CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and FORTY-NINE
“Gilfand,” Abi said.
Gilfand appeared before her. He was wearing silk finery and looked like he’d been resting. He looked at Abi and then saw the sword.
“Hey!” Gilfand said in his distinctive accent. “My sword!”
He held out his hand as if he expected Blane to set the sword into his hand. Abi rolled her eyes at him.
“We were discussing how you lost this sword,” Abi said. “I thought you might tell them.”
For the first time, Gilfand noticed the others in the room. He nodded to Heather and Perses, but his eyes glided over the others. He touched Delphie’s shoulder.
“Did my ancestor make two swords?” Pierre asked.
Gilfand snorted at Pierre.
“I’ll take that as a ‘No,’” Pierre said. “Did he steal it?”
Gilfand gave Pierre a defiant look. Abi rolled her eyes.
“My darling Gilfand and your ancestor were tricked out of the blade by Bernard of Clairvaux,” Abi said. She nodded to Nelson. “Your ancestor, Nelson. You look like him, only you are bigger, stronger, and gratefully, saner.”
Gilfand gave Nelson an appraising look. Pierre looked at his son, and Nelson nodded.
“We always believed that the blacksmith was deceived by the order,” Abi said.
She gave Gilfand a side look.
“Yes, but he kept the sword,” Gilfand said.
“That was the thing,” Abi said. “Gilfand ordered the sword, and endued it with certain powers to deal with our annoying children. When Bernard discovered the purpose of the blade, he decided the order needed the blade to protect them.”
“From magic?” Pierre asked.
“A side effect of the charm on the blade is that the owner is immune to the repercussions of his actions,” Perses said.
“Totally unintended,” Gilfand said.
“No weapon or blade has carried this charm since this blade,” Perses said.
“How did you get it?” Nelson asked.
“I took it from your father,” Blane said.
“Oh,” Pierre said. He fell back into his chair. Looking stunned, he said again, “Oh.”
“Oh?” Perses asked.
“As long as the order held complete possession of the blade, they were immune to the repercussions of their actions,” Abi said.
“Everyone was killed because I took the blade?” Blane asked Abi. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“It’s not your fault,” Abi said. “You did what was needed to save your family and many others from sure doom.”
“But Alex was there!” Jill said. “She and her husband, and Dad and Hecate, and Heather, and …”
Perses and Abi shook their heads.
“We are no match to the protection wielded by sword,” Heather said in a low voice.
“That’s why they only came with forty guys,” Blane said.
“And swords,” Aden said.
“What happened in that garage?” Blane asked.
“The repercussions of their actions came out upon their heads,” Delphie said.
“Some were really gruesome,” Blane said. “I mean, they showed me the pictures because they said it was my fault. More than a few of them were cut apart alive.”
“Many of them had more current actions,” Delphie said.
“But why should they have pay the bill for what their ancestors?” Nelson started.
Delphie shook her head.
“These were not what you might call ‘good people.’ They knew that they were free from … repercussions,” Pierre said mildly. “They used this to create large empires of violence and cruelty. This is one of the reasons your mom and I left the order. We couldn’t stand worshiping one set of rules and practicing another because we were ‘immune.’”
“And now?” Heather asked.
“They are all dead,” Delphie said. “If the order continues, it will be clear of this criminal stain.”
Her eyes flicked to Blane.
“You have cleansed the order,” Delphie said.
“Have I endangered my family?” Blane asked. His eyes went to Pierre. “Are they coming after you?”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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