“No.” Devlin whispered.
“Devlin, listen—“ he clamped Devlin’s arms to his sides to hold him there. Devlin fought to get free but the man was very strong. “Barbarans do not use daggers!”
“No!” Devlin pushed him away. “You do injustice to his honour and his memory!” Devlin argued. He could not believe that his own men would turn on him. They had fought, ate and drank together. He knew many by name. Of course there had been clashes between some people, but that was to be expected, though not enough to warrant killing a man. Everyone in that army were united under one idea, their confidence and admiration which they shared in their Captain.
“I seek to avenge him!” Garrett grabbed his arm, pulling him into a corner, away from the eyes still prying. “Tell me, if you thought as I do now, would you not do the same?” He breathed. If he allowed himself to believe Garrett that Damyen had been murdered, he would not stop until he found that killer. Garrett had the right of it. Devlin nodded. “You think I would speak of this to you if I was not sure of myself?” He continued. Once again, Devlin nodded. “And I am, I am quite certain of it. Captain Damyen was murdered, Devlin.”
There was silence between them for some time, and the tumult of the crowd threatened to drown them. The musician still played. For a bard he was good. The way he strummed his harp was quite masterful. He sang The Melody of the Night. Some old song about the squabble between Lords to become King. It was named that because the Tawnitons had won, the bearers of the owl, and for a very long time now, they had held the throne with vast success.
“Why are you telling me?” Devlin could understand that Garrett would tell him, but not why.
“I needed your memory of that moment. I needed that to give me clarity—“
“—did it? Have you gotten the clarity you crave?” Devlin murmured.
“No. Answers beget questions, it would seem.” He let out a long breath and Devin continued to watch him with intent. “But also, I need your help.” He seemed to almost be begging now, speaking as if he were in a fever. It truly was as if he had lost a son.
A Captain could come from anywhere in their life, aged with a hundred children, or young with little hair on their body or experience in their head, as long as they showed the prodigious qualities that were required: Strength at arms, skill in tactics and the qualities of leadership far beyond those of a mediocre soldier. When a Captain retired, it was by death or when they were let go by their King on good grounds. They often retired to a large fort and some land. If they did not have a wife, they would certainly gain one, being favoured by Kings was a sign of rising prosperity in the House.
Captain Garrett had been just that since he was sixteen, prior to Damyen, he had been the youngest. Now he was somewhere in his fourties, no man had served longer as a Captain than he, for hundreds of years. He had no children, when you became a Captain you had to put aside your family until you retired. Maybe it was the one thing the old man now regretted, he had no legacy of his own. Although, it was never a surety that a son would replace his father as Captain, it was more than likely, especially if the father taught his son well, but a retired Captain held his position in his family for eternity, as the oath decreed. Devlin suddenly felt sorry for him.
“No.” Devlin whispered.