Betray: Part 3

The mausoleum was tranquil and still. He would not enter it, but stood outside upon the long grass, hearing faint birdsong as he contemplated the ashes entombed within.

“I will not address him,” Julian thought. “The dead do not hear.”
Nevertheless, long he stood there, wondering, fearing; dreaming of times past.
The conjuror could be under no illusions: his father had not been a great man. It was from the side of his mother that Julian inherited his intelligence, and disposition. His father had been good in nature and reserved, attending to the House of Ultonïr with great difficulty. Often, Julian suspected that his father had married his mother not through love, but out of necessity.

As a magus, he was likewise slow and strained. The vast library that he had assembled was begun when Julian entered the College of the Magi, and the younger man knew it was intended for his perusal.

Yet, as a father he could not be surpassed. So it was that Julian found himself asking many silent questions.
“Would he approve of my intentions? I know he distrusted the monarchy, but he was a patriot. He acted only in what the law would allow.”
A shiver clung to Julian like a shadow. “But I am more than my father was; I see things clearer. I will not go to the grave as he did, nor will I let myself be bound by a false honour. If I cannot do what needs to be done through the law, then I shall do it without.”

He turned to leave. Something, some whisper in the morning breeze gave him pause.
“Goodbye,” he called, and then went back to the mansion.

You can find the complete version of Betray: Part 3 in issue 47 of TBD.

James Thornbury