Chapter Nineteen: Judgement

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Da'bral was worried about Ishti. He knew that his friend still felt guilty about what happened on Tatooine, as well as just about everything Nyron had done, but he knew that he couldn't take that guilt away. Any support, or conciliation, or even forgiveness would just come across as empty ways to make him feel better. All he could do was look happy and let Ishti wrestle with his mind alone. That would take long enough at any time, but now they were headed to meet the parents of the people Ishti felt he had caused the deaths of. Da'bral could only hope that they would be understanding, but he knew what Corellians could be like: fiercely loyal and impulsive.

The manor was lovely. Da'bral marvelled at how much green there could be on such an industrial planet, and how much care was put into the it. He climbed half out the taxi window as it glided through the intricately fashioned gates to get a good look at the tidily trimmed hedges, perfectly placed flowers, and creatively crafted ornaments. He had never seen anything like it. The house itself was equally impressive: just as well maintained and just as carefully constructed, seemingly appearing to be hewn from one huge sand coloured stone, with only the roof tiles added later. It was both imposing and homely at once.

The taxi paused briefly to let them off on the smooth marble surface in front of the house, again seemingly made from one block, before zooming back to the city. Olulm started towards the house but Da'bral put a hand on his shoulder to stop him; Ishti was biting his lip and frowning and unfrowning: clear signs of him mentally battling with his fear and deciding on the best course of action. Finally he breathed out slowly, drew himself up to feel confident, and strode towards the house. Olulm gave Da'bral a short sympathetic glance, and the two of them followed Ishti up the steps.

Ishti knocked on the door, and they waited patiently on the porch to be welcomed by the snooty Human butler.
"I'm -"
"I know who you are." The butler interrupted Ishti rudely, his cheek twitching slightly as he stared at him pointedly. Da'bral wondered for a moment whether they would be let in, clearly the butler blamed Ishti for what happened, and if he was any indication of the rest of the family's attitude, things would not go well at all. Finally the butler stepped aside, having made them feel sufficiently awkward.
"Mister Vox is expecting you." He said, gesturing to his left, across the door.

The three bounty hunters stepped inside gingerly, feeling woefully inadequate amongst the exquisite ornaments and finery in the atrium. They went through the door that the butler was indicating, into what was clearly the sitting room. It was quite a large room, with a distinctly old feeling about it, almost archaic, with dark red fabric curtains, wooden book cases, and what looked like paper books, although they were probably just for decoration: nobody used paper anymore. The walls were white, and each one (other than the one in which the large window was) contained artwork of a beautiful Corellian landscape, a heroic Corellian battle, and a flattering portrait of some old relative. Kanso was sat in one of the cream sofas, and he smiled when he saw them enter. It was not a warm smile, Da'bral noticed, but a smile nonetheless.

He was a moderately tall man with brown hair, short and swept up and right, similar to his son Merich. Although he looked painfully similar to his late son, there were some differences: he had thick stubble on his lip and chin, and his skin was weathered from years of hunting, making him look ruggedly handsome. He clearly wasn't going to stop hunting anytime soon though, based solely on his physical condition, which was impressive for someone past their prime.
"Sit here." He said amiably, standing up as he gestured to the sofa opposite him. Once all three of them had sat, he replaced himself where he had been before, and stared at each of them for a while before continuing. Unlike the butler's though, he smile was not malicious, but grim, and Da'bral could have sworn he saw his blue eyes absorb all the information they could, as he slowly smiled and relaxed into the cushions behind him.
"You don't need to worry." He said, smiling at Ishti. "I know you didn't kill them, but I'd like to know what happened. I need closure just as much as any other hunter." Then his voice turned grave. "You've got to tell me who is responsible." And just as quickly as it had gone, his smile returned.
"So how about Soaran gets us some drinks, and you start from the beginning? I promise: I don't hold you responsible; you can be honest with me."

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