Tainted Victory – Chapter 10, Part 1 (Page-a-Day)

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Chapter 10: The Reveal 

Evelyn ran her fingers over line after line of bricks in the war room. She gave each a light press to test and see if they would trigger a door. None did. They were corse and cold. The broken window caused by whoever killed Siguard did not help the situation. Wind blew in and sent chills down here spine. She peaked over and saw Hugh measuring the cut marks under Siguard’s neck. He used his pinky for a comparison. His back was covered in dirt and mud. “What happened to you?” she asked.      

Hugh didn’t answer. He ran his pinky from the cut marks down to the trails of blood, and to the armor. 

“Doctor, what happened to your clothes?” Evelyn said. 

“Huh?” He shook his head. “Oh ahh, in the caves?”

“Yeah.” She pressed on a couple loose bricks. Nothing happened. 

“Once that wall came up a second path opened. I took it. It was dark and winding. When I reached the end it opened up into a storage room connected to the castle.”

“Where was that storage area?” 

“Ohh, a, off the eastern side of the castle. I walked out and then slipped onto mud and fell. Not very smooth.”

“Could you see a group of footholds leading up the wall?”

Hugh scratch his beard with his index finger for a moment. He kept his eyes on the body in front of him, but sent his mind back to the moment he exited the passage, slipped, and promptly fell on his rear. He remembered a grouping of holes in the wall. It was hard to see them in full, but he could make out light casting through the wall in an unnatural way. “I did,” he said, bringing his mind back to the present. “Why do you ask?” 

“Because,” she pressed on the last bricks of the wall. Nothing happened. She leaned her back against the wall and looked at Hugh, “soldiers from the other side saw someone scaling the wall.” 

“So you think that someone used the passageway to enter the castle, kill Raisor, escape, and climb the wall?”

“Well, yeah.”

“That could mean our killer is long gone.” He looked back at Siguard. He was completely pale now. The earliest blood spatter had started to dry and brown. Hugh stood up. “Or it would.” Hugh leaned in and closed Siguard’s eyes. He sighed and grabbed the shaft of the arrow.

“That means it can’t be Claudia,” Evelyn murmured. She rested her chin on her finger and thumb.

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