The Lost Prince (part 7)

I must admit, what they taught me at the shrine was something I needed to learn. I was not a quick study, but it did sink in eventually. And when it was done, I took the time to seek out this stranger who looked like family.

I found his wife, but he was nowhere to be seen. Seems that the rumours I had let slip had already made their way to him. He’d smelled an opportunity and taken off. Mind you, I had to put this together myself. The nymph was no help. I know they’re the simplest of simple country folk, by the poor thing could barely string a sentence together, and didn’t make much sense when she did. Most of the time I was there, all she did was stare at me. I guess I can’t blame her. I must have been reopening fresh wounds, asking about a husband that had just deserted her. No wonder it was awkward. Didn’t exactly make me want to stick around.

By the time I got back to the city, he was already there, firmly ensconced in palace life. Apparently he used my name to bolster his credentials. Probably said I had recognised him on the mountain and welcomed him back into the family. That sounds like the kind of crap he would come up with. And for some reason, they all ate it up. Maybe they were charmed by his entertaining lies. Maybe they felt bad about what they did to that kid all those years ago. A guilty conscience can be an easy thing to manipulate.

Whatever the reason, I returned to find that he’d burrowed his way in like a worm, and nothing I said could dislodge him. The more I talk about it, the more odd looks I get. Maybe I need a new tactic. Be less vocal, pick my battles. But still keep a close eye on his activities. Perhaps I can still limit the damage he does.

If I don’t, who will?


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