An Uncomfortable Situation

In which Haft’s blood pressure goes up, and he has a private conversation with Darius

After his encounter with Prince Cor and Lanisen, Haft goes up to the South Gate Tower.  Before very long, he sees Darius approach and enter the Outer Ward.  Realizing there is only the kennel door separating the prince from a potentially dangerous man, Haft heads down to meet Darius, still not having retrieved his sword from Lord Dar.

Darius saunters into the outer ward, doing his usual scan of the crowd before making his way along the outer Ward’s wall, his eyes focused on the Inner Ward.

After about a minute, Haft descends the stairs from the South Gate Tower and dorectly approaches Darius.  “Hail, Aaron!”

Darius blinks, looking somewhat off his guard as the man quickly approaches. This, however is remedied quickly as he quickly flashes a smile. “Ah, Haft… Good to see you again. ”

Haft says, “Yes.  You cut our conversation short.”

Darius asks, “Did I?”

Haft asks, “You said you thought I was owed money.  What did you mean?”

Darius chuckles, leaning back against the wall and crossing his arms. “Money? I don’t recall saying /money/. I simply said I thought you were owed a large sum… Be that money or otherwise. I’ll let you be the judge of what that may be. ”

Haft’s brow furrows as though he finds this confusing.  “But…who would owe me?”

Darius shrugs. “Whom do you feel wronged you the most?”

Haft glances around, looking uneasy.  He mutters something.

Haft mumbles “There’s some folks a man don’t accuse.”, to Darius.

Haft mumbles “… some … … man don’t accuse.”, to Darius.

Darius’s raises a brow, his head tilting towards the man as he mutters this. His grin growing. “And why not? Whom is above such a thing?”

Haft shakes his head, keeping his voice low.

Haft mumbles “You don’t criticize the head that wears the crown.  I got my position to think of.”, to Darius.

Haft mumbles “You … criticize … head … wears … … … … … my position to think …”, to Darius.

Darius chuckles, nodding and looking up and scanning the upper reaches of the castle. “What say you we find a place where the ears are less prying?”

Haft glances around the ward, then nods.  “Yeah, allright.”

Darius leads him to his Cottage for a private talk.

Darius’s Cottage [Het Noorden]

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You stand in a cozy little thatch-roofed cottage. It has a wooden floor, with a woven rug, a sturdy looking bed with a hand-made quilt and a tidy little fireplace. A table with two chairs sits beneath the window. It’s a nice place for Darius to live.

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You can go: Out <O>

Haft glances around the cottage.

Darius leads the man into a sparsely furnished cottage, only a table and two chairs rest in the middle.

Haft takes a chair without asking.  “You got anything to drink?  I’m partial to cider.”

Darius snorts, waving a hand around the room. “Does it look like I do? ” he grunts as he grabs the other chair and spins it around before sitting. “So… What is this of not accusing the one who wears a ‘crown’. ”

Haft says, “Well…” he stil looks a little uneasy, “I suppose it’s the king that’s responsible for most of my problems.  Gave me unclear orders, then restricted me to the castle, then didn’t bother to question why I’d run off without a hearing.  If he’d told anyone to look for me, I might’ve not spent fourteen years in that forasken country of beasts and oddities.”

Darius reclines in the chair, putting his feet up on the table and crossing them. He shakes his head. “Well then, it sound to me as if the King owes you a great sum for your pain and the injustice done to you. Where you even given a proper apology?”

Haft shrugs, looking away.  “Eh, not a proper one I guess.  Something about keeping me waiting the past few days till my recent hearing…as though the fourteen years before it didn’t count.  Gave me my job back on the guard though.  Better than nothing.”

Darius clasps his hands together, eyes scanning the ceiling. “So what you are telling me is that he brushed you off to the side. You were nothing but a fly to him, only to be dealt with promptly and then all at once forgotten about once swatted away. ”

Haft rubs the back of his neck.  “I wouldn’t presume…yeah, maybe.  But he’s a king, and like you said, a man’s gotta feed his family.  I could use the money.”

Darius’s grin widens. “King or not. He is a man and a one with faults. ” he lets out a soft sigh. “But I guess being King makes you untouchable. ” Swiftly pulling his legs from he table, he lets the front of his chair hit the ground as he sits up, placing his elbow on the table. “/But/ I am glad that you see the need to support one’s family. Now /that/ is a noble cause if I ever saw one. Tell me, does the guard pay you well?”

Haft says, “Eh, fair enough, I guess.  Man can sleep in the barracks and save up a bit.  Got food in the mess, so that’s no trouble.  Reckon I’ll send what I can spare to my sister, assuming I can track her down.”

Darius nods slightly. “That is all well and good, I suppose. ”

Haft says, “Yeah.”  He sighs.  “Why, you thinkin’ of joining up?””

Darius inclines his head. “S’pose you could say that. I’d certainly jump at the chance to work within the walls of the Castle. ” he pauses. “Been something of a dream of mine. ”

Haft asks, “Oh?  Why’s that?”

Darius smiles. “Oh, well because it /IS/ the Castle, of course. ” he chuckles. “I have only had the privilage of seeing it’s outer walls, but to see the inner wards of the Castle. ” he sucks in a deep breath, closing his eyes. “Oh that, /that/ would be something. ”

Haft says, “Yeah, it’s pretty enough I guess.  You get used to it.  I’ve seen it all.  You’re not missing much.”

Darius brow quirks. “All of it?”

Haft frowns.  “Well, I reckon so.  Used to guard the royals, didn’t I?  Weren’t much restricted to me back then.”  He chuckles.  “Why, ya figure it’s full of secret passages?”

Darius chuckles wryly. “Wouldn’t surprise me much. ”

Haft says, “Yeah, well, if there are, I never saw ’em.”

Darius asks, “What is your job exactly?”

Haft says, “Eh?  Oh, castle guard.  Watching on the walls and minding the gates.  No just yet, actually.  Soon as I find the Captain and he gives me my orders.”

Darius lets out a soft ‘hmm’. “Mind putting in a word for me? I am looking to speak with Lord Dar in regards to work at the Castle. But it wouldn’t hurt seeing if your Captain could work something out. ”

Haft rubs his chin, considering for a long moment.  “Yeah, might be able to.  Not sure anyone wants to listen to an old /traitor/, as I figure some still call me.” He laughs darkly.  “You sure you want me speaking up for you?”

Darius seems amused by this. “My worries do not reside in you, friend. ” he unfastens his dagger from his belt and lays the sheathed weapon on the table. “Just find me work in the Castle and I will be eternally grateful. ”

Haft nods.  “Yeah, well it’s always good to find a friend.”  He rises.  “Think I’d better get back.  Still need to find that Captain.”

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