Today, without any warning whatsoever, we return to Mejaran.
Sorry about that. Hadn't realized until this evening that my next opportunity to write something of this length would be Monday and that just seemed too far away.
Managed to get some potatoes and onions harvested for the market today in order to lessen the load tomorrow. And also because they're calling for thundershowers for most of the day.
Picking in the rain is not very much fun.
Thankfully market day is, at this point at least, looking a little nicer.
"What is Azmar up to?"
The question was not directed at anyone in particular but each person in the dimly lit room felt an uncomfortable pressure to answer it. Not least because each of them, in their own way and for their own reasons, feared the woman who had voiced it.
"He appears to be playing the Principals of Mejaran against each other," Liefert said, speaking softly but with authority. "And possibly the Ladies as well."
"If so then he is playing a very dangerous game," Orsana observed, shifting on her undersized chair. She glanced down at it once more, wondering how much longer she had before it shattered under her weight.
"And to what end?" Yarel asked. Exhaustion coated his words but he held little hope of sleep. Not with the mood his mother was in. "He was out playing hero at the bridge today, for everyone to see."
"Which brought his loyal little army to his side as well." Jocelle's eyes first bored through her son's skull before she turned her glare on Liefert. Her kitchen did not seem large enough to host the four of them and her expanding temper at the same time. "For all the village to see."
"So he seeds chaos and then steps forward to be hailed as our savior?" Orsana shook her head. "Then why endear himself to two, and possibly all, of our current leaders first?"
"So that they don't see the coup coming until it's too late to stop it." Yarel said before glancing around, the look on his face suggesting his theory had surprised himself as much as the others. "Each Principal and probably Lady th-"
"I think it's safe to assume all four have been duped at this point," Liefert said.
"Okay, so each Principal and Lady thinks that Azmar is under their control, on their side." Yarel paused to rub his eyes, the movement causing him to wince. Jocelle frowned but said nothing. "Each convinced that the end result of all this collusion will be in their own best interest. Whatever that may be."
"That's not too hard to figure out - for any of them." Orsana looked as though she was about to spit but rethought her actions after a wary glance at Jocelle. "Self-involved, self-important pieces of -"
"That is enough, Orsana." Jocelle sighed into the silence that followed, then tilted her head back and considered the barely visible ceiling. "The question we face now, it would seem, is what to do with this knowledge?"