Excerpt from Quellseek: Army of Empaths. From the end of Chapter 9, A Visitor in the Night (Wellynd Niles, POV). Wellynd wraps up his visit to Bon Pelees Atarem, a strange stopover even for a spy. He received a visitor to his room which left him disturbed (and not a little frustrated!) and saw a curious sight in the early dawn, a person sneaking out of the keep instead of into it! In this excerpt, Wellynd ends his visit by giving Pelees a revelation.
“Thank you for delivering your message and may all the Unnamed see you home in safety. Doralinda made you up this bundle of food for your journey.” Pelees handed him a packet wrapped in linen.
“Thank you, my lord. A fine woman, your serving lady.”
Pelees looked surprised. “You were speaking with her yesterday.”
“Yes. I was getting a bottle of ghurzin from your storehouse. She is very concerned for you, my bon. As are we all.”
Pelees looked angry. “She spoke out of turn, I fear. I shall have to chastise her.”
“Don’t. Please, my lord. She spoke only out of her worry. She suffers greatly.”
“I know,” Pelees nodded. “She was very attached to Nissen. It hurt her when he quelled my poisoning.”
‘Now here’s a chance for me to do some good on this visit, at last,’ Wellynd thought.
“Is that what you think, my lord? That she loved your Quell?”
Pelees screwed up his eyes, not comprehending his guest’s meaning. “She must have…the way she cried when he died.”
Wellynd Niles put his heel to his horse and started to trot away, following his other guards and Wallis who were already leaving the stable. Then he stopped and turned to regard Bon Pelees Atarem thoughtfully.
“Hmm…yet her meander was the first one to leave Blackened Falls when you were poisoned, before your Quell was even feeling the full effect of it.” He grinned. “Well…I’ve heard it said love is blind. It must be stupid as well. Beg pardon, my lord. Thank you for your hospitality. Until we meet again.”
Then Wellynd Niles spun his horse around and headed out of the stable, leaving the Bon gaping after him in confusion, before Pelees could feel the full measure of the insult and call him back to have him flogged.