(OOC note: Kate, I went ahead with this update for the BMS, but if it needs to be altered, I can change some things around so that it all fits. The top part of the post it totally separate from the rest, though it leads into it.)
[A few days after Joyful Surprises]
It had been only a couple of days since Yeoun had met with the Traders of Southern Telgar, making greater demands on their dues to the Chorong for making them so successful in business. And it had been only yesterday then, that he'd proven himself an effective killer, and a loyal member of the Chorong, by stabbing Dace, his best friend's brother, leaving him for dead.
The Chorong Agents with him had been complimentary of his skill throughout the mission, having met up with him to watch as the entire scene unfolded. Of course, there had to be witnesses that he'd done a more than satisfactory job at fulfilling Galedon's will, so that he could be initiated officially so to speak, as Galedon's Right Hand man. Soon, Yeoun would be second only to the Lord General himself, after earning Galedon's respects and trust. And thus far, Yeoun's performance had been excellent. He'd given Galedon no reason to deny that he would come up to be everything that Galedon had hoped for, out of his Chorong's son.
Partially grateful for the progression of his advancement amoungst the Rebels, Yeoun had been so busy fulfilling the Lord General's will that he'd hardly had time to catch up on his duties as a Guardsman under the Blood Moon Squad. He'd put little effort forth to find reasonable excuses as to why he'd been absent from the scene where the Blood Moon boys had been concerned, but they'd not been given any new missions lately, so it had been somewhat slow on that front, and thus their time spent somewhat in leisure, outside of the drills and chores they managed every day.
Yes, soon, if not already, it would become apparent that something was amiss. Yeoun waited in dread for the time that one of the Blood Moon Squad confronted him over the lack of time he spent around the group anymore. He'd been growing gradually more distant. Though, he fully expected Kevarre to notice and say something first.
After the 'murder' of Dace the night before, Yeoun hadn't been able to sleep. He'd fled the scene with the other rebels present, going back to their barracks which wasn't too far from there. Taking an arrow and his bow with him, Yeoun returned to the outskirts of the gather, looking for Kevarre and the others again. Having penned a quick message If you want your friend to live, go to him.
on a small piece of a skin, curling it around the shaft of the arrow, when he found them, Yeoun waited for the coast to be clear before he let the arrow fly.
The arrow had struck a wooden support for one of the vendor stalls nearby where Kevarre was standing. The arrow itself may have been recognizable, and the particular style of communication between them, as well. The Blood Moon boys had been taught many such ways of communicating out in the open, without having to reveal themselves or their purpose. Thus, Yeoun communicated with Kevarre that something terrible had happened and he should follow the trail of Dace and Yeoun, to where they'd run off to, earlier.
Of course, when Kevarre and the others pursued it, Dace could be saved by them, and Yeoun could have already disappeared again. Yeoun never returned to their barracks to sleep, that night -with the guilt and pain in his heart, he couldn't. So, with nowhere else to go, so that he could be alone, Yeoun disappeared with a runner and a light travel pack, headed to the Inamourata's Mask.
He had no idea what his friends would think at that point. Would they think that Yeoun too, had been stabbed and left for dead somewhere? Or would they think that he'd chased after the criminal to catch the one who'd stabbed Dace? Or was it that they already suspected him? He didn't know. To tell the truth, he didn't really want to. He was too afraid to confront them just yet. Though, he did have a false alibi prepared, for just where he'd been and what he'd been doing at the time that Dace was attacked. Just in case they wanted to go ahead and blame someone else for it. In Yeoun's eyes though, he was certain they'd know he was involved somehow.
That said, Yeoun had been up most of the night hating himself for going through with the plan. The only smidgen of comfort he found, was in the fact that at least he may have been able to save Dace's life, by alerting Kevarre to the situation. But eventually, with the help of a few shots of his favourite alcohol, Yeoun had fallen to sleep at the Mask, remaining there until mid-morning. Having one more task to complete before he could confront his friends again, Yeoun avoided the places they frequented as, during that time of the day they were usually in the middle of drills, he made his way from Southern Telgar Hold, headed Northwest.
From then, he would be gone for several days -perhaps more than a fortnight- and the Blood Moon Squad would have to wonder about what had happened to him in that time. He'd left no trace of where he'd gone to.
Making good time, Yeoun had traveled within the span of a several days, all the way to Telgar River Hold. Some of that time had been spent on ferry boats that would take them up-river a certain distance before they had to take to the hard-beaten road again. Traveling with that same, small band of rebels, they arrived there together, finding a place to settle down for the duration of their stay -someplace located conveniently near one of their informants.
Able to access information from there, Yeoun could make further plans from there...
As highly adept as the Blood Moon Squad were at stealth, it was no wonder that Yeoun had been able to make his way into the Telgar River Hold proper without being detected. He'd learned the timing of the shift changes in the Guard and habits of those staffing the Hold, from the moles that the Chorong had planted inside its walls. Now, he was able to put the Chorong's agents to use, so that he could infiltrate them. But he wasn't just infiltrating the Hold, he was headed straight for the Lord Holder's inner sanctum. The one place that Rihan had probably thought safe from them.
Having gone there not knowing whether or not the Holder of Telgar River would be there to meet him, Yeoun found himself waiting some time before Rihan returned to his room; though, he never checked to see if the Lady of the Hold happened to be in her own boudoir, which was next to it. He did take a few minutes to look about the room and even help himself to searching a few drawers, having replaced everything within them as neatly as he'd found it. But, after a while, he went to where he could stand in the uneven shadows toward the corner of the room, just beyond the layers of curtains that draped the Lord and Lady's four-post bed.
Leaning against the wall there, Yeoun waited patiently, knowing that Rihan did not usually stay out very late -though he'd heard that the young Holder did sometimes go on walks into the gardens in the middle of the night.
When the door finally opened to admit Rihan, Yeoun was glad that he did not see the Lady Eolyn with him. Maybe he would get his wish and have a moment to speak with him in private. Though, it was just as likely that Eolyn had been coming up behind him, or perhaps even in the next room, as he'd suspected before.
Remaining hidden until Rihan came into the room and closed the door behind him, Yeoun watched him from the shadows at the far side of the bed, beyond the curtains, until the Holder had removed his outerwear and gone to pour himself a drink by the fire. Not just one, but two. Certainly he would be expecting Eolyn to join him soon.
Since his time with Rihan alone then, was short, he would not tarry any longer than he had to.
Unheard steps brought the rebel agent out into the open, while Rihan had his back turned to replace the bottle of wine on a shelf beside the fireplace mantle. And as he walked, noislessly, Yeoun announced himself. "I could have taken your life by now. You should be more careful who you turn your back to."
Heart leaping in his chest, Rihan stood rigid in place for another breath, before slowly turning himself around to face the person who'd intruded upon this inner sanctum. Always having seemed cool and collected, even under adverse circumstances, Rihan's character held true, and he figured that if this intruder had wanted him dead, he would have acted already -just as he'd claimed. Therefore, the intruder's purpose was not that, but something different.
Facing Yeoun, Rihan wondered at the faint recognition there -he'd seen this man before. The almost gentle, still young features of a boy growing into a young adult, and those sad, determined eyes, reminded him of someone he'd encountered in the not to distant past. Jogging his memory, it took him a moment to recall where.
"You're that young man from the graduation ceremony that included members from the Blood Moon Squad." Whether Rihan had remembered Yeoun's name or not was irrelevant. He could have purposely referred to him as a nameless face just to deflate his ego. But still, Rihan's brow furrowed slightly, as he considered the particular set of skills that the young man before him possessed. And that left him wondering at Yeoun's intentions again.
After nodding toward the weapons that Yeoun carried openly, Rihan went on, "You and I are on the same side, so why do you use deception to stand before me, having swords as though you've the intent to kill?"
The Holder's words must have amused him, because the faint trace of a smirk drew up at one side of Yeoun's mouth, though it quickly faded. "I am a killer. What else could I have?"
Giving Rihan a moment to consider those words, Yeoun had purposely used directness in his speech. "Actually, Lord Rihan, I was never on your
side." Pausing for a breath, he clarified, "However, I am not your enemy. Today, I have only come to visit you out of courtesy."
For turns, Yeoun had blamed Rihan's family for his father's death. Because of that, Yeoun would have relished the chance to get close to Rihan like this, in the past. And he would have immediately made a move to kill the Holder in order to exact his revenge. Tonight though Yeoun had come only to gauge Rihan's character; and to place a renewed fear in the man's mind. The mere fact that someone of the Chorong had been able to infiltrate this deeply into the Hold, would raise more than a few alarms in Rihan's mind -which is what Yeoun hoped for. Of course, there were other reasons for him to come this far to meet with the Holder. But, regardless of anything else, it would only be proper to be formally introduced, so that they knew in the future, just who they were dealing with. Even if they wound up fighting.
Seeing as how Lord Matoi, Rihan's father, would soon be out of the picture, Rihan would be the one that the Chorong would have to face in the future. Rihan was also the more likely of the two, by Yeoun's surmising, to fulfill his expectations in the end. It was Rihan who would play the biggest role in giving Yeoun an escape route once he decided to finally disband the Chorong Rebels. The young Lord of Telgar had done well thus far, in preparing a way for the Holdless -some of them being former Exiles- and so Yeoun had high hopes that the man would help him forge a plan for the disbanding of the Chorong, too. Albeit, Yeoun would bring that up to him much later; after he'd become the Chorong's sole, respected leader.
Though usually, Rihan would have spoken up first, in a show of taking command of the situation, Yeoun hadn't given him the chance. Effectively trying to make Rihan see that they were much closer to being on even ground than he could have possibly wanted to admit, Yeoun anticipated that it was an uncomfortable feeling for the Holder to possess.
So, Yeoun went on, making certain to instill that feeling him; and making sure that Rihan knew just who he was working for. "Does it make you uneasy to know that the Chorong Rebels move so freely? Even here, in this very place you consider most private?" Not only a bold statement, it was also quite the veiled threat to suggest that the Chorong were now able to rove wheresoever they chose to. "The Chorong are like a tide that has already reached its shore. Do you think that you can turn that tide back, when it is already too late? You will be forced to face us."
Scowling, Rihan could still appear stoic in all his anger, but Yeoun -no, the Chorong- were now openly threatening him. He couldn't believe they'd become so arrogant. Though, perhaps it was a sign of their recent growth, which he'd not been able to track. If the Chorong were capable of this much, then he really did have more to worry about than he'd previously thought, at this interval in the game. "I wasn't aware that the Chorong still existed in such prevalence and influence. The dissidents of Telgar's past were erased by the end of the uprisings several turns ago." It was well known to Rihan, that some remnant of the Chorong must have survived, but it was quite a shock to him to see that they had risen this far again -and so quickly.
Because Yeoun expected more insightful words from him, the young man's tone reflected mild disappointment, "Since when does power simply appear? Power is always present, even if it is dormant. It only needs to find its wielder, and be put into motion."
The shadow behind Rihan's stormy grey eyes grew darker, "Do you mean put into motion by murdering my brother, then? Was it you
who killed Ermon?"
"What makes you think I care about your brother?"
Still grieving over the loss of his brother, Rihan snapped at Yeoun, to put him in his place, "Barr your fangs at me, and I will break them! You are only a dog of the Chorong's Master, and I will never let Telgar be overcome by someone so treasonous!"
Unmoved by Rihan's anger, Yeoun reminded him that he -and the Chorong- were not going to so easily be set aside and forgotten, "Dog? You'd better reconsider who you think you're speaking to. You should also reconsider how you decide to label those who are only acting out of good conscience -even if their will does not align with your own. Do you always expect everyone to act in a way that appeals to your ideals? How conceited. And yet, you call it Treason." Yeoun narrowed a far more unkind gaze upon him then, "There is no greater oxymoron than that word alone."
Again, not giving Rihan the time to respond, and seeing the faint question of misunderstanding within his silver eyes, Yeoun went on to elaborate, "Have the Weyrs or the Holders, either one, ever done anything to earn the trust of the people they claim to protect? During the Rebellion, how many dead trusted you to save them?"
He was thinking of Sorcha then, "Did you or your father ever try to rescue the innocent girls who'd lost their parents, from being sold as pillowcrafters in the aftermath?! Did you do anything to reunite families torn apart by the fighting? No,... Telgar didn't even try; because Telgar was more interested in using
those same orphaned children to protect it's own future instead of theirs... So tell me then, who betrayed who?" Having fixed Rihan with a menacing glare, Yeoun could see the look in the man's eyes change, though he didn't outwardly flinch at the cutting accusation.
Though Rihan himself hadn't been the one to make that decision in the past, he was no less responsible, being Lord Matoi's heir. So, after that, Rihan's altered his approach a bit. “Then, become my man, instead. Work closely beside me and let me prove to you my merit. Let me show you what kind of new Lord Holder will rule in my father's place one day."
Yeoun could have almost laughed at that. “It sounds like you are trying to get me to betray the Chorong.”
"If I'm to become a great Lord Holder, I need good, earnest, skilled men like you, working with me. With you, or any of the Blood Moon Squad at my side, I would feel as though I had 100 men at my guard. If you returned to serve me, you would want for nothing. We could discuss arranging a way to enact the changes that you seek. I could give you greater position and such honour, that you are written into the ballads told throughout history. I could even give you marks."
Mulling over those words with great consideration, Yeoun translated that into the promise that he needed, to know that there existed the possibility of making some sort of deal with Rihan later, in order to redeem those who were innocent of any crime, once all of this great conflict was over.
“I will consider your offer.”
Pleased that his words seemed to have at least some effect on Yeoun, Rihan replied in the next breath, “Then, hurry back to me with your answer. I am not overly patient regarding such matters.”
With that, Yeoun made one final assertion, “And I do not care about history. Nor do I desire Marks or Power. I am not that shallow.”
After a moment's pause, Yeoun decided that it was time to bring their meeting to a close. He had achieved everything that he'd wanted to, here.
"I will take my leave. But this is not the last time that we meet."