“So that’s how it stands, Your Monumentness,” finished up Amante. “Prince Amfortas isn’t going to let defiance like our brother’s stand.”
“He’d rather it’d sit,” stated Richardet quietly.
Amante glared at him. “Well, sit down in HELL, maybe,” she muttered. She turned back to Mansemat. “He’ll kill them. If he can.”
“She’s right about that,” said Richardet. “Them, and a whole lot of other people. Quite a few people have noticed that Amfortas likes killing people.”
“He killed our father!” Amante shouted.
Richardet looked away. “He probably had it done.”
Amante glared at her brother, eyes wide with hatred. “It was him! We all know it! It doesn’t matter if he only ordered it--IT WAS HIM! He had those awful people he has working for him overtake him on the road to Montalban one night!” she sobbed. “And they tore him to pieces, and when we had his funeral, we had to keep the casket closed, and then he said it was the Nightfolk, and everyone knew it was him--they knew it!--but they all nodded, and pretended it wasn’t…”
Richardet winced. “I know. I know, Amante.”
“And now--he’s going to kill our brothers if he can,” she said softly. “Our brothers, and everyone in Montalban, and then he’ll go on to wipe out Monleone, and Duke Agrivain, and his lady…” She looked at the Dark Lord. “She’s one of you, you know. And he’ll kill her.”
Mansemat regarded the young woman. “Amfortas has killed many of my people. And he will doubtless go on to kill many more. He has done wrongs to my land, to my house, and to people close to me that you cannot begin to imagine. So do not think I need anymore reason to hate the Prince of Leonais, my lady.” He rose and walked to a small window in the chamber.
Richardet and Amante looked at each other worriedly. “I… I hope we did not offend you, Dark Lord,” said Richardet quietly.
Mansemat shook his head. “No. No. You did not.” He peered out the window. “Hmmm. You can see my garden from here.”
“Well… that’s good,” said Amante. “It’s just… I really… really hate Amfortas.”
“That’s understandable. I don’t like him very much either,” replied Mansemat. “In fact, I’ve vowed to kill him, when next we meet.” He glanced at her. “Have you ever seen my gardens?” Amante shook her head. “You really should. I think they’re one of the most relaxing places in the Castle. Very… good for the soul.” He turned back out the window. “I suggest you visit them after this. If you’d like.”
Amante nodded. “I… will, sir, if…”
Richardet frowned. “You know something you aren’t telling us.” Mansemat continued to peer out the window. “I… I’ve heard that the Folk of Night know magical arts that allow them to view events that occur from a great distance while they happen. Is there… any truth to that?”
“Some truth,” said Mansemat with a nod. “It is difficult to do it very long, and to see a great deal of detail… but some things… some things show up very clearly.” He took a deep breath. “A great army has departed from Joyeuse and makes it way to Montalban, even as we speak.”
“And what are you going to do?” asked Amante.
“By the Darksome Lady, I do not know,” said Mansemat.