The Chosen, Chapter 2G

Lord Jerdain seemed to glide with the grace of a dancer into the room. He approached Crim and Archilochus, but stopped several feet before them, and asked, “Where are the two other members of your party?”

Crim glanced briefly at Judge Oliver, now standing behind Jerdain and shaking his head. She then caught Jerdain’s gaze — “The boy travelling with us is still resting from his wound, and is being attended to by our other companion.”

“The Islander?” Archilochus nodded in response, as Jerdain turned to address him — “Ah yes, the Guardsman. I hear you attempted to gain custody of that foolish woman who attacked you yesterday?”

“An attack on any Guardsman, is an attack on the entire Imperial Guard. I need to take her back to the Empire, to face justice.”

“Our laws are clear.” There was an unmistakable tone of aggravation in Judge Oliver’s voice as he stepped forward. “The Empire has no jurisdiction in this matter. Philos owns the road where the attack took place, so justice will be administered by Philos — not the Empire, not New Frisia.”

Jerdain’s face brightened, and his shoulders drew back. “As it should be! New Frisia is anxious to begin a new era of cooperation with Philos. Our citizens are just as anxious as yours, to rid the world of Yungen’s thugs.” The New Frisarian lord then greeted Archilochus and Crim formally.

Breaking from Jerdain’s greeting, Crim tilted her head towards the judge. “If Yungen’s men executed yesterday’s attack, your prisoner could provide some useful information — provided you don’t execute her, of course.”

Jerdain scoffed. “Yungen’s men need to see there are consequences to their crimes. Sparing her life will only encourage future attacks on your fellow pilgrims.”

A sudden clamor from the manor’s front door then caught everyone’s attention. A moment later, the middle-aged man then entered the dining room again, followed closely by Constable Gent, who brushed past his escort and addressed Judge Oliver directly. “Your honor, please forgive the intrusion — ” the constable glanced warily at the judge’s guests before continuing — “there’s been an incident, that requires your immediate attention.”

“Tell me.” Judge Oliver stepped forward, waving his arms dismissively. “We have no secrets in Philos — tell me what’s happened.”

Constable Gent swallowed. “There’s been a disturbance. At the courthouse jail.”

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