Janne reflexively stepped forward, but Asgeir’s hand on her shoulder held her back. “Do not step near them, milady,” Asgeir warned softly.
“But the Cardinal!” Janne protested, waving her hand towards the pair.
Rorik smiled softly. “She’s interesting, Father. Where did you find her?”
Valgard looked down at his oathblade, then back up with Rorik. “…what is going on?”
“Oh? You noticed.” Rorik turned his attention back to his father. “I wanted to tell you, but I didn’t want to do it like this.”
Valgard snarled, whipping his sword back and up in a brilliant flaming arc. The blade swept down and vertically through Rorik. The young man didn’t flinch. Janne gasped, expecting the Cardinal to fall in a shower of gore, but he simply stood there unharmed. No blood, no cuts, not even a burn mark on his dirt-smudged tabard. It was as if the blade couldn’t touch him.
“How…?” Janne wondered aloud.
Rorik cocked his head at Janne, a smirk playing on his face. “The oathblades are blessed by the Church specifically to strike down those who have broken the First Oath. What do you think they would do to someone that’s not bound by that oath anymore?”
“Impossible!” Valgard grabbed Rorik by the front of his tabard and dragged him forward. “We are all bound by the First Oath! There is no one who has not broken it! No one!” The Archbishop violently shoved his son to the ground and slammed the sword down through Rorik’s chest. Janne could hear the blade thunk solidly to the ground, but Rorik nonchalantly rolled to one side.
“Apparently it’s not,” Rorik quipped as he stood and dusted himself off.
Asgeir made the sign of the sword over his chest. “Your Grace, she must have known about this.”
Rorik nodded. “Your page is right, Father. She’s the one who told me where to go to find out more. And if I find it…” He smiled wide. “Father, I think we can stop the jotnur once and for all. The goblins, the ogres, the giants – all of them.”
“You will go nowhere!” Valgard shouted. “You defy the Church!”
Rorik’s face fell slightly. “I knew this would be your reaction. It’s why I didn’t tell you I was leaving. If the Reach hadn’t been attacked, you probably wouldn’t have caught up to me until I found what she told me about.” He turned away and began walking towards the edge of the clearing.
“Wait!” Janne called out. “Where are you going?”
Rorik stopped and looked her over. “Have my Father ask her,” he said after a moment. “He’ll take you to see her, I’m sure. She’ll tell him where I’m headed.”
“Who is…” Janne began to ask, but Rorik swept his own blade off the ground and kept walking away. Valgard simply stared at his son as he slipped into the trees and out of sight, his sword still stuck in the ground by his feet.