That afternoon at the manor, Lord Nathaniel called his advisor and the captain of the guard in for a meeting.
When Adriel's father found out he was being summoned, he took one of his best knives with him, just in case the high lord decided to try and kill again. He glanced at the young man who was asleep in a bed. It had been only by chance that he had survived, even though he had been looked after by one of the top physicians in Alendale. It had been the same doctor that had tried to heal Kain years before, and Adriel's father knew he was in good hands. He was not so sure about the rest of the soldiers in Alendale. He could only hope that Adriel, Jarin and Rodney had escaped safely.
When they were all seated in the high lord's private dining hall, he smiled at them grimly.
"It appears there has been treachery in the manor," he took a drink of his wine, and Adriel's father took the opportunity to interrupt.
"It wouldn't have anything to do with the attempted murder of on of my couriers, would it?" He asked this question to test the high lord, and see how much he would admit. He needed to know, so he could stay in his facade.
Lord Nathaniel smiled sadly, making the other man want to stab him, right there. It was as fake as the man himself. "I am still looking into that. I trust that he is still doing well, Captain Maris? Whoever tried to kill him will be punished when we find them, I can assure you of that."
Captain Maris ground his teeth, inwardly seething. He looked up at the high lord, smiling grimly. "I believe he will pull through, since he has one of the most skilled physicians looking after him. I'm sure the assailant will get all he deserves when we catch him. It should not be that difficult, since my men are very skilled. If it happens to be someone who works in the palace, I will personally send in for a royal escort to the courthouse. They will get a trial, but I will do my best to see that they are punished," he paused, then bowed his head slightly. "Your Highness." The look on Lord Nathaniel's face did not show anything but belief in his captain. One thing Captain Maris had learned well was to read people, and the high lord was truly fooled.
"Well, now that we know that he is doing well, I would like to continue with our conversation," Lord Nathaniel glanced at the advisor, who had remained silent. Captain Maris had noticed that the older man was watching him carefully, but was not afraid of him. The older man knew that if he said anything to the high lord, Maris would send in the information he had on the advisor, himself, catching him in his involvement. It would all take time.
"Please do continue, sir," Captain Maris spoke quietly.
"There has been treachery, and it has to do with my son, Jarin. He has been having dealing with a thief band, and I have reason the believe that he has forced young sir Adriel to go with him. Although he accused me of it, it is the thief band that has been working with dark magic. They took the demon stones I was experimenting with years ago to try and exterminate the creatures for good. They could take them to a sorcerer, who could easily unleash them. This cannot be allowed to happen, so I want you to take you man and find this band. Be very careful, because they are skilled. I want you to leave as soon as two days from now. Please bring my son back when you do find them. Is this all understood? You are not to speak with anyone about this, since it is a delicate situation. Gather your soldiers and go. Thank you both for your loyal service."
"Thank you, sir," the advisor glanced at Captain Maris. "We will do as you say."
When he got back to his chambers, Captain Maris instructed to physician to take Alec to Alendale. He also had him write up a progress report, informing the high lord of his grave condition. Captain Maris wanted to Lord Nathaniel to believe that Alec's condition had worsened and he would not make it. He would be safe, as long as he was away from the manor. Once the doctor had left, he began packing his belongings. He already had a path in mind that would lead them far enough away from the thieves that they could get away.