Part 37: Escape
Someone talk to me. Now.
Your majesty, there has been...an incident.
We're not entirely sure what happened yet, but the damage is significant. The town square is in ruins. The people...
We've lost many.
Yumil. You have much to answer for.
We have witnesses who claim to have seen you with the Waisen army.
If you are responsible for this...
I'm not! I'm not! Who said that?!
No, no listen. I wasn't with them. I was after them. They stole the book from me and I was trying to get it back. That's what they saw.
Why would I do something like this? I live here! I have friends here!
How can I be your only suspect?! What about them?! What about him?!
Thanks for that.
Not that you'll believe a word I say, but no. I did not do this. I like Rhoan, actually. Nice town. I used to come here for-
Tryin' to be nice.
Boy. What is your defence? Do you have anything to prove you were not involved?
Maybe. Does it matter?
You're going to throw me in prison anyway, aren't you? Like you did before. That's how you work. Guilty until proven innocent, right? I suppose I'm only the hero of Kaleila until you need someone to blame.
I haven't answered your question yet.
Do I have a defence? No. No, I don't. Because I'm not explaining myself to you or your stupid, paranoid, coward soldiers again. I don't want to and I don't have to. What I'm doing right now is more important than you'll ever be, "your majesty".
No! Not enough! If you're going to lock me up then do it! Just DO IT! I need to get that book back and you're wasting my time!
Take him. Take them both. Get them out of my sight. I want the truth, do you understand me? Whatever it takes. I will have the one who did this to my town.
Earthquakes, whirlwinds...what is happening to this place?
Ready to confess?
You traitorous scum. You know how many you killed? You know how many families you left grieving?
I did not do it.
You were in here before, weren't you? For spying. Some of the men told me. That's what all that going to war, fighting in the tournament was, eh? Nice big grandstand? Get us to trust you? "Kaleilan hero." My arse.
I. Did not. Do it.
Give it a rest! Just pack it in, will you? Do you even know what we've got on you? People saw you do it. We have witnesses.
Want to meet them? Alright. I can do that.
Thank you. Why don't you tell us what-
Oh, come on. These two? These are your witnesses?
Should have guessed. Should have known you'd sink this low. What do you want, your money? Is that it? Your money that I won fair and square?
Oh. That? Not to worry. We've long since earned it back. A little savvy goes a long way, you know.
No, I think seeing you in prison is worth a few jewels.
Yes, well, while you're at it officer, this person's been trading in stolen goods. Why don't you interrogate him? Someone who's actually guilty?
I am shocked that you'd resort to such petty allegations.
Actually, no, I'm not. Squirming like a worm on a hook, just like I knew you would.
Is that all this is to you? Getting your own back?
Do you have any idea how many people are dead? Did you even see the state the town was in? How can you look at that? How can you see something like that and still be thinking about some stupid grudge?
This isn't about us, or our money, or anything else. It's about what's right. We accuse this boy, officer, because he is guilty and deserves to be punished. That's all there is to it.
Now if you'll excuse us, I have things to discuss with my brother.
That wasn't right. Romaioni behaved as I expected him to, but Francesca spoke with nothing but conviction and venom. What if they really did think I...
No. They must have planned it out. They staged a vignette for us. Romaioni, the gloating victor, chastised by his righteously vengeful sister who desires only justice. Playing to the emotions so as not to invite doubt. It was the sort of thing they'd do.
Which would mean Francesca was just acting. Impeccably.
You heard that. They both have something against me. You can't convict me just because of-
Oh. I'm sorry. Did I say we were done?
Bring in the next witness.
Yumil. I will not be here long. There is work to do. But I want you to know something.
Wait, you're not seriously-
I want you to know that I am dedicating my school to your victims.
For god's sake, I didn't-
I want you to know that I will personally visit the bereaved and apologise for not making something better of you.
To those whose homes were destroyed, my hall shall be a sanctuary. And if I should ever find another in your circumstances, I will not let them walk away from me. I will do everything I can to help them. To ensure that they don't become you.
You didn't make anything of me.
That much is evident.
Or your son.
...that will be all, officer.
Where's that book you're always carrying? That's what you did this with, isn't it?
I don't know where it is.
Oh, of course. Practically glued to your hands all this time, then it suddenly goes missing when it might incriminate you. Life and its funny coincidences.
It's gone because they took it, you stupid bastard! If you'd just think about this for one second!
So how do you explain the witnesses? I suppose he had something against you too, did he?
They obviously didn't see what really happened. Jumping to ridiculous conclusions.
You should let them join the guard. They'd be a perfect fit.
Right. There's a queue of people out there stretching to the arse-end of Samiad, and all of them saw the same thing, which didn't happen. Tell me a new story, son. This one ain't hooking me.
Could you tell us what you saw, sir?
Stone-Cutter. Persecuted heart.
I'm asking you if you saw this boy. Do you understand? We want to know if he's responsible for what happened.
Let me go. Don't like it. Don't want to be here. Stone-Cutter, persecuted...
Did you see him or not?!
Let me out, let me out! I want out!
Alright, get him out of here.
Don't get your hopes up. He already testified against you.
Friend of yours, is he? Seems to me like a friend wouldn't "jump to conclusions" on something like this. He'd have to be certain. What do you think?
Someone's making them say this. Or...they used magic. They made it look like it was me.
This isn't real.
It is real. Maybe once that sinks in you can stop wasting everyone's bloody time.
I don't want to do this anymore. That's enough. Please.
Are you confessing, then?
Could you tell us-
Helen! Please, you have to tell them-
Where is Fana?
Where is my granddaughter? What happened to Fana?
Amazing what the mind will let you forget. One knock on the head, one lapse of wakefulness, and the worst thing in your life happening to the best thing in your life can become just another memory neatly shelved, waiting for the right hand to open it up.
Where is she?!
I don't know. She came outside, and...I tried to save her. I did.
How could you do this?
I didn't. Helen, please. I didn't do it.
You have the nerve to get angry at me, to tell me I shouldn't be looking after her!
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
You're all she had. For god's sake. That poor, poor girl. She deserved so much better than this. She...
I'm sorry to put you through that, ma'am. Someone escort her out, please.
That's enough for today. Take him to his cell.
Don't talk to me.
Sorry I hit you.
Does it still hurt? I can-
I said I don't want to talk to you.
And it didn't hurt. I just wasn't expecting it.
I know. You're the hero of Kaleila, right? Little tap like that wouldn't faze you. Tell you the truth, my hand still smarts a bit. You're solid, kid.
You'd better not do it again or I'll really be angry.
Hell of a cage, huh? Must be one of their first-class cells.
Food should be good, then.
Oh yeah, thanks earthquake! We weren't quite uncomfortable enough yet!
Since when does Rhoan have earthquakes anyway? I've never heard of that happening.
Um. Legitimate thanks, earthquake.
Someone's got their eye on us. Remind me to say my prayers tonight. Come on, then.
I'm not going anywhere with you.
So you'll stay here and die?
Don't kid yourself. Rhoan's had its guts ripped out. They're still counting the bodies. You stay and all you'll get is a noose.
Maybe an axe. I don't know how they do things out here.
I'll escape after you do.
And how will you defend yourself without the book?
If you hadn't got in my way I'd still have the book!
But I did, and you don't. Being angry won't change anything. Doesn't matter how justified it is. Won't change anything.
You coming or what?
You know this guy?
I suppose. I met him once. Twice.
You still lost? I know my directions weren't that bad.
Ah. Wrongfully accused again?
...what, you don't think I'm guilty?
Hell, I dunno. I've been down here. I do know Bart's an idiot, so you probably didn't do whatever you did.
What did you do?
I wrecked the town square with a tornado.
Wait, no. I didn't. That's what they're saying I did.
Ha ha. Seriously? Wow. Even I didn't think Bart could pin an act of nature on someone. He just gets better and better.
I hate to interrupt, but do you know a way out? I'd quite like to be not here when they find us missing.
Sure. Walk this way.
Talking afro. God damn.
You know the drill, right? Straight ahead, ladder to the cemetery, yadda yadda.
You okay? You look even worse than the last time we did this.
Yumil! While you're still young!
There we go. Perfect. We'll have to keep moving for a while, but we should be alright from here.
And it just so happens I know exactly where to go. I've got a friend in Granatum who can put us up for a while.
Might take some getting used to, but...
You'd better not be fishing for a piggyback.
Days without a moment's rest, every "witness" who accused me, and sheer, unrelenting shock. They banded together with swords and flame and demanded their price all at once.
Sleep, unconsciousness, whatever it was, it was an escape. Merciful oblivion. Fortune willing, it'd last until the end of everything.
I'd had enough.
...had a rough time of it. Really rough. Remember when you ate that Mul?
Thinking it was a Pog. Yeah.
Rougher than that.
Yeah. So be nice to him, okay?
I'm always nice.
Can I have his jacket?
See, that's what you need to watch.