|"Brother," so the letter begun and Duncan took a long sip from the tankard of ale sitting in front of him. He found that he lacked any brotherly feelings towards both Dochia and Niklaus.
"Niklaus is held against his will in Hermannstadt. The details are escaping me; however, I beg for your help in freeing him."
Duncan slammed the tankard on the wooden table, and the liquid bounced against its walls and spilled on the table. So that's what he told her, the blackguard. His feelings for Niklaus were anything but brotherly, as he felt the urge to knock him senseless. Dochia would learn eventually it was Niklaus’ betrothal to Erzsbet holding him there.
"I am gathering a party to help him escape, and I will not rest until he is free."
A stab of jealousy pierced him, and his eyes clouded. "Would she spend so much effort if I'd be unwillingly held?" His tankard stopped halfway to his mouth when it came to him how pleased he'd be if she would.
"I count on you, my friend, to come to my help, and I remain anew in your debt."
The smoky walls closed on him as he emptied the tankard and pushed it toward the end of the table. Having her in his debt was all he could offer. She was mistaken; he'd never be her friend.
"I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important."
Duncan leant his forehead on his arms. He would be there when her heart would break as she discovered the truth. He'd make sure she's safe and then he’d leave for good.
"I wouldn't answer if not for you, mo ghaol." Duncan rubbed his red beard and rose. He gathered his sword and gloves and headed, through the noisy crowd, for the tavern's door.
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