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With Catlike Tread

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"I don't believe we've been introduced," said a cheerful yet somehow implacable voice from the shadows near the narrow hallway's ceiling, "which is peculiar since I would have sworn I already knew everyone likely to be using this passage at this hour."

Edmund sighed, and turned to face the King of Attolia, hands held open at his sides in a gesture of goodwill; "I promise it's nothing personal or political," he said; "I'm simply here to retrieve a Ring one of my sisters lost to Mede extortion some months ago, and it seemed simpler to manage without the mess and bother of public accusations."

Attolis studied Edmund from the rafters for a long moment, before he smiled and said, "Do you know, I think I even believe you; but fair warning: for my own peace of mind and professional curiosity, I'm going to follow you every step of the way."