I didn’t blink, but did put down the weapon I was cleaning when Uncle Askya strode into my room. A pair of guards were just visible outside – an official visit, then.
I stood and saluted stiffly, withstanding the look of scorn and disappointment that my uncle always felt fit to bestow upon me.
“Soldier Kasker,” he greeted me, scornfully generalising both my rank and my name. They had never quite forgiven me for eschewing the familial career path.
“Sir, can I help you this evening?”
He contemptuously tossed a tablet, the spinning display coming to a halt in front of me.
I confess that I was strongly tempted to prolong his suffering, but would have been dishonourable to do so. Instead I briefly appreciated my uncle’s humility, that he made this request in person.
“Sir, I do not have any pending leave.”
“It has been arranged, Marett.”
“Then I will go.”
“Good. Your father and I feared that your sense of responsibility had entirely evaporated.”
We rose, bowed, and left the chamber.