Chapter 85: Security Reviews

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There are many theories why the Eight possess an inability to feel love and also an anathema to love. Some sorcerers, theologians by trade, suggest that love is a sliver of the Divine, and as the Eight are in direct opposition to anything good and wholesome, they cannot experience the Divine.

-The Necromancer's Notes,  Codex 6579, page 155, Philosophy Wing

***

Laidu awoke to a knock at the door.

He stared up at the canopy above him, illuminated by golden morning light. "Come in!" He propped himself up a bit more on the pillows.

The door open, and the room got brighter. "Good morning," Kyra said. Then she smiled, which added it's own radiance to the room. She sat on the side of his bed, and her hand found his. He liked that, when he could hold the hand of his love. "More reviews today?"

"Yeah," Laidu said, sitting up a bit more, pulling the covers off him. His sleepwear -a pair of light, breathable, but cheap trousers- seemed too rough a garment compared to the silk and fine linen bedsheets, but it was what he had. He was a soldier by trade, and the finery that Kyra possessed was something foreign to him. "Anyone with you?"

"Only Marcel," Kyra said with a smile. She leaned in and kissed him, wrapping her arm around his neck. For a moment, they were together, before she broke away. "Father had an appointment with Lord Cydari."

"Ah." Laidu rose out of the bed and strode to a window. His toenails, more like claws, clacked against the floor. "And his butler is fine with you being alone in the same room with a monster?"

"Hardly," Marcel said. Laidu turned. He hadn't noticed the butler there. "I was here when you awoke."

"Oh," Laidu said, cheeks reddening.

"Though I averted my eyes when the young lady, ahem... greeted you," Marcel said. "I did give you some privacy."

"Thank you for that," Laidu said. A thought struck him. "Please don't mention it to Lord Solstael."

Marcel paused. "Lord Solstael had some choice words when you were brought up. He expressed how he wasn't terribly fond of you having spent much time with his daughter while you were escorting her here." He paused. "He did issue me an order before he left regarding the young heiress. 'Don't leave her alone with that scoundrel degenerate,' he said, if my memory serves me." Laidu's heart fell. Great. From his interactions with the butler, he knew how loyal Marcel was. 

"Of course, in my sound judgement, I don't find you to be a scoundrel or a degenerate, let alone both." Laidu chuckled. Usually, he hated people obeying the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law, but this was one of those times when he didn't mind as much. "I told him of course, sir. But think of this. Would I be one to permit a scoundrel or a degenerate to enter this fine house? Perish the thought!"

"There was that stablehand," Kyra said. 

Marcel glared at her. "Tasvim the stablemaster hired him. But once I caught him fooling around with that scullery maid, I chased that street urchin back out. He can go fool around like that in a brothel, but not here." 

"I asked Marcel of his opinion of you," Kyra said. "How did you put it?" she asked the butler.

"Well," the man said as he began to make the bed. "I believe I assessed you as a melancholic romantic from Kyra's talk of you. You do not boast idly and vomit forth idle words, but you don't stay quiet when you should. That, I find, is the way most of the noble heirs of Caeldar are. You aren't like that, and I think, to some extent, that is a good thing. Also, I should note that I find you to be a doer, not a talker. I know many a man that speak of their hunting prowess, yet have no pelts nor trophies to prove it. I think you'd be the kind of man to have many pelts and trophies that you seldom speak of. Figuratively, of course. I do not take you for the hunting type."

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