Spring breathed hope into the day. It should have been hard to remain apprehensive when young green leaves bobbed in the breeze over my head. The bright colors of young life kept burst forth from beneath the melting snow. As typical in the northern regions of Rhynan, the heartiest of the plant life sprang forth when winter barely released its hold on the ground, a wonder that never ceased to amaze me.
Still, despite it being my favorite time of year, turmoil churned in my gut.
Sir Rathenridge’s vargar rising above the half-clothed tree tops might have added to my ill ease. Relations between him and me were tenuous at best. Something about the man drove me to outbursts of anger beyond any I allowed myself since my father’s death. Aiden’s flippant attitude, theatrics, and unwillingness to remain serious in times of stress raked at my nerves.
Besides he never missed an opportunity to share his acerbic opinion of me. The fact I intended to drop in on his residence unannounced would strain our already unsettled peace. However, I rarely felt anxiety over such things when dealing with others. It was part of my job to manage displeased nobles and gentry.
No, my unease had everything to do with my mission. Tomas Dyrease, Earl of Kyrenton, would not love my appearing when I delivered my news.
“Who goes there?” The cry of the gate master from the top of the town’s main gate cut through my thoughts.
“Simon Cordale, Earl of Dentin, commander of the royal guards, general of the garrison, and securer of the realm,” my captain of the guard replied.
My titles instigated the usual frantic activity in the gatehouse. Within moments the portcullis began to rise and the drawbridge lowered over the moat. Fed by the river flowing not so far away, the muddied waters beneath our horses’ hooves rushed and churned. A few of the horses balked at the sound, but their riders kept them in hand as we crossed into the shelter of the thick curtain wall surrounding the vargar and town of Owenchance.
Are you hooked yet?
The first book, Duty: a novel of Rhynan, is available on Amazon other online retailers.