â€œStupid girls,â€ Corin mumbled to himself as he swept the corridor. Honestly, he just wanted to look at the sword. It wasnâ€™t like he was going to take it down or anything. Well okay, maybe for a little while, but it wasnâ€™t going to do any harm. Then Lani had to ruin everything by telling on him. Now he was stuck cleaning for the rest of the day while all his friends were out swimming. It just wasnâ€™t fair. Next time he saw Lani, he was going to make sure to give her hair a good tugâ€¦
â€œâ€¦ou sure we can trust him?â€
Corin stopped sweeping and stood perfectly still. It sounded like whispers were coming from the alcove up ahead. He glanced around him, and seeing nobody, silently crept closer to the source of the voice.
â€œAs much as we can trust anyone at this pointâ€
â€œI suppose. Still, I donâ€™t like it. With every person we add, we endanger our plan that much more.â€
â€œTrue. Alternatively, however, the more we convince to join us, the fewer councillors remain to thwart us.â€
Councillors? Thwarting a plan? This sounded awfully suspicious. Corin looked around again to make sure Trella wasnâ€™t there to catch him slacking off, then slowly peeked around the corner. He saw two men in hooded cloaks standing in the shadows. One was a bit taller than the other, but other than that, there was little else he could make out. Exceptâ€¦.
The shorter man shifted his position a bit, and his cloak flared open briefly to reveal two silver pins on his collar, like a circle with a cross in the middle. Corin ducked back behind the corner with a gasp. These men were councillors! Were the rumors true? Could there really be people plotting to overthrow the Council? Something had to be done! He had to tell someone! He had to--
A hand came down on his shoulder, and he barely kept himself from screaming. A soft voice whispered into his ear.
â€œWhat are you hiding from, my son?â€
Corin turned around to see a man with a gentle smile, as well as the pins of a councillor.
â€œSir! Sir! There are these two guys around the corner I think theyâ€™re councillors and theyâ€™re talking about betraying the Council and I think theyâ€™re trying to get more people and what if the rumors are true we have to do something we have to--â€œ
â€œSshhhhh.â€ The man put his finger to his lips and looked at the boy sternly. â€œNow, thatâ€™s a very serious accusation to make. Youâ€™ll be in serious trouble if youâ€™re lying. Are you lying?â€
Corin shook his head silently.
â€œAll right, well letâ€™s see what we can do about it.â€ The man stood up and, putting his hands on Corinâ€™s shoulders, led him into the alcove.
â€œGentlemen! I have here a boy who claims to have overheard you conversing about a plot to overthrow the Council. Is this true?â€
The men looked startled, then the taller man smiled unctuously and said, â€œOf course not, he must be mistaken.â€
The man behind Corin looked down at him and said â€œAre you mistaken boy? Do you stand by your statement?â€ Corin looked down at the ground and mumbled â€œYes sir, I know what I heard.â€
â€œWell, gentlemen? What do you have to say?â€
The taller man shrugged his shoulders. â€œClearly the boy is lying.â€
Corin looked up sharply, and the man behind him shook his head. â€œIâ€™m very disappointed in you, boy. I donâ€™t appreciate being lied to. Now you must be punished.â€ His hand came around and covered Corinâ€™s mouth before he could protest.
â€œYes,â€ said the tall man, as he drew a sharp dagger from his cloak. â€œLiars must be punishedâ€¦â€