Rannol stood at the head of the table, waiting for voices to settle.
“It is with grief and disgust that I chair my first council. Eryl Lewin was loved and respected by all.”
He swallowed, steeling himself to continue.
“We cannot allow his murderer to go unpunished. We can not allow the order of the Library to be so broken and disrespected.”
There were nods and noises of support. Maluk watched him with a shadow of a smile.
“We will send for the Dakyian to aid us in our quest for justice.”
This time Maluk spoke up, “Are we not ourselves capable of finding Eryl’s killer, My Lord? Gathering knowledge is what the Library does best.”
His remark hit a nerve amongst the other members of staff and voices rose into a jumbled clutter. Rannol raised his hand and tried to regain the attention.
“Gentlemen, the Library seeks knowledge in depth and at length. We are not equipped to deal with the vile and the evil. Speed is necessary to resolve this tragedy. And while this Great Library of Mova has become one treasure of the Thalasian Federation, I am sure you all agree that the Dakyrian Order is another.”
By the full attention he received, he knew he had hit the mark with his speech. Suppressing a wave of pride, he continued, “It is up to all of you to make sure the Library continues to function, even in these troubled times.” He glanced at Garath. “Will you arrange for Eryl Lewin’s burial?”
Far more comfortable now he had something to occupy himself with, Garath nodded. Others looked at Rannol for further instructions.
Sheep in a sheep’s pen with a wolf loose, Rannol thought.
“Maluk, will you notify Jarral to send for Dakyrian aid?”
Maluk twitched his mouth but gave a sharp nod of consent.
Aran looked eagerly at Rannol. “Would you like me to eh, inform the students, My Lord?”
Always the lecturer, Rannol thought and nodded his consent, relieved to not have to perform that duty himself.
He turned to Salu, at a loss as what task to give him. The man seemed less attentive than the others.
“Salu, will you assist Aran in re-establishing order in our Library?”
Salu nodded, his eyes wandering once more to the stained windows.
“Then I hereby dismiss this council.”
The men left the room in a bustle, except for Maluk. Facing Rannol, he spoke softly, “You might regret bringing in the Dakyrian, My Lord. They might find more than you have wanted to unearth.” Then he shook his head dismissively and smiled, “you should look up the meaning of ‘council’ at some point, My Lord.”
Then he strode off to find Jarral, relieving Rannol of the burden to find an answer.