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On Matters of Succession
#6
Merdyn Gilyard looked abashed at Vivienne’s abruptness. Letto followed the pair out into the hallways of the palace, her hand remaining on her sword. Saidin had touched her. Gooseflesh covered every inch of her at the thought. She knew this ex-Asha’man couldn’t be trusted… He had actually placed a weave upon her without her consent!? Wasn’t this man trying to gain their favor? He was an ex-noble, surely he had some idea of decency. All good Andorans did. What was he playing at to just Channel at her without warning or asking? The man would have lost his head had she not been Bonded to Vivienne and had he not been a guest of the Daughter-Heir.

                Letto twisted her lips in disgust when she looked at the back of the man’s head, who was now walking in lock-step with her Aes Sedai. A sense of calmness and pleasure swept through the Bond; the tell-tale sign that Vivienne was Channeling. She had gone on at length about the feelings of Saidar and what it meant to Channel, it wasn’t long before Letto was able to tell when Vivienne wove threads of the One Power. If their earlier interaction was any indication, her Aes Sedai had performed another ward against eavesdropping, although she made a point to include Letto in the perimeter since she could still hear the pair talking.

                “The Daughter-Heir has decided to back you in this endeavor of yours, Gilyard.”

                “Thank the Light for that. When do we leave for my father’s estates?”

                “I’m afraid it’s not so simple. We shall require a certain amount of subterfuge in this matter. I trust you are more skilled in that art than the Game of Houses?”       
  
                Merdyn made an affronted noise, but Vivienne held up her hand.

                “Listen before you object, man. I am offering you an opportunity here. Please put your pride aside.”

                “As you say, Aes Sedai,” The man said with a strangled tone.

                Letto allowed herself a satisfied smirk. She regularly schooled her face, but neither of the two could see her lest they turn around, and she knew that Vivienne would not bother looking back when she could feel such smugness over the Bond; and for all she knew, Gilyard was on guard around Vivienne. At the very least he was nervous over this whole ordeal.

                “The Daughter-Heir has suggested that I approach your Father as an advisor. Judging by the man’s ambition, we doubt that he would turn down an Aes Sedai to guide him, no matter the fact that the Sisters of the Blue are considered to be Rebels by one of the Amyrlins,” Vivienne said with a hint of distaste to her voice, “At the very least my presence will gain him prestige in Armyllia’s eyes, thus a more favored position amongst the houses that back her. Once I have been accepted into the estates, I will move to admit yourself and a small contingency of the Andoran forces, under cover of night, into the Gilyard estates so that we may arrest your Father for trial. You will oversee the estates until the Daughter-Heir has levied justice upon your father, with the backing of the other Houses that support her, and you shall ensure that your Father’s bannermen and forces are brought to heel. After that, it will be a simple matter to hand the estates over to you legally and instate you as the Head of the Gilyard House. I suspect this shall take no longer than a week’s time, two at most. What say you?”

                Gilyard laughed out loud and Letto grimaced at the afront to her Aes Sedai.

                “You really think it shall be so simple? The words came from your mouth, Vivienne Sedai, my father is an ambitious man. Surely, he has eyes and ears located around Camelyn and within the palace, as should Arymilla. I have no doubt in my mind that both of them are aware of this plot.”

                “I can assure you, Gilyard, that the Daughter-Heir and myself have taken every precaution when making these plans. There are only five people that know of them. Letto, yourself, myself, the High Seat of House Taravin, and the Daughter-Heir herself.”

                “Is Dyelin Taravin that trusted?”

                “Have you been away from Camelyn so long, Gilyard? Surely, you must have done your own snooping whilst in residence here. I can assure you, by the Light, that Dyelin Taravin is the most trusted of the Daughter-Heir’s advisors. Why a good portion of this ploy was of her own design.”

                “That’s what worries me.”

                Vivienne stopped up short and Merdyn almost stumbled over his feet at the halt. Letto anticipated the action and stopped in time with her Aes Sedai. Vivienne turned to face Gilyard.

                “If you are unwilling to accept the help of Dyelin Taravin, and by extension, the Daughter-heir, I suggest you vacate the palace immediately.”

                Merdyn towered over Vivienne by about four hand spans, but she did not flinch. She simply stared back with that icy-cool Aes Sedai calm. Merdyn looked away first and swore an oath under his breath. Vivienne spoke first.

                “It is a good thing for you I am going in and not you under the Mask of Mirrors. I am not sure I trust you not to act a fool, or worse, vengeful. Trust in the White Tower and the Lion of Andor in this matter. Not many are offered such a dispensation such as this.”

                “I would like to, Vivienne Sedai, but you can hardly blame me for my doubts or worries over the matter…”

                What a fool this Merdyn Gilyard was. He did not realize just how able-bodied Vivienne was- how could he? This woman was one of the strongest in the Power the White Tower had ever known in over a hundred years. She had borne a daughter before even taking on Novice White and had successfully hidden the fact from the Hall for over twenty years. True, the child had been revealed when Vivienne’s daughter had come to be tested, and Vivienne had borne a harsh penance for such subterfuge, but she had taken it without question and done her time with pride. She had Bonded a woman, against all customs and unwritten laws of the Tower, and still, she had borne the repercussions without thought. All of that and still the woman had had a harsh past before her time in the Tower. Vivienne was a force to be reckoned with, even if she did not look like it, with her wild, unkempt hair and naive outlook on life. This woman had won over Letto’s allegiance a thousand times over. In time, Merdyn Gilyard would know just how powerful this woman was, both in the Power and in character.

                Despite his ignorance, Letto could not help but feel contempt for him. She had felt that way about damn near everyone that had underestimated her Aes Sedai. Oh, Vivienne had often said ‘it was better to be underestimated than overestimated,’ but even so. She was a woman of the Tower. How far humanity had fallen if they were so quick to forget that it was the Sisters of the Tower that had saved this world from destruction? That alone should have afforded her even the slightest shred of respect. But, no. This Asha’man was an upstart and overly prideful at that. Letto prayed to the Light that this mission succeeded, if only for Vivienne’s safety. Letto would accompany her, but Gilyard was right, much could go wrong.

                “What would you do differently, Gilyard?”



"We are the sisters of the Moon." - Siobhan's hit single, 'Silver Skans'
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Messages In This Thread
On Matters of Succession - by Aiden Finnegan - 12-19-2018, 06:32 AM
RE: On Matters of Succession - by Rowan Finnegan - 12-19-2018, 06:39 AM
RE: On Matters of Succession - by Siobhan West - 12-20-2018, 01:42 AM
RE: On Matters of Succession - by Aiden Finnegan - 01-05-2019, 10:39 PM
RE: On Matters of Succession - by Rowan Finnegan - 02-02-2019, 07:32 AM
RE: On Matters of Succession - by Siobhan West - 02-12-2019, 04:37 AM

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