I was sure this boy did know a back way to the kitchens. That was his Skander, and his experience: covert, insinuating, conditional. Not mine. “This is my way, my king’s way,” in through the front door to ask straightforwardly for what I wanted. They would see Rulf at my back, and all his ships behind him; they would not refuse me. In and out.
I chuckled, cracked open my pistol’s cylinder, and loaded it with the wooden ammunition. “Don’t worry, my dear,” I said, and tucked the gun in my waistband. “There’s plenty of time before sunrise.”