“My brother,” replied Lord Henry.
“As well as my nephew,” added MacQuarrie.
“They are both locked away in Waelyngar. We three have been attempting to free them for months now, but the prison has wards about them that we cannot breach. We managed to get them moved into the same cell, but that is all.”
Seymour frowned. “And you want me to get in there and break them out? How much are you willing to pay?”
“Fifty thousand knamick,” Henry offered.
“Plus favors,” added MacQuarrie. “Of the magical variety.”
The Aechyed’s abundantly pierced, pointed ears twitched eagerly at the presented value. “We’re on. Do you have any sort of a plan that you would like me to follow, or am I on my own?”
“Somevhat,” replied Mialina, her voice low and her accent heavy. “But it vill need’th input on your part.”
Seymour narrowed his large, green eyes. “Perhaps we ought to discuss this in a more…private… location.”
* * *
Soon, they were outside upon the streets of Brysail, walking in the direction of Seymour’s home. The night was was inky-black and starless, the chill of autumn hanging in the air. Seymour led the way with Henry beside him, the Alt-Mage of Murkintsen and his wife following closely behind them. The detective studied the young mage as they walked, discreetly so as not to seem as if he was staring.
The human was a bit plain, Seymour decided, although not ugly. Admittedly, his eyes were striking, making up a bit for his decidedly unmemorable facial structure. And he was clean, which was a plus. He glanced down at the mage’s hands, noticing that the fingernails had been chewed down to bloody stumps. That lost him some points in the hygiene department. The detective repressed a shudder and averted his eyes. To business, then.
“Tell me about your brother,” Seymour requested.
Taken back by the sudden, and rather blunt, inquiry, the young lord hesitated a moment before speaking. “What would you like to know?”
Well, Seymour thought. That was a potentially dangerous question. He swallowed the smirk that was threatening to manifest on his mouth, replying vaguely, “Oh, anything you think I ought to know.”
“Well…his name is Simon. He is my twin—though we aren’t identical. He isn’t a mage and we don’t look anything alike.”
“Your twin? You were firstborn, then?”
Henry shook his head. “No. He had birthright. But…well, he isn’t quite right in the head, you see, so my father broke protocol and willed his title to me. Reluctantly. Better a mage than a madman, he said.”
Seymour glanced at him. “I read of the murders in the papers. Your brother was convicted in the matter, if I’m not mistaken.”
“Yes,” Henry sighed. “He was, but wrongly. He’s really quite gentle. He would never harm anyone, let alone his own parents.”
“Has his case been appealed?”
Henry shook his head again. “I can’t get any lawyer who will defend him.”
They walked onward in silence for another block before turning into the doorway of an unremarkable brick building. Seymour led them up a steep flight of stone stairs and down a short corridor to a door, which he unlocked. “My flat,” he explained, beckoning them inside. “It’s a bit of a mess, but at least we’re less likely to be overheard here.”