Chapter 12.2

Adian looked thoughtfully at his two fellow Grandmasters: Tueram and Feria. Tueram, the youngest of the three, scratched his bushy, blonde beard as he pondered the issue, a habit he had learned from Adina, though his own hair had lost all colour long ago and was now snowy white. Feria simply frowned.

So what do you say: do we grant asylum to a demon who claims to seek protection from a dread master?” Adian repeated the question he had put before them.

“His knowledge may be valuable, but how reliable is it?” Feria asked.

Adian nodded. That was one of his concerns as well. “Tueram?”

I say we smite this master of his back into the hell he crawled out of. That’ll be his ‘asylum’. But he still has to answer for his crimes.”

Simple and direct, as was to be expected from Tueram.

I agree. So far, his story matches the prophecy. If you say you haven’t found him lying, let us hear the rest of it and see if he continues to speak the truth,” Feria added.

It is decided then,” Adian said. “I will return to hear the end of the story. And then we will liberate him of his master’s terror, but not of our justice.”

With that decision, he left Kynnard’s sanctuary and returned to the castle. The sanctuary had deliberately been kept out of the castle walls, to maintain the independence of the Ardaithe order from the King. As such, the sanctuary had its own stables and Adian retrieved his personal steed to ride back up the hill and deposit it again at the castle’s stables. “Keep it, and a second one, ready for me,” he instructed the stable master and headed for the dungeons.

He found Tufas exactly where he had left him. The assassin was sitting in the chair with closed eyes, leaning back on the two hind legs in a precarious balancing act. As soon as Adian touched the door, he let the chair fall back on four legs and looked at the Ardaithe. “You’re back.”

Adian took place in the other chair and explained to him the decision that they had come to.

So, what’s in it for me?” Tufas asked. “The way I see it, you’re not giving me any motivation to finish my story. You already know who the villain is and where you can find him.”

Adian knew that the apparent disinterest was feigned. The assassin had perked up the moment he arrived. Adian wasn’t interested in his negotiations, yet it wasn’t hard to get the assassin to talk: “I am looking for confirmation.”

Tufas grinned. “I know. You…”

No,” Adian interrupted him and mirrored the prisoner’s grin. “I am here to confirm that you’ve been lying to me.”

Tufas burst into laughter. “The Grandmaster of wisdom cannot find the truth when it is handed to him on a silver platter. Like little white birds, you flutter about, looking for grand ideals and truths, but with eyes in the sides of your head, you can’t even see what’s in front of your nose,” he taunted.

Adian crossed his arms and frowned at the mirthful assassin. “If you know it all, then why don’t you prove my suspicions wrong?” he asked, knowing that the challenge was impossible to ignore for his prisoner.

Tufas grinned even wider. “For once in history, the fates are set in stone. The dice have been cast and now lie still for two whole centuries. No chaos, no fortune, and for once, it is truly possible to foretell the future. For once, you angels are right. And it is in this moment that an angel comes to a demon and asks: what is going on?” he fixed his gaze on Adian: “Now, the demon will tell the angel exactly what is going on, and for once there will be no lies, no cheats, no tricks. Because none of them will change anything now.”

> Chapter 12.3

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