I focus my thoughts on the man.
Lord Ethan Skylark as I envision the night on my father’s twenty-six birthday. He sat with three elder spy Lords in a private warded room for a game of cards.
Lord Skylark was well in to his spirits but still fully guarded and awhere of his surroundings. He was overjoyed at how the night was proceeding.
Two months ago he had finalized his position finally as a Lord of lands and holdings. He was set and had money and a position of his own. Baring a few setbacks and mistakes of his own making he was free.
Lord Skylark had taken the steps to begin exercising himself from the brethern of spies and rogue agents. The card game was the last bit of a going away party from a life of possible death and close dealing with dark magicks.
It had been a long night of gambling and vast losses on his end. But, it was almost over. Lord Skylark relaxed back in his chair and waited until the gentlemen had been paid enough to grant him passage out of the house of spy Lords.
“Sad state of affairs isn’t it gentlemen?” Lord Zackary Marsh said to no one in particular in the room.
Lord Harmon Wilson and Lord Edward Jones both nodded in agreement.
My father hadn’t the first notion of an idea what the hell they were talking about so he kept silent. He was waiting. Once they told him, that he could leave then he would do so entirely.
“Indeed. Poor. Mr. Billion. It marks him as the third-” Lord Jones began
“-Forth.” Lord Wilson said.
Lord Jones nodded. “Pardon me. The forth dead in the last six month. Whoever did it is getting messy. Mr. Vincent makes it the fifth.”
Lord Skylark sat up in his chair. “Excuse me. Are you referring to Darren Vincent?”
All three Lords nodded. Lord Marsh captured his gaze. “I remember now. Mr. Vincent was a friend of yours I believe from childhood? Forgive us old boy. We forgot ourselves. He was assassinated a fortnight a go by a black blood curse.”
“He was my adopted brother. Though that was some time a go. Pardon me from interrupting your conversation.” Lord Skylark said trying to escape the conversation but the news of Vincent’s death was shocking to say the least.
Lord Marsh’s gaze focused on Lord Skylark though. “When was the last time you had an apprentice?”
“I’ve had several. I’ve done my part. Please don’t mind me continue your conversation old boy.” Lord Skylark said leaning back his chair.
Lord Marsh ignored the request. “Really. Several. I think your being modest old boy. I can only name one if any I have seen you train over the last ten years sense you became a spy lord for his majesty’s order of spies. In any regard what do you think of these cases of a man in drag hunting our own?”
“I have no thoughts on it. Indeed I knew nothing of these cases of murders. I see no reason to trouble yourself over my opinion on such.” Lord Skylark said carefully.
Lord Marsh frowned. “You are a Lord and elder of the house. Indeed. I expect. You have plans on investigating such. You have our backing of course.”
“You are mistaken Sir.” Lord Skylark said calmly. It was a lie of course. Mr. Vincent’s death hit home to my father. He intended to investigate the matter thoroughly.
Lord Marsh shrugged. “What you will. However you need an apprentice old boy. An official one to pass on your knowledge to.”
“I am retiring and I have trained well over a fifty students over the years.”
The three gentlemen laughed. Lord Jones passed a black card to him. Lord Skylark didn’t move to take it. “I am interested in hunting for witches.”
Lord Jones shook his head. “Old boy. None of us were.”
Lord Marsh nodded in agreement. “His majesty requests. We relent and obey. But, for time being it is beholden on you to get yourself a apprentice. The card has an address for the usual place we pick up our young nobles in training.”
Lord Skylark stared at him. “The orphanage work camp is still running. I thought they shut that place down by now.”
Lord Marsh smiled waving at the money on the table. “Take your winnings for the night and the card.” He said.
It was supposed to be his going away party. A card game that was meant to payoff the elders to allow him to leave. But, my father had to learn a lesson that his position was both higher then a commoner but equal to a street runner for business man of means and a servent to the region King in the house of spy Lords.