A guard dragged a scruffy man into the interrogation room and pushed him into a chair. The guard inspected the shackles on the prisoner and tipped his helm to a man in official robes before leaving the room. Dropping his chained hands into his lap, the prisoner sneered at the other man.
“Magnus Grey. It’s been a long time,” said the official.
“Shh, James. Not so loud. Don’t blow my cover!” Magnus whispered hoarsely.
“It doesn’t matter now. You won’t be going back. It’s not as though we keep anyone important in Yew prison anymore,” said James. He threw a heavy pack at Magnus’s feet. “Change out of those rags.”
“I’m being re-assigned?” Magnus fiddled with the lock on his shackles.
“Actually, you’re being promoted. There was a mass assassination. The boss was one of the victims. You are going to replace him.”
The tumblers clicked, and Magnus set the shackles aside. He opened the pack and removed a suit of armor and a blade.
“I thought I was out of favor due to that incident with the Meer ambassador.” Magnus carefully put on the chain tunic. Despite the heavy metal rings, the set was silent. He ran his finger along a small letter “T” carved into a ring of the tunic.
“There are bigger problems to worry about with us at war. The people in charge want new blood, new faces. They think you’re willing to break the rules a bit to keep us all safe.”
“What about Dexter or Tess? They have more experience. Heck, they trained us.” Magnus started trimming his beard with the edge of the blade.
“Dexter’s dead. Happened when he tried to infiltrate a group of cultists. Agent Midnight disappeared about three months back, and we assume the worst. I’m sorry. I know you two had some history.”
“That was a long time ago.“ Magnus looked down sadly at his chain tunic. “I assume you’ve already worked out my cover. I can’t go around saying I’m the Royal Spymaster.”
“Officially, you’ll be the Minister of Agriculture. It seemed an amusing title for a city boy like you. I mean, look at you: five minutes time, and already you’re looking slick enough to see the king.”
“King?” asked Magnus as they walked out of the room.