“Are you afraid?” His father asked.
“No,” the boy answered and after a moment of thought he added, “He's my brother.”
“Then you don't understand. Say it again,” commanded his father.
The boy hesitated but under his father's stern gaze, he relented, “Magic exists to serve man, and never to rule over him...”
“...Foul and corrupt are they, who have taken His gift and turned it against His children –”
“Yes, thank you, Samuel – I know the chant,” Emery interjected with a terse tone, though he did well to hide the extent of his exasperation. He stood on the cobbled streets of Denerim's market, watching as the merchants and their potential customers milled about. Keep the peace. They were simple enough orders, though a bit more difficult to hold to since the recent upheaval within the Alienage.
“You say that, Captain, but I swear every time we're tasked with sniffin' out some potential apostates and their sympathizers, your heart's not in it.” Samuel picked at his teeth with an air of nonchalance that only intensified Emery's annoyance.
Emery's eyes, blue like crushed cobalt, shot the other soldier a sharp glare – sharp enough that Samuel's posture straightened. “Are you doubting my commitment to the job?” His words held a dangerous edge and Samuel seemed stupefied for want of the correct thing to say. He took pity on his subordinate, just always did. “Fear often has people seeing shadows in strange places. We can't afford to waste manpower on a wild goose chase. A degree of skepticism is healthy. Wouldn't you agree, soldier?”
Samuel gave a good nod. “I would, sir.”
Obedience, feigned or honest, earned a smile from Emery. “Good. Make your rounds, see if anyone matches the descriptions offered. Question them – and try not to do anything rash.”
The soldier gave a salute and turned on his heel, and headed towards a dilapidated alleyway. Emery for his part remained within the vicinity of the market place, slowly making a circle around the central stands. The descriptions fed to the city watch by their source were solid enough to raise concerns, but vague enough to apply to a number of individuals.
Emery felt it was a waste of time but he had appearances to keep and the ire of his superiors to avoid. His gaze combed the crowd and settled on an individual near one of the stands. They matched the description well enough, which wasn't saying much, but it was as good a reason as any to make his approach.
“Good day,” Emery greeted, flashing a disarming smile. It was a task to appear amicable when wearing a full set of the guard's armor, but he hoped the gesture was not lost. “Do you have a moment to talk?”