The next morning, Lucius awoke in the small room he had acquired in a nondescript inn in the countryside. Donning the new clothes he had also acquired, he went downstairs into the inn’s smoky, dimly lit, main hall. walking up to the innkeeper, he asked for a small meal, a mug of ale, and for the innkeeper to keep the room vacant for him, while handing over a small pouch of coin. After eating, he left the inn, and mounted a nearby horse, returning to the Kingdom’s capital city.

An hour or two later, as he rode through the city’s gate he saw a poster with an crudely drawn image of himself with the words “WANTED! dead or alive! reward: 50,000 sovereigns” written under it. He shrugged it off, knowing the guards would eventually discover the fact that his cell was empty.

He stowed his horse in a nearby stable, and walked to the “Gilded Dragon”, one of the city’s more famous inns. As he strode through the doors, he saw an aged, particularly pudgy, wealthy man sitting at a table and strode over to him. “Earl Fraser” he said quietly, slipping into an empty chair.  The man looked up, shock and confusion on his face, then exclaimed “Lucius! wha… how did you… never mind. Not here, this place isn’t safe. Meet me in my room in an hour, and make sure you aren’t followed.”

Around an hour later, Lucius snuck up to the Earl’s room, on the dragon’s second floor. He slipped into the room, to find Fraser sitting in front of a small fireplace. Fraser saw him enter, and got up, walking to him. “Lucius! I counted you dead for sure!” he exclaimed. “They’ll have to try harder than that to get rid of me” Lucius said, smirking. “Indeed…” the Earl retorted. “What were you thinking!” The portly noble said angrily as he shut the door “you were only supposed to spy on the king, gather information to help me get those grain trade rights, not kill the man!” “I knew my duties. I didn’t kill the king. someone framed me.” Fraser leaned back in his chair, stroking his small, white beard. “I see… Well this changes everything! If it wasn’t you, then who did kill our beloved imbecile of a ruler? And why would they want to frame you? Do they know of your true background, or were you merely a victim who was in the wrong spot at the wrong time?” Lucius looked at Fraser, cold, hard, determination on his face, as he replied “I do not know, but I intend to find out.”

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