thought he left to take care of his dealings.
-I heard enough! The entire Royal Defense Ministry was made a fool of by a cretin Lord that got himself killed. That’s how wise he was. You may leave now! Send word to the nobles, I want to speak to them this evening in the Governor’s Chamber.
-Yes, Sire, at once!
The fat man turned on his heels and left. King Fasach stood at his desk, looking at the piece of paper he just received. His heart was pounding hard against his ribs. A burning feeling engulfed his entire body as his mind was coping with the new findings.
-So, you’re cutting the loose ends! You’re scared, M.G.! You should be!