Rare Things for a Rare Life

The Knights of J'shua Book 2

by Tiana Dokerty ©2023

Home | Part 14 | Part 16

Updated 5/18/24

Part 15

 

Chapter 71

Caileagh

[Caileagh's worries worsen]

 

Gaelib

[Gaelib effectively takes over running of the kingdom]

 

ACT III

Chapter 72

Blackhawk

Waning Crescent Moon - High Keep

Blackhawk looked away from the chessboard. Having recently returned from the royal tour, he pondered how best to begin a delicate, perhaps even dangerous, conversation with the king. His hands were sweaty, and his gut was in a knot. Yet, he kept his expression neutral and polite.

“Check.” Sagen scolded, “Pay attention. Is something on your mind?”

Blackhawk smiled back. “Sire, you know I like to play lax throughout the first half of the game and then try to recover.” He moved the knight to king’s-bishop-three with a wink.

“That’s more like it,” Sagen laughed.

Blackhawk didn’t care who won. That he could play chess, and win, was important to Gaelib Melazera. There’d been consequences whenever Blackhawk lost. So, everything he’d learned to do, he excelled at. It was the only way to avoid painful repercussions. But, with the king, he felt free to lose. It was a powerful and intoxicating pleasure.

However, it’d been six moons since King Edal’s murder. Everything that could be investigated without raising suspicions had been. They had found and questioned witnesses and, where necessary, put them into hiding. Accounts were cross-checked. And the size of the conspiracy to murder the former king had only grown larger. Thus, Blackhawk and Commander Taelor had agreed Sagen must know the truth soon or else feel betrayed.

They sat in the reception hall, near the window, basking in the warmth of the sun. All the servants flew about the other side of the room like bees as they dressed the dining tables. The nobles would not be arriving for an hour.

Whenever the king was far from listening ears, he would quietly share with him his concerns about Gaelib Melazera. Likewise, Blackhawk shared the names of those he’d ascertained were or were not Melazera’s tools.

Blackhawk pinned Sagen’s bishop and knight with his pawn. “Sire,” he paused, “I have something to tell you that will be upsetting. I beg you, listen to the entire story before responding. The kingdom is counting on your wise response. Check.”

Sagen glanced up from the board, then moved his knight to block the attack, pinning his knight before his king.

“Commander Taelor and I have evidence your father was murdered.”

Sagen stiffened. His face grew red. “What?” he whispered.

Blackhawk leaned in, examining the board. “We suspect Melazera was behind it but have insufficient proof to accuse him. Nor have we discovered the perpetrator, although we have identified several all-too-prominent people, both officers and nobles, who were involved. Given their power and influence, we have had to search carefully without alerting them to what we know.”

Blackhawk told the story.

Sagen’s expression did not change, nor did he utter a word while Blackhawk spoke. Then he rose from his seat. “Let’s have an intermission.” He walked to a side table and picked up an apple.

Blackhawk watched the king’s expression change ever so slightly as moments passed. His eyes, first wide with shock, narrowed in anger. Drumming his fingers on the table, his brows slowly came together as his jaw set. Yet Blackhawk needed some sign, some response, to show what the king had perceived. “Your Majesty, we’ll beat them.”

“We shall, Steven,” Sagen replied as he walked back to the chessboard and then moved his queen to king’s-rook-two. “Check. Mate in three moves.”

 

***

[Blackhawk and Sagen connect as Blackhawk tries to fortify his position]

 

Sagen

[Sagen comes out of depression while on the Grand Tour, suspecting foul play from the beginning]

Chapter 73

Rebekah

[show how Licht Gegen has grown]

 

Jonathan

[Hears of King Edal's death - it has been kept from him by friends who feared he'd rush back to Freisland and into a trap]

                       

Chapter 74

Cynthia

[Cynthia being watched by Gaelib's spies  - preparing to capture her, impatiently waiting to David to leave]

                       

Chapter 75

Gaelib

[Gaelib in apparent ascendency. Everything SEEMS to be going his way.]

                       

 

Home | Part 14 | Part 16