Nature Abhors a Vacuum
forest. Fairchild believed he could seize it back from us just because the K ing is out of
â€œYes, Nellise informed him of his error just before the end,â€ Aiden remarked. â€œWhat
was of particular interest to me was when he mentioned that you had a communication
with the man a week ago.â€
â€œCorrect,â€ Armin confirmed, puffing on his pipe.
â€œWhy were we not informed of this during the briefing?â€
â€œI deemed it irrelevant,â€ the Commander declared. â€œI had informed him that we, as
agents of the K ing, were not going to recognise his claim, and that he was still subject to
the Crown's laws. All that remained was to remove him and his associates from the area,
a task for which I was reluctant yet determined to see through. I do apologise if this
seems like an arbitrary decision on my part, but I am not in the practice of asking consent
from anyone, save for His Majesty, when it comes to protecting my demesne.â€
â€œFair enough then,â€ Aiden mumbled, not about to contest the point further with the
rugged frontiersman. â€œI think that covers it, unless you've something else to add.â€
â€œNo, except to offer both a handshake, and my gratitude, for the assistance of you
and your party. This action will go a long way toward showing those who doubt the will
of the Crown that we will not stand idly by while the laws of this land are being ignored.
Now, I can see your lovely lady of the cloth is beckoning your attention, so I shall leave
you to it.â€ Aiden stood up and shook Armin's hand firmly, then walked over to rejoin the
â€œWell, heâ€Ÿs happy with the result, although I suspect he was hoping for a little more
blood, to be honest,â€ Aiden informed them.
â€œI can understand his position,â€ Clavis said, smoking his pipe. â€œCorrupt lords have a
way of avoiding justice, ifâ€Ÿn ya know what I mean.â€
â€œI was trying to get closer to him to give him what he deserved, but Nellise went and
spoiled it all,â€ Pacian complained, though he glanced at her with unabashed admiration.
â€œFor which I am very pleased,â€ she admonished him. â€œIâ€Ÿve heard enough praise for
now - just know that I acted according to my conscience, and I would do it again in a
heartbeat. Those werenâ€Ÿt savages or criminals, they were simply misguided noblemen.â€
She turned to see Lord Thomas being led away, and the two of them locked eyes for a
long moment, but said nothing.
Colt, dealing with a terrible hangover, looked more uncomfortable than usual and
made his thoughts known to Aiden.
â€œI overheard what you said,â€ the big man whispered. â€œI don't know why you're
covering for me, but I'm real appreciative.â€
â€œYou've saved our lives more than once,â€ Aiden informed him under his breath.
â€œAlso, I'm sure if I'd told Armin what really happened, he'd never let you back into the
â€œTrue,â€ Colt agreed. â€œWell, if there's anything I can do for you, just ask.â€
â€œIâ€Ÿll bear it in mind,â€ Aiden agreed, watching as the commander headed their way
once more. He tossed a pouch of coins to Pacian, who caught it with ease.
â€œI was wondering if we were going to be paid for this,â€ the blond rogue wondered.
â€œFair pay for fair work, thatâ€Ÿs what my father always used to say,â€ the Commander
said. â€œNow, I think we're just about finished with this unseemly business. We will take
the bodies back for burial, and see these other criminals back to Culdeny as a present for