The casket opened silently, revealing the Purposeful Blade in repose. It still bore a mirror-shine, undimmed by patina, and the handle glistened with wrought and spun gold most fine. It bore the crest of House Anselm-Limbert, a falcon rampant with a bone in one claw, at the center of the crosspiece and the orb of House Anselm-Limbert, a representation of a falcon’s eye, at the end of its hilt.

“My birthright,” Eyon said in a low voice. Gullywax had warned him not to touch it, as the sword’s honed blade glowed brightly in the hands of a member of House Anselm-Limbert. But surely here, surely now, no one would notice.

Eyon gripped the hilt tightly, just as Gob had taught him, and hefted the blade. It glinted but remained dark. Confused, Eyon switched it to his right hand. The glow did not seem to care, and the blade was dark and silent.

“I don’t…I don’t understand,” whispered Eyeon. “I am Eyeon Anselm-Limbert, heir to House Anselm-Limbert and rightfully Eyon IV, king of Pexate. The blade should glow for me as it glowed for my forefathers.”

“Yet it will not glow for Master. It will never glow for Master.” Eyon was so started he nearly dropped the cold blade; Gob had entered the chamber without so much as a squeak of his armor.

“Why not?” Eyon whimpered. “You sound like you know. Tell me.”

“Gob did not know until this moment, but Gob suspected.” Gob’s strident tone softened a shade. “Gob did not tell Master because it would hurt Master deeply.”

“Tell me.”

“Is Master sure? Gob does not wish for its-”

“TELL ME!”

“Eyon Anselm-Limbert was but a boy of two when he was vanished,” said Gob. “But even so, chroniclers have recorded that he used to scamper about the castle with a toy sword in his hand. His RIGHT hand.”

“But…but I’ve always been left-handed,” whimpered Eyon. “I can barely open a door with my right hand!”

“Yes, and it was this that made Gob suspect.” The creature was silent a moment. “As difficult as it is for Master to hear, he has asked Gob for the truth, and Gob has delivered it. Master is a pretender to the Anselm-Limbert name, likely raised from his youth to be the tool of ambitious men in seizing Pexate from House Estrem-Lamblin.”

“You mean…” Eyeon sniffed. “You…you mean…?”

“Yes,” said Gob. “Gob means what you think it means. Gullywax, Master’s caretaker, is the most likely perpetrator of this fraud. Gob is sorry, Master. But, for what it is worth, Gob was paid by Master and to Master he remains loyal.”

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!
Advertisements