"Your husband is dead."
Dela followed as far as the door, where she was met by Lord Ronan.
He, too, was dressed in mourning colors.
Ronan was an eighty-year old Seniorlord, and still a bachelor. He had long been determined to breed up, like Dela’s husband Chandad, in the hope of being reborn a highborn. He had planned to marry Dela's daughter. She had bitterly disappointed him by not having one. Apparently nothing equally as good had ever made itself available. Dela felt a powerful urge to squirm in Lord Ronan's presence.
Ronan came in and closed the door. He was wearing a sword, the only weapon a Sevolite was entitled to use to uphold his rights under the laws of Okal Rel or contrive to steal from other people, like Chandad did at the capital by coaxing or shaming foppish highborns into dueling with him.
"My great-aunt Lady Ril will attend you momentarily," Lord Ronan told Dela in formally differenced grammar, even trying to add courtly flourishes. Unfortunately, that required artistry he didn’t have. "Jewel which Lights our home," he said, "I must speak with you first, because this is Dee's direst hour."
"What -- " Dela hiccupped with anxiety. "What has happened?"
Lord Ronan was decent enough not to notice the hiccup.
"Princess-liege," he said, "you must take a seat."
Dela did as she was told, clutching her book of verse. Lord Ronan set his hand, firmly, on the hilt of his dueling sword.
"It is about my husband, Highlord Chandad, isn't it?" Dela blurted.
"Chandad is dead," Ronan said.
Dela's heart lodged in her throat.