I'm not sure what I'd expected, but I felt a little let down by our destination. We stepped into a plain library; case after case of simple books, straight-back chairs, and one long table. It didn't even smell old, or have a weight of ages. It was just a collection of books.
My father led us to a set of chairs around a low table. Three conveniently placed chairs. He took the middle seat, then looked innocently up at me.
~Devious man,~ Rhaelgyr whispered on a tight link. Keeping people from overhearing us was good. With the dragon's whisper, I was certain my father had spies observing us.
My father intended us to be separate, to drive a wedge between us. It might have worked if Rhaelgyr cared about social graces. As I sat, the dragon claimed the other chair, and brought it to my side. Meeting my father's challenging stare, he sat.
Silence grew as the two men glared. After several moments, I cleared my throat. "You said you had answers for me," I reminded my father.
"Of course." He shifted his gaze from the dragon to me. "What do you need to know?"
As much as I didn't want to admit weakness, I needed him to talk. "Everything. I don't even know who you are."
He shook his head. "A shame. I'm Besedie, your father. Makesie, your mother, died in childbirth with your younger sister. She was always wild, putting too much faith in natural ways. You're so much like her."
I'd never been like the others. Even then, I'd been different. My choices now made sense in the light of this revelation. Besedie kept talking, giving me little time to absorb anything he said.
"I indulged you, and taught you how to rule. When you were ready, I gave you your own hamlet to control." Anger seeped into his voice as he continued. "You met that wretched Steven there. You began to teach him, despite the proscriptions. You saw him in secret when I denied you.
"Eventually, you taught him the ways of enlightenment. And he became Immortal." My father looked away. "He was well-behaved, and respectful to you. My fears seemed unfounded."
"So how did he become a Chaos Lord?"
"Corruption. Humans crave power, and he started seeking more. He was never content as merely your companion, and began seeking more power. As he gained it, he became less tractable. Wilder, defiant.
"Then came the night he attacked you."
Unease crawled up my spine. I couldn't pinpoint the source, and I tried to keep my doubts from my face. There had been a fight; vague recollections of heated words came up. But no sense of violence, of an actual attack. "What happened?"
Besedie's expression was sad, his eyes glittering. "Steven tried to take my daughter away from me."