Reality Skimming
26Apr/13Off

Meet The Relatives – Post 11

Meet the relatives  #11

Challenge

Meet The Relatives by Lynda Williams, is the touching story of very Demish Dela's adventures in Red Reach. Illustrations are by Richard Bartrop.

Fital’s dirty secret gets out.

<< Start at Beginning >>


Fital looked Vras up and down, ignoring Frog.  "You've grown since I last saw you," she drawled, invoking a murmur from the listeners at her choice of a masculine pronoun.  "In fact, you're old enough, I'd say, that we ought to be working on curing you of your poor taste." Her glance flicked towards Dela and her supporters took up the suggestion, pointing, as she folded her well muscled arms.  “Liege Vrel will thank me more for that, I'm sure, than sending you home dead."

"Answer the question, Fital," Vras Vrel asked again, denying male-female address.  "And we will see about the rest after, if you've done nothing dishonorable."

"Vras," Fital sneered.  "You're not going to be tediously righteous are you?"

"Tell me what deal you made!" Vras exclaimed, excited.

Someone broke ranks among Fital's vassals.  "She's selling children!" he shouted.  "Highborn orphans!  For drugs!"

Vras said, simply, "Challenge."

Fital's sword cleared.  The whistle-blower among her followers went white as he tried to back away from her onto the challenge floor.  She sprang.  He stumbled.  A woman screamed.  Blood sprang from the betrayer's arm as he went down.  But the next instant Sert was there, blocking Fital's killing stroke.  People shuffled, taking sides or blocking exits.

And then it was silent.

Vras said, simply, "Challenge."

Sert stood her ground.

No one moved.

Fital glared at the traitor on the floor, but the odds would be against her if the twins and Harn teamed up.  And the highborn with her had failed to join her on the challenge floor.  Fital looked hatred at the representatives of Red Hearth, and cast a look of disgust at her own, shirking kinsman who had failed to back her up.

Then Fital abandoned revenge, forgot Sert, and stepped out onto the challenge floor, sword drawn.

Demish champions had seconds who checked for dishonorable body armor beneath an opponent's clothes.  The Vrellish fought, instead, with skin exposed.

Vras shed his red vest.  Fital shrugged out of a long, decorative vest studded in braid and small devices.

Someone whispered beside Dela, in a child's voice, "See those trophy icons?  They're for the highborns she's killed, before, in duels."

Dela's could not look down.  Her eyes were riveted on Vras and Fital.

This was going too fast!

Meet the relatives  #11

Challenge

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