V. Cavus Mortis

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What was revealed beneath the pale sheet was even more pale, and considerably more disconcerting. Harun swallowed hard. Suddenly, he was thankful for the once again flavorless supper this evening. Had it been more appetizing, he might have eaten more of it. And had he eaten more, there would now have been more substance available to react to the violent upheaval in the region of his stomach.

Looking at the body in the morning sunlight in front of the castle, from a safe distance, that had been one thing. But here and now, in the nearly absolute darkness of the chapel, seeing that waxen face, at peace, and yet not at peace at all... Harun shuddered.

The blood around the chest wound had long been washed of. This however only meant that one could now more clearly see the grisly wound it had been concealing.

“Let’s have a closer look, then” he croaked, and actually managed to take a step forward towards the unmoving, illogical horror before him.

He beckoned to Wenzel, who followed reluctantly.

“What is the matter?” he asked, finding some solace in his friend's distress, but also finding it very curious. “You are a soldier, aren’t you? You should be used to seeing wounds. Isn’t it your job to kill enemies which try to take the castle of your Lord?”

“Aye, and can you remember the last time anyone attacked Sevenport Castle?”

Harun thought.

“No”, he replied.

“Neither can I. It has been a very nice, quiet life here. Until I had the misfortune of meeting you.”

“It was not I who killed him.”

“No. But you couldn’t keep your long, inky fingers off an intellectual problem, even if it was a stinking dead one down a fifty feet well.”

“No, I could not. So are you going to stand there complaining about it or are you going to help me?”

Wenzel took a deep breath and stepped beside the bier.

“Now,” said Harun, “the wound. What can you tell me about it?”

“That the fellow died from it.”

Shukran, my friend, I believe that much I had grasped myself. What else?”

“What else do you expect?”

“Well, can you perhaps say who inflicted it upon him?”

Wenzel smiled sarcastically at his friend.

“I don’t believe so, no.”

Harun shrugged.

“Don’t look at me like that. It never hurts to ask.”

“It might next time. I’ve got my dagger with me.”

“Ha, ha. Can you perhaps tell me how long ago Lukas received the wound?”

“What good would that do? I thought you knew when he was done in?”

“I merely was curious.”

Wenzel snorted. “If satisfying your morbid taste of curiosity is all I’m here for, I think I’ll better clear off.”

“No, wait.” Harun raised his hand, thinking. “How about the weapon? Do you know what sort of weapon was used?”

“Yea, of course. You really must think I’m dumb. That’s a sword wound, as clear as daylight.”

Wenzel, having had enough of this waste of his time, wanted to turn away from the body, but at the sight of his friend’s face, he froze.

“What’s up?”

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