He heard the commotion at the gate, and smiled. Swords and soldiers had their uses, but so did gold. The combination of a reward offer and a few small time criminals eager to save their own skins had provided him with some very useful information. Oreat, the king’s bastard brother, had set himself up as a leader of the bandits, and robbed and killed across the land.
The bandit king’s forces had caught his brother and family on their way home from the capital, and had brutally slaughtered them all. Now, there was an opportunity for justice. He couldn’t get his hands on the bandit king even if he had the forces. That justice would belong to the king. But he could get something nearly as good.
At first he thought the amount of rope they’d use to bind the young man they were dragging before him was excessive. A closer look had him reconsidering. The handsome young blacksmith was a strapping young man with broad, muscular shoulders. The man struggled against his bonds, then glared as he was shoved to his knees. “So…” He smiled, folding his arms. “The bastard’s bastard.” Oreat’s only living son. His gaze turned toward his guard captain. “A cell has been prepared. Take him to it.”
“Yes, my lord.” The man saluted, then directed the soldiers to begin dragging their captive toward the tower.