I’m posting from my current writing WiP, Song and Shadow, a prequel to Song and Sword. It’s a rough draft and I still don’t have an actual outline for it so it’s going to be a fun ride.
Picking up from last week’s snippet. Pashevel has just taken the stage in the tavern to try to lighten the mood.
“It’s too quiet in here!” he called cheerfully as he picked up his lute. “What would you like to hear?”
A few people called suggestions and he began play, drawing the crowd into the songs until he could stop singing and merely provide accompaniment, a feat which let him listen to the conversations as he left the stage and worked the floor, playing, singing, joking, and listening.
And what he heard – and saw – disturbed him.
“I’m worried about what’s going to become of this kingdom when King Kurtzen dies.”
“Yeah, Prince Hierik is no fit replacement.”
“Yeah, the boy’s too soft, too weak. He’ll never make a ruler. We’ll be overrun by barbarians.”
“Barbarians? We’ll be overrun by our own criminals, first.”
“Yeah. He can’t even decide what he wants for breakfast, let alone what kind of punishment to deal out.”
The speakers – all of whom were from the Palace Guard – made no attempt to lower their voices or hide their contempt for the Crown Prince, obviously fearing no repercussions for their words.