Reva nodded and turned back to the desk. She reached out her hand to shuffle through the papers on the desk.
The command—and it was definitely a command—was full of arrogant authority and came from the doorway. Reva looked up and frowned. “Inquisitor Ailan Malvaceä, what a pleasant surprise.” She didn’t bother to hide the disdain in her voice.
“Senior Inquisitor, Constable Inspector Lunaria.”
“I hadn’t heard you’d been promoted. Who’d you have to kill,” Reva said, again not bothering to hide her sarcasm.
Ansee looked from the Inspector to the Sucra officer. He could feel the tension between the two. Even allowing for the known inter-agency rivalry between the Constabulary and the Sucra, it was clear that there was more going on here at a personal level.
Senior Inquisitor Malvaceä ignored her and stepped into the room, giving the body a glance. Reva inwardly smiled as she saw him pale just a bit. Good.
Malvaceä wore a dark green hooded cloak that bordered on black. It was clasped with a silver cloak pin intricately worked into the shape of an eye, with an opal set where the pupil would be. Under the cloak he wore a chainmail and leather tunic under a shirt of black linen. He wore calf-length black leather riding boots polished to a high sheen and had on black jodhpurs flared at the hips. His hair was light blond and cut short, barely coming down to his ears. He had tan skin the color of faded fir. He glanced up from the body and gave Reva a critical look with light blue eyes.
“You are out of uniform, Inspector,” Malvaceä said.
“It’s my day off,” she deadpanned, returning his stare.
Ansee stepped back from the desk. He half expected them to draw their weapons at any moment.
“And is this Seeker Rubus’s replacement?” The Inquisitor turned his eyes on Ansee, who flinched a bit at the attention.
“This is Seeker Carya,” Reva said.
“Well, Seeker Carya,” Malvaceä gave him a cruel smile. “I hope you can measure up. You have a big spellbook to fill.”
“What do you want, Senior Inquisitor?” Reva put special emphasis on senior. “In case you haven’t noticed, we are trying to conduct a murder investigation here.”
“Please, don’t let me stop you. I assure you, the Sucra wants First Magistrate Avecath’s killer found and brought to justice just as much as you do. I am here merely to collect the First Magistrate’s letters, documents, and other writings.”
“The hells you are,” Reva snapped. “I have the authority to collect all the evidence in this case, and that includes the Magistrate’s papers. They may have information related to his death.”
“I seriously doubt that,” replied Malvaceä evenly.
“Maybe not,” Reva admitted. “But they’re evidence and I will collect them as regulations require.” She made a move to pick up some of the papers.
“Touch those papers, Inspector, and I will arrest you for treason.” Malvaceä’s voice was calm but carried an edge of menace. Everybody in the room stopped what they were doing and looked at the two of them.
Reva knew Senior Inquisitor Malvaceä well enough to know that it was not an idle threat. He was full of the righteous power that came from being a Green Cloak and would love to exercise that power with Reva. She withdrew her hand and asked, “On whose authority?”
“Why, King Aeonis’s authority, of course.” Malvaceä gave Reva a sneering smile and held up a rolled document with the King’s seal set in green wax. He didn’t offer the document to Reva to examine, merely taunting her with it before returning the rolled paper to a case at his belt.
“Now step aside so I can perform the King’s business.”
Geoff Habiger and Coy Kissee are life-long friends and co-owners of Tangent Games. Coy lives with his wife and one cat in Lenexa, Kansas. Geoff lives with his wife, son and two cats in Tijeras, New Mexico. Wrath of the Fury Blade is their second novel together.