Rizla tapped the glass. “They scatter like cockroaches,” she remarked, and then rolled on her back, giving a gurgle of laughter. “Did you see Elymas? I thought he might explode.”
“I wish he would,” Suga narrowed his eyes at the crimson figure dissolving within the mist of the glass. “He must be stopped, Rizla. He’s gone too far. You heard the little man, the one they called the, er . . .”
“Yes, the Nawab,” Suga pronounced the word with difficulty. “Worthless though they be, their killings have not gone undetected. Women and children are being taken; the populace will grow sentimental.”
“Elymas is a fool for blood,” Hatred entered her voice and her hand slashed the air. “Better to slice him.”
“The Tuel has cautioned us,” Suga sighed, “Though I share your impatience.”
“His greed has exposed the slaughter and to make matters worse,” One glance from her and the globe blackened. “his own tongue tripped him. He all but confessed the existence of an earth child! Ondred, the silver hair, knows. If the King were not so befuddled, he’d know as well.”
Suga shrugged, repeating, “Elymas is a fool.”
“Are we to pay for his foolish mistakes? Have we waited too long?”
She sat at his feet like a child, her eyes luminous, looking up at him. If he hadn’t known her, Suga would have thought she was on the verge of tears. A nonsensical thought. Rizal never cried. She would never weep and be comforted.
“I don’t know,” Suga answered honestly. “It’s a deep game we’re playing and one of our players is out of control.”
“He must be reined in. Otherwise, the Tuel will punish us for this.”
Suga shuddered. The Tuel’s punishments were cruelly inventive and unusually long.
“We can save ourselves if we move tonight,” Suga replied. “The arrival of the Hunter was unexpected, but Elymas can be taken care of tonight. Men like the, the nawab were as plentiful as weeds and just as despised, but the man today was fearless. People listened. Yet, when the killings stop, no one will care.”
“Yes,” Rizla hissed in agreement. “They call them wabbers, did you know? They were called here to dab mud between stones. Ah, well, the man won’t be heard from again. They took him to the lower dungeons as well. By now, he is dead. Milo,” she added, “He named himself Milo. I listened and I know others listened as well.”
Suga grunted. “A man like Milo is dangerous, and the fool Elymas made him so.”
Rizla shrugged. “He is dead. I’m sure of it.”
“One hopes. But the killings spoken of by this newly dead must be stopped.” Suga pulled on his scraggly beard. “Short of death, how did you intend to curtail the Earth Skyll?”
“I have several ways,” she replied, then laughed again. “For a man as self important as Elymas, there are mortifications worse than death. Surely, you don’t doubt my capabilities.”
“No, I was only curious as to your disguise. May I know which?”
“I will begin as a serving girl, I think. Big eyes, poorly clad. His tongue is rough with women and his anger will stoke mine. I’m sorry that you can’t see me change, Suga,” she said, then laughed again. “Perhaps I should go as the young lad that serves alongside the great Dr. Sugallus in his apothecary shop.”
“He tried to buy you when you looked like that,” said Elymas flatly.