I approached Archimedes that day with a heavy conscience, and by
his expression, I think it showed on mine. I had to ask him to talk with
Random, in the hopes of once again pulling the Ty Dahl off the record of
Amber law. He seemed sympathetic to my cause, though he wondered why I
asked. Perhaps he thought I was going to bring Sandr back to Amber; I
don't know. I began then to tell him of Fiona's hypothesis concerning my
father, and I thought it might be a good first step in warding off the
future. Not that it wouldn't keep Benedict from moving through Shadow and
outright... killing him, I know. But it soothes my heart a bit to try. I
look at Archimedes and wonder how at one time I hated him for what he had
done to the Jezetti, and for his inaction during the Ty Dahl.
But that was long ago. Or long to come, whichever way you think
The tournament came and went that day, Amber's heroes proving
themselves time and again. That night we were invited to a state function
hosted by Swayvill, King of Chaos. I was placed at a table containing the
children of the eldest lords of Chaos, through my connection with
Benedict. Unfortunately, the company there was not talkative, and neither
was I. I ate my meal and ruminated on my match tomorrow, with Corliss
Wickling. From what I understand, he was involved in the downfall of
Amber, in the future.
The following afternoon, I was approached by Claudio. The Moor
seemed troubled; I do not think our displacement into this time has ever
agreed with him. When he said he had conquered a Jezetti, and had her in
his chambers, I congratulated him. The Jezetti are fierce competitors.
He was more disturbed by having to consummate his victory. Apparently
what I had sensed between him and Sky had come to fruition. I told him
how the Jezetti think; to not take her would be an affront to the entirety
of the Jezetti, and that he would be a marked man. So he could either
watch his back for the rest of his life, couple with her, or kill her. He
considered his options, meager as they were, and left. Poor man.
The rest of the day passed uneventfully, until again I was found
by Claudio. He had chosen to have sex with the Jezetti, and now he asked
my help in explaining the whole mess to Sky. I agreed, and we sought her
out. Sky's expression darkened as I described the position Claudio was
in. But Claudio did a very wise thing in offering his sword to her; even
though she struck him on the head with the flat of the blade, and stormed
off, I think in time they'll be okay. Claudio announced his intentions to
get shitfaced, and wandered off.
I was defeated today, for the first time that I can recall.
Corliss was just too powerful for me to get through; he matched me for
strength, ability, and cunning. I did have some opportunity in that he
didn't seem to want to cut me, but he would not bite on any tricks or
movements that I attempted. I knew I would be defeated, after a while,
and I fought as honorably as I could, save the swift kick to the knee I
gave him as I attempted to get in a lucky scratch. He disarmed me of
Nevermiss, and eventually of Trueblade, as well.
I stood there, arms outstretched, waiting for the inevitable, an
expression of anger on my face. He gave me a chance to submit, but I
"I understand you're going to join the Jezetti," he asked.
"I look forward to another match with you if that comes to pass,"
he chuckled, and took my hand. Upon kissing it, he nicked the top of it
with his sword, bowed, and left the circle. I fumed and stormed off,
grabbing my swords back from my surprised second, Merlin.
Several hours and shards of broken crockery later, I was
approached by a page. Apparently, the creature Bleys called "rat-dog" was
causing some mischief. I attempted to communicate with it, through
shouts, curses, and the drawing of weapons. The page brought back some
food, and it responded well to that. Eventually, I said something to make
it run off, and I fixed the mess it created.
I found Merlin then, because I wasn't happy with the way I stormed
out of the ring earlier without acknowledging him. I think he understood
when I told him that I had never lost before, and he told me a story about
the Jezetti, and what they have to do if they lose... all this things I
know. But it says something that he would warn me. I offered him the use
of my weapons in his match the next day, and he has not decided yet, but
he thanked me for the offer. Just as he was about to say something, a
page found me again, and apparently the rat-dog had returned.
This isn't my problem. I drew my Trump of Archimedes, but
couldn't get through, even with Merlin's help. So I Trumped Benedict.
He seemed amused by the situation, calling for the beast, picking
it up by its neck, and tossing it through a Trump. Yes, that's my father.
Merlin excused himself.
He saw me lose today, and I felt even worse. Benedict proved to
me that even he loses sometimes, as evidenced by his arm...
He stared at his arm for a while. "I must not have noticed that
my arm grew back..."
Damn. My eyes widened. This could be the catalyst of his
memories returning. I recall talking to him about Damion and Tristan, who
I was not supposed to talk with in this time, and about Cymnea, who is
never to know that I am her granddaughter. I lashed at Benedict,
something about shame or the like. No, it's because she'll kill any
female offspring. I turned another shade of red.
What to do now? I've lost. Nothing can be done about that. I'll
perform my duties as second to Merlin, and then, who knows? Maybe wander
into Shadow, and see what I find.
I am restless...
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