The conversation between Roque Alva and Arlette Savignak
...You may say that I have bad taste, and you'll be right, but I was mad about young Emilienne. Well, I understood that my goddess was difficult to call one of the most beautiful women in Talig, by the way, the same can be said about Katarina Arigo*, but it did not stop my madness. I was ready to do everything for her. If Emilienne had wanted to be the Queen, I would have thought, and I don't know what I would have come to... Luckily, miss Carsi was in love with mister Lansar. This worthy man worked, better to say served, in the suprem's** department, but he dreamed of highest peaks. To reach them he joined in a conspiracy, but even there he became an errand boy. With time he would have given them away to Silvester*** in exchange for something pleasant, but the conspirators were lucky - I appeared. Lansar decided to get an appointment, title and land from my death. He had no doubts in success, 'cause he was stupid.
So, Emilienne wrote me a letter, than another one and, finally, she made an appointment, and I went, no, not went, flied there.
- Perhaps, she did not know...
- She knew everything. Lansar became her secret husband right after the plan was made. The future suprem was worried that noone will give him the new Glikinia, so he made the necessary arrangements. Only my head was needed. After the death of Francis II, it was said that poison does not affect the Alva's. Indeed, it has little effect, but Left-handed**** is not to be blamed for it. Since our childhood, father tried to make us immune to all the poisons he knew, and he knew many of them, but I digressed. Lansar could not rely on a dagger in woman's hands. He told Emilienne to take me to bed, exhast me, and wait for me to fall asleep. Then she was to go to anoher room and put a candle on the open window.
I was saved by my magnanimity: I wanted to marry and refused to have this miracle of purity before wedding. When the maiden understood that I wasn't going to dishonour her, she let the assassins in. A couple of dozens. The men were wearing masks, but I recognised some of them. If I understood what was going on, I would have died at the spot, but I imagined that I was protecting my beloved. Sunset Creatures*****, what a fight was that! My rapier broke almost immediately, I had to use furniture, dishes, some kind of cloth... Then I got another's weapon. Emilienne was shouting behind my back - my blade prevented her from reuniting with her husband. Finally, she struck me. With a tray. I was trying to evade a thrown dagger, so her blow got me in the shoulder, unfortunately, it had been wounded... That was the moment I understood everything.
From that moment, it became easier, 'cause I was free, I didn't have to think about the woman behind my back, and at the same time it became more difficult, 'cause I had nothing to protect, and it discourages. Anyway, I continued fighting. I had no chance, but stubbornes comes to life before the Alvas. I remember Emilienne's brother hitting my shoulder again, I put the rapier into my left hand, blood was flowing down my face, then somebody hit my back, I didn't fall and even killed the man. By that time my "bride" had already disappeared, but I didn't notice that. I got rid of half of the night guests, but I could not defeat the other half. Finally, I fell. I don't remember what was after that. Maybe I was hallucinating, but more likely, he really was there. If you want to know who was it, feel free to ask.
- So, who was it?
- A handsome golden-haired man dressed in black and red... He was killing and laughing. He used sword of the kind that cannot be found even in torka now. I remember him fighting with his right hand, but I may be mistaken. Everything was blurring, then I lost my consciousness... I regained it at the sunrise. The room was filled with corpses, I had a fragment of the rapier in my hand. I was covered in blood, but there were less wounds than I had thought, and they were almost closed. My head was splitting, and I was thirsty, but everything else was alright. Somehow I stood up and, for some reason, counted the dead. There were twenty six of them. Mine were eleven.
- Excuse me, but how can you be sure?
- I can. I didn't cut heads and arms, and at that time I couldn't make two rascals out of one; and in the house there were no swords, no pole-axes, no sabres. However, I found an unfinished letter: Emilienne was waiting for me and cooing with her beloved husband, giving out his name.
I needed to do something, soon, the guards or just curious people would come. I got to the Savignak residence and fell at the threshold. The physician threatened to leave me in bed for a month, however, on the following day I was accompanying marshal Arno on his way to Lansar.
The couple was in their cozy home. Emilienne feeled uneasy and didn't seem even pretty to me. Our bureaucrat has almost died at the spot, but then he started speaking and turned out to be rather talkative. He tried to hide behind Prydd and the old Queen, but he couldn't prove his words, and we had already known about the Alician conspiracy. Silvester prefered waiting, he was a great legalist and cravd for strong arguments. Lansar had none of them, he had only words, lots of words. The rascal dragged down everyone whom he could remember. By the way, he didn't name Shtantsler or Okdell, but he named Epinay and Borns as well as Arigo.
- Arno wouldn't have betrayed Maurice, Cara's brothers, her sons, Pierre-Louis' sons...
- He didn't. We remembered about Manrik, Kolinyar, and about Zanha.
- "We"? - asked Arlette in a dull voice. Roque understood her.
- Marshal. I was only able to think about my... Right-handed. It was possible that just a mad berger****** with a sword had passed by, wasn't it? I longed to find him without delay. It's difficult to believe, but I didn't care about the newly-weds. Your husband gave them a choice between death, Bagerlee******* and village. I only added emeralds: a stone for every fruit of... love.
Emilienne wanted to die on her beloved's chest, but Lansar chose peace in the village instead of the Sunrise*****. He wrote and signed his confession and resigned.
- And Arno brought... them here?..
*Katarina Ollar nee Arigo was the Queen at the time of the conversation
**suprem - the highest position in the judicial branch in Talig
***Silvester was cardinal of Talig at the time described
****Left-handed in Kertiana is an analog of the devil on Earth
*****Sunrise and Sunset are analogs of Christian Paradise and Hell
******berger - a native person of one of Talig's lands, Bergmark
*******Bagerlee - state prison located in Ollaria - the capital of Talig