Deal with it
“Forgive my harsh language milord, but I fucking hate him. Him, his compatriot and that, that, that thing he serves, THEY ARE ALL EVIL!” Knight Herald Dylone’s entire body was vibrating with anger.
Lord Antoine arched a bushy eyebrow. “Are you accusing MY appointed advisor’s most trusted servant of-”
“Manservant,” Tin Fiddle interjected.
“MOST TRUSTED SERVANT,” Antoine repeated, “of being evil? Are you questioning my judgment?”
Deathly silence dominated the following moments. Except for the seal-bark laugh of Selah, who was reading a particularly juicy note that one of her raven’s had brought to her. Tin Fiddle noisily picked at one of his upper canines, a piece of irksome meat stuck amidst gum and tooth, his outrageously oversized gutting knife looking out of place as a toothpick.
***Author’s note: Look, really, that knife may as well be described as a short sword, but Tin Fiddle swore he would stick me straight through my liver if I ever described his…’wyfoo’ (Whatever the bloody Forty and Two Seas THAT is???) as a sword. He said and I quote “She’s self-conscious of her size.” ?!?!?!
“By the Eighty and One Servants, Lord Antoine, the Lady of Death herself follows Kali, Ji and this murderer around like a lost puppy!”
Selah looked up from the twittering of her storm of ravens. “No, I do not.”
“Yes, you do.”
“NO. I DO NOT.”
“You do! And you know how much I hate him, AND that he’s a vile evil snake! Am I not right, Lady Selah?”
“Yeah, sure, whatever.” Having lost interest in Knight Herald Dylone’s imbecile ravings, see Lady Selah return to her duty of gathering the souls of the slain, the old, the sick, and the frail. Witness! As she. . .
“OH MY WORD. THIS IS FANTASTIC. Lady Kali and her Grace, Iris, were caught having a romantic dinner in the fabulous Chef Cale’s private garden!”
Tin Fiddle snatched the scrap of paper from Lady Selah. “Iris? Really? I never thought…” A slow grin spread across Tin Fiddle’s scar-seamed face.
Let us return to our Lord Antoine’s Knight Herald Dylone and his fruitless attempt to sway his Lord’s mind…
“Either he goes, or I do!”
“…okay?” Tears suddenly welled up in Dylone’s eyes.
“I do not have the authority to exile him. Lady Kali put this clause into our agreement.” Antoine produced a parchment from a pocket inside his robe.
“‘Lady Kali, Ji, and her most honourable manservant Tin Fiddle, are excused from all acts committed in the name of the protectorate of Hysteria and the Lily Dynasty. Any further decisions are at the discretion of her Lady Kali.
Signed, Lord Antoine Lua.’
Blank-faced, Dylone gaped, his jaw fallen past all humanly possible distance, resting upon his shining mithril chestplate. Terribly slow, Knight Herald Dylone turned to face Tin Fiddle…
Who just so happened to have a tiny street urchin upside down in the air, held by the young lad’s ankle. Tin Fiddle shook him violently, causing three shiny coins to fall upon the cobbles.
“By the Flower Emperor himself, Lord Antoine! Do you not see this?!?”
Antoine turned as Tin Fiddle tossed the urchin into a garbage heap, that smelled pungently of rotten salmon.
“Possible spy of Yolavolys.” Tin Fiddle shrugged. “You can never trust those cold-hearted lizards.”
“You’re in bed with one of those cold-hearted lizards!” Dylone shrieked.
Antoine sternly reproached his blubbering knight.“Now, now Knight Herald, no reason to admonish this man! He’s just doing what is necessary to protect our people!”
There is really no proper and polite way to describe what happened next. Simply put, Knight Herald Dylone, anointed by His Holy Light’s Weapon, Gilgamesh, snapped. Dylone’s mind played the next few moments slowly through his mind’s eye. He had transformed and transcended into a shining, angelic knight of Justice, his katana drawn and striking true through Tin Fiddle’s black heart.
In reality, Knight Herald Dylone never even drew his blade. He sprinted, screaming high-pitched, head first into Tin Fiddle’s metallurgic right fist. Dylone proceeded to crumple into an unconscious heap upon impact. The sickening snapping of facial bones was quite loud to be honest.
Lord Antoine stared down at the supine knight. “Hmm. I always did think he was on the wrong side of the edge. I do apologize Mister Fiddle.”
Tin Fiddle looked up from where he was scratching markings into Dylone’s breastplate with his gutting knife. “What? Oh, right. Uh. No problem. All for the Holy Buttercup Dynasty and all that.” He looked at his handiwork, nodded to himself in approval, and walked away.
The Lord of Hysteria glanced at the words etched into the knight’s armor.
IM thE kNIgHt herAlD dyLONe
Which was followed by a stick figure with a line in its hand.
Antoine laughed. “He’ll never misplace his armor again with this! I’m so glad. I was growing weary of him accusing Ji everytime he misplaced it.” Whistling very off tune, Lord Antoine Lua wandered off into the heart of the city of Hysteria to resume his lordly duties.
**Author’s Note: On my word as the Honest Bard, to this day I still do not know what his duties were.