Saturday, April 16, 2016

Around Again It Comes--Part 39

"So, are you feeling better now, Aunt Morgaine?" asked Antea cheerfully.

"My head isn't flying off without warning, so yep," muttered Morgaine.  "Just fantastic. I mean... aside from dealing with the entire terrible invasion of the castle by crazy assassin witches under the rule of the local courtesan provider."  She gave a frustrated sigh.  "I just don't get why Armida's doing this."

"She is Nerghal's daughter," answered Nisrioch quietly.

Morgaine blinked. "Wha...?"

"Nerghal had a daughter?" asked Elaine.

"Oh, yes," said Nisrioch.  "Actually, there was a quiet negotiation to marry us off in the earliest days of Shaddad's reemergence.  News of which was completely buried after Father completely destroyed Nerghal's power-base." 

Morgaine nodded.  "Ahh.  Of course, that does leave the question of why Nerghal never... because he's a shifty bastard, and I never asked.  Answered that one quickly.  Yep."  She frowned suddenly, and glanced at her brother.  "And you... just recently figured this out, right?"

"Oh, no, I've known for years," answered Nisrioch.  "Part of the reason I sought her out was to keep an eye on her."

His sister stared at him grimly.  "She is related to us."

"First cousin, once removed!" chirped Antea.  Elaine glanced at her.  "I'm good at this sort of thing!" Antea stated proudly.

"Right, right," said Morgaine.  "Still--relative."

"Well, we're aristocrats!" replied Nisrioch.  "This sort of thing happens all the time with us!"

"Uh huh," replied Morgaine with a dull nod. "And I suppose she knew that you knew."

"Almost certainly," said Nisrioch.

Morgaine slapped her forehead.  "Nissy, do you realize this means that you have no romantic relationships that are not based on lies, and evil headgames?"

"What can I say?" answered her brother.  "I am deep and complicated.  Like a multi-volume novel!"

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