William had almost expected a huge rash of incidents following the two in the morning, but his expectations were happily disappointed. The poisonings had both occurred directly in the morning, which William supposed made sense. There were guards preventing access at night, and both poisoners had shown their ability to infiltrate the crowd in the kitchen to some extent or another. Fortunately he had been there to catch those incidents.
He still kept a watch on everything throughout the party, but there were no other incidents. William knew he wasn’t infallible and could have missed something- but nobody fell over dead.
He drank from his personal chalice that had been poisoned previously. The second person was much clumsier, and he was fairly certain they hadn’t been the one who poisoned his wine on the first day. That seemed more like it fit the first one to show up, who had poisoned the two wine bottles. The replaced versions ended up one on William’s table… and one with his sister, Sarah. William saw the poisoner sitting at that same table, and understood how that was accomplished. The best wine would naturally find its way to William’s table- but he the poisoner requested the particular vintage that he had poisoned. William noticed how carefully he sipped his wine, without drinking any. He would soon realise something was wrong, but William noticed that he carefully didn’t have anything incriminating on himself at the moment.
The assassin was currently dressed as a rich merchant. William supposed he might be the merchant, but he was more inclined to believe that particular merchant was never going to arrive at the wedding, or perhaps anywhere ever again.
The noble who had poisoned William’s chalice had an extremely non subtle expression of anticipation and then disappointment on his face as William showed no signs of dying to poison.
The rest of the party continued as normal, a display of wealth and excess. William hoped it would pay for itself in some other way than finances.
The assassin made one more careful attempt the next day before ceasing his activities. He didn’t try to leave before everyone else, instead keeping to his cover identity rather well. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t make it far from the castle.
William brought him in personally. He wasn’t sure if his suspicions were correct, but the man was dangerous enough that it was easier to handle it himself- and he’d been itching to do something besides waiting and watching for several days.
The man was probably trained to resist interrogation- and probably could have killed himself if necessary. At least, in normal circumstances. With special manacles to restrict the flow of his ki he wouldn’t be able to do much, and that was discounting William’s personal attention.
Unfortunately for him it was unlikely he could have received sufficient training to resist William searching through his memories. The man had a soul of average strength, while William had come with a more powerful soul even before his extensive training. He could easily destroy the souls of ancient gevai lords… searching through the memories of one assassin wasn’t much to speak of.
William didn’t like what he saw in those memories at all. Though he only went deep enough to gain a surface level of understanding of everything, it was sufficient to make him enraged.
He gathered up ki to perform Shattering the Soul, reached up to the man… and only barely stopped himself from doing it. He shook his head. He was supposed to be better than that. He still snapped the man’s neck without any further delay.
He had been the one to kill William’s parents. He continued his work trying to kill William and his sister out of some twisted sense of professional duty. As far as assassins went… William supposed he wasn’t the worst. He didn’t get any sort of thrill from killing- but he would still kill whoever he was paid to- even if the client was dead. William would have liked to have more men similarly dedicated to more positive things.
William stood there a while. Killing the man didn’t particularly make him feel better. It didn’t bring his parents back. At least he knew they hadn’t suffered much when they died, and had gone with dignity- whatever that accounted for in the face of death.
He supposed he would tell Sarah the news. Perhaps she would want to see. William wasn’t the type to go around showing dead bodies to young girls… but he supposed Sarah wasn’t a girl anymore. She was a woman, and though she was still young by gevai standards her maturity was sufficient to make her own choices.
Sarah sighed, “You can’t pass the news on to Stefan yourself?”
William shook his head, “He won’t talk to me or anyone I send. Hopefully that will change with time… but he ought to know as soon as possible.”
“Fine, I’ll do it this once… but you’ll have to start talking to each other sooner or later.”
“Thanks.” William looked off into the distance, “Maybe I’ll try talking to him again myself sometime, but it’s not easy for people to control how they feel. This case isn’t completely without justification which only makes it harder. I have to admit I haven’t handled this situation perfectly either.”
“From what I heard, you were almost inseparable for the first dozen years. It can’t be just this…”
William shrugged, “What’s a dozen years of being a good brother when it’s followed by a few dozen years where we only meet a few times… and I’m off planning to become king and start a civil war?”
Sarah shook her head, “Oh please, we both know you hardly planned to become king. Besides, I couldn’t ask for someone better.”
“I could.” William sighed, “Not that it would do a lot of good to ask. I doubt I’d really consider anyone else even if they were quite capable. Maybe I’m just the type of guy who can’t live without wresting a position of power for myself.”
Sarah smiled, “Maybe, but who doesn’t want control of their own life? You just see more factors that can affect you than most… and you actually did something about it.”
“And I got so many people killed doing it…”