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Captain of the Guard: Implied Statements

October 10, 2019

There was an uncomfortable silence. Cedric considered the expensive make of Autumn’s clothes. Ro had apparently jilted more than one princess.

Alstone was the first to respond, “Ro died recently.”

Autumn’s face paled, which was something considering the orange shade of her skin, and her lips tightened. “Did you see him die?” Autumn was well familiar with the rules regarding heroes and villains: If you didn’t see the body, then they weren’t dead and for some villains, even then wasn’t enough.

Raven hovered over her, “No, but we found his body.”

“And you’re sure it was him?” This was the well-known corollary to the above rule, even if you saw the body if you were not absolutely sure it was the hero, then by some strange pattern of circumstances it was not going to be him, even though all the evidence pointed to the contrary. It had becoming so annoyingly common that there were heroes that had died centuries before that people expected the triumphant return to occur and villains that people deeply feared would be back again. It was no longer seen as hubris when a villain shouted defiantly that he would be back, but as a dire warning.

“Same tattoos, same medallion and we were tracking him.” Cedric did not add: the same smell of rancid pig fat.

“Medallion?” Autumn asked. “He had no medallion when last I saw him.” Unusual items were often a sign in tales and songs that the hero had no in fact perished.

“A reward for serving the kingdom, he’s been busy since you last saw him.” Cedric immediately regretted that last bit. Princesses were masters of implying things without saying anything which allowed them to deny that they said anything at all if someone drew offense, or what was implied turned out to be false (wherever did you get the idea that I said something as monstrous as that?), and reading into things that weren’t said (sometimes incorrectly, but still they held on to the belief that they were far better communicators than anyone else).

Autumn looked sharply at Cedric. “It would appear that you’re keeping things from me.”

“Couldn’t say.” Cedric answered with a face as bland as possible. One of the best defenses commoners had was the ability to play both dumb and ignorant, it melded nicely with the innate prejudices of royals and people that think that they are clever.

Autumn, it turned out was not nearly as blinded by her intelligence and position as Cedric hoped, she looked at him thoughtfully for a moment. “You’re a clever one, aren’t you Captain? Very well, I will let you keep your secrets for now, but you will take me to him.”

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