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He had known this day would come. No man could escape the entire might of the Sovran forever. He just found it humorous that it was an enemy of the Sovran that had caught him instead.
Bound, kneeling before a queen whom he had hounded for a straight year, he should have been anxious. Or at least a little worried. Instead, a strange sense of relief filled him. It was over. His mad escape from Brindisi’s justice was over.
“That is a very calm expression on your face, General Darius Bresalier,” she observed. Her tone was idle, but her eyes were as sharp as a hawk’s. “Are you not worried?”
“I knew what the punishment would be, Your Most High Majesty,” he answered respectfully. “I have had a year to resign myself to my fate. I cannot complain.”
She gave a low, musical hum of approval. “Well said. I have heard many reports on what you did but never once did I believe I could have the full tale.” She leaned forward, causing the silk pillows behind her to slide in every direction. “Kingslayer, tell me. Why did you kill your king?”
Kingslayer II: Sovran at War
“What does Baros say?” Amalah asked in a hushed tone.
“He’s asking for my help.”
Amalah’s dark brows shot straight into her hairline. “Your help? You’re wanted by the entire Sovran, how can you possibly help him?”
“He says here that he’s wrangled a full pardon for me so that I can enter, but he needs my help.” Darius stared down at the letter, blindly, as everything he had heard in the past year coalesced into patterns all at once. “Amalah. I told you that because Niotan wrested free of the Sovran, avoided being conquered, that Baros would lose control slowly of the other countries.”
“Yes, so you did. Is that happening now? Is that what he wants you to stop?”
“No. Something worse than that. I should have anticipated this, but—” he swallowed the words down because in truth, he had actively not thought about war much in the past year. “The Roran barbarians were the first to break free of the Sovran after last year. And now it seems they’ve pulled together, at least most of the clans, perhaps all, and they’re threatening the northern countries. Baros has battled them to a standstill for now, but he can’t find a way to force them back into their territories. If he doesn’t do it soon, then they’ll overrun him. They’ll overrun the Sovran.”