Saturday, May 28, 2016

Around Again It Comes--Part 57

Nisrioch pulled the sheet over Armida's head, and sighed.  "Did she ever seem to... come to...?" asked Mansemat quietly.

Nisrioch shook his head.  "I was hoping to talk to her one last time.  We were quite fond of each other, you know.  Despite all the... problems."

Mansemat stared at his brother for a moment.  "That is one way of putting it."

"Do you know that Nerghal actually suggested an arranged marriage between the pair of us as a peace settlement?" continued Nisrioch cheerfully. "Of course, Father was winning by that point, so it never really had a chance..."

"That's very nice, Nissy," said Mansemat with a sigh.  "You... do realize I'm going to have to ask you to leave for awhile, correct?"

Nisrioch shut his eyes and took a deep breath.  "I... the idea had occurred to me, yes."  He bit his lip then looked at his brother hopefully.  "I was hoping it was simply a strange idle notion that..."

Mansemat regarded him calmly.  "Nissy, you allowed an enemy of our family to operate right next to us, in the view of some... unthinkable endgame..."

"There are things at stake here that you..." began Nisrioch.

"That I don't understand," said Mansemat.  "Yes, I know.  I have heard it often enough, Nisrioch.  It is getting... tiresome.  That's why I am asking you to leave.  Because I simply don't trust you right now.  And if I have to see you here constantly, I will likely lose my temper."  He took a deep breath.  "The endless schemes... the plots within plots... I don't care if it's for my benefit or not.  It's just gotten... exhausting from where I stand."

Nisrioch stood there silently for a moment, and then glanced at Armida's body.  "Promise me you'll bury her here.  In the family tomb.  She tried all her life to come back home.  I thought that in..."  Mansemat nodded.  "Very well.  I will... get some things, and... head out."

Mansemat regarded Armida's body as his brother left.  "It won't be... forever, Nissy.  Just... long enough for me to forgive you."

"I know," said Nisrioch, as he left the chamber.

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