Thursday, January 1, 2015

Down in the Darkness Deep--Part 23

"Oh, dear," muttered Lord Nycetus, clicking his tongue as he stared at his legate’s dead body. "This is… unpleasant."

Cheimarrhus rolled his eyes. "That is a rather mild way of putting it."

"I am by nature a mild man," said Nycetus. He shook his head in wonder. "With his bare hands you say?" He gave another shake of his head, and another click of his tongue. "Remarkable. Simply remarkable." He quietly regarded Abgar’s body for a bit longer, than glanced at the young nobleman. "You have him in custody, though, don’t you? The… Graharz?"

"Yes," snapped Cheimarrhus, with an angry stamp of his feet. "Your Lordship, this man must be punished most severely. These other plotters are one thing, but this man has…"

"Oh, I quite agree," said the older man. "After all, we can’t have our slaves imagining they can get away with killing us. It would be quite a dangerous idea for them to have in their heads. Plotters must die, but killers--they must die in agony…"

Cheimarrhus gave a surprised nod at this. "I am… pleased to see we are of one mind of this, Your Lordship. If you would… give me leave, I would devise the most grisly punishment imaginable for this Milesian scum."

"A grand and noble offer, young Cheimarrhus," said Nycetus. "You have my leave--nay, my order. Concoct a hideous and torturous death for this murdering slave." He clapped his hands together. "Though do keep it simple. I wish to have this brute executed soon, and thus do not have the time to bring in anything too elaborate."

Cheimarrhus gave a bow, then turned and left the chamber. As soon as he was well out of earshot, Isengrim turned to his employer. "You are following that fool’s advice?" said the Ogre in surprise.

"Even fools can be right on occasion," answered Nycetus. "And if that fool wishes to gather the hatred of every slave in the mines, well, who am I to deny him this privilege?" He shrugged. "I’m not a man to argue when my problems start solving each other."

Isengrim gave an appreciative nod. "Do you wish us to find the brother?"

Nycetus shook his head. "From what I’ve heard, he’s no concern. A finished man, come here to prolong his death, while imagining he is preserving his life." The fat Erl laughed softly. "No, Isengrim, not a concern of ours. He may hold a dream of revenge for a week, or a month, but that is all it will be. And soon, soon the labor of the mines will grind it down again. At worst, he might just try to kill young Cheimarrhus, and then… well, you know what I said about my problems solving each other."

"They often do for you, I notice," noted the Ogre.

"It is a gift," answered Nycetus, smiling broadly.

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