Kaedric knows little of Joseph, other than that he is a sibling of
Benedict's. Which means that at least that much of his story is true. I
am still not certain if it is wise to try to release him. If Finndo
placed him there, then one could argue that an enemy of our enemy is our
friend, but that is not always the case, and I am reluctant to unleash
such an unknown quantity. He has been there for at least 1,000 years.
What harm will waiting a little longer do? The problem remains convincing
Aleksandr of this.
I do not know what game Kaedric thinks he is playing, but I am
quickly growing tired of it. How I choose to dress is my business, and he
takes great liberties in assuming otherwise. I will not change my mind in
this, just because he wishes me to. If he thinks hiding my corset will
help his case, he does not know me very well at all.
Anton may be in Inter-Shadow, according to Tiberius, who is some
strange combination of Merlin, Ghostwheel and Eddie. Aleksandr was ready
to rush right off with it, of course. Apparently he is forgotten what
happened the last time one of the computers claimed to know where Anton
was in Inter-Shadow. Thankfully, I was able to persuade him to take
Kaedric along. Unfortunately, this leaves me watching Nadine. I do not
have time for this. I must find Eve, and the Badlands is no place for a
two-year-old child. Perhaps Laughter would be willing to watch her again.
It was not Eve's fault. Delwin was possessing her. I cannot tell
you how relieved I felt to learn that. It is a terrible thing that he did
to her, but it is better than to think that she did those things to
herself. She has not regained consciousness yet. I do not know how she
will react when she does. Which is why I feel I must be here when she
opens her eyes, lest she awaken alone in a cold cell. At least Archimedes
is willing to give her a chance, based on my evaluation of her. Strange.
Why is he willing to trust me in this matter? Not that I am foolish
enough to believe that he will rely solely on my opinion of Eve's fitness.
But, he obviously means to demonstrate that he trusts me, to some extent.
Which leaves me wondering what he intends to ask of me in return.
"This was a mistake." I remember saying that very clearly. I have
trouble recalling what came immediately afterward, but I remember the rest
all too well. It would almost be easier to bear if I had no recollection
of it. I did not intend to become inebriated, of course, but I should
never have even reached the point where I drank the "champagne" that
Kaedric had conjured. Why did I allow him to aggravate me to that point?
Yes, he was irritating while he was drunk, but I have faced drunk people
before. Of course, none of them were such good sorcerers that they could
suck me into my own spell, and then prevent me from leaving. I hate that.
I really do. Just once, I would like to find something I am better at
than he is. Well, he owes me a secret now. I shall not be forgetting
Given what Kaedric let slip, I suppose I should be grateful that
he was able to assist Archimedes, even if the aftereffects were annoying.
It seems our King does not handle drink well at all. I have always
remarked on his short temper, but I did not think he was capable of going
so far. Raping women? Killing all those around him? I wonder if
Laughter is aware of the sort of man that she married? They say that
alcohol removes all of our inhibitions. What does it say about the man
who rules us, that he becomes a monster when drunk?
There is a part of me that wishes I had not sobered up. Nothing
good has occurred since that time. Delwin possessed Sand and made off
with her. Kaedric, bastard that he is, prevented me from following. And
now Benedict wishes to kill Sandr, for getting Caitlin with child. As if
Caitlin were not the one to blame for that. Worst of all, there appears
to be little anyone can do to stop him. Benedict is using an ancient law
of the Courts, which Archimedes will not disallow after the fact. And the
King is the only one Benedict might have listened to. I cannot believe
that Benedict has the gall to charge Aleksandr with incest, when it is his
own incest that has brought this about. Caitlin should have gotten rid of
the child, before her father learned of it. Stupid little fool. Now it
all seems hopeless. Even if Aleksandr's ignorance saves him from the
charge of incest, there is little he can do about the charges of
oath-breaking. He is guilty of that, after all. But I fail to see how
one night of drugged stupidity warrants something as extreme as death.
Then again, Benedict often epitomizes extreme.
Aleksandr says he wants to kill himself, but I will not allow
that. I will not grant Benedict such an easy victory. If he wants to
kill my brother, he is going to have to face him, and watch him die. I
want that memory to haunt him for the rest of his life. I am considering
challenging Benedict over his own incest. It will not save Aleksandr, of
course, and he will doubtless claim innocence, and be absolved. But
Aleksandr is innocent of that charge as well, and Benedict chose to charge
him with it anyway. How can I let him go unchallenged for the same?
Perhaps he will challenge me in return. That would almost be a blessing.
At least then there would be no more wondering when it will be my turn to
die. First Father, then Maron, now Aleksandr... It will not be long now.
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