Malia: "Thank you for your service, General Kardos."
God, the Northern Duchess was such a kiss-ass. It was not unexpected since she was of low birth, but the way Malia seemed to go out of her way to legitimatize her inferiors was just obnoxious. But as Francesca scanned the faces of her companions, it became clear they were all affected by the news….
Sarnai: "Why though?" "Why attempt to assassinate a child who hasn't even been granted the throne?"
James: "There are many reasons, the most prevalent would be he is next in line for the throne"
Malia: "The most obvious suspect would be someone with an - arguably - equally valid claim, hoping to remove competition," "Clearly not."
Francesca laughed, the dry, humorless sound echoing off the walls unpleasantly, but the Duchess did not seem to pay it any mind.
Malia: "If there is no king and no rightful heir, power becomes decentralized from King's City." "It would allow quite a bit more…. freedom to lower nobility." "Which means the next suspects would be the Dukes or Duchesses…."
James: "And if the assassin yet lives... I wish to interrogate him myself"
Malia overthinking everything. James reaching for violence in the absence of answers. Predictable. The pale Duchess lowered in her seat, slumping shoulders as she rested an elbow on her armrest and two fingers massaged her temple, annoyance screaming through her posture. They would talk themselves into the floor soon enough, decide to sleep on it and reconvene tomorrow, Francesca was sure, so all she had to do was wait until she could leave…
Malia: "Where is the Duke of the South's daughter?" "She is a…. student, is she not?"
Sarnai: "She is," "Francesca," "Have you any theories?"
...Until the young consort explicitly asked for her opinion, which caught Francesca completely by surprise - the straightening of her spine and the lift in her brows betrayed that, as the Duchess met Sarnai's dark eyes for a moment.
"What theories?" Francesca groused. "The attack was thwarted. The assassin confessed. His conspirator is arrested." She shrugged thin, bare shoulders as if to dismiss the whole situation as overblown and meaningless. "Let Kardos execute them both in the public square so we can return to the funeral and then our Duchies."