"There is no doubt" said Aliera, as if in answer to a question, "that there was a spell laid upon this fellow before his death: the traces of it remain. I suspect what it was, yet I cannot - "
"Lady Aliera," said Khaavren, "if you would be good enough to tell me what you are doing here. well, I should be entirely in your debt."
"Why, I am investigating this body, in order to learn how he came to die."
"Or," said Sethra, "perhaps to remove all traces of the spell, so that nothing can be learned."
Aliera looked at Sethra for a long moment before saying, "I don't know you, Madame."
The Enchantress bowed. " I am called Sethra Lavode."
Aliera bowed in her turn. "Very well, Sethra Lavode. I am called Alieria e'Kieron."
Sethra bowed once more, and if she was surprised that Aliera displayed no reaction upon learning her identity, she gave no sign of it.
"Now," said Aliera, "that introductions are made, there remains the matter of your last remark, which sounded to my ears very like an accusation . I must, therefore, beg you to make it either more explicit, so that I may respond appropriately, or to recast it in such a way that no response is called for."
"Perhaps you are unaware," said Khaavren, "That to find you down here, engaged in I know not what activities with respect to the bodies, puts appearances against you."
"Appearances, My Lord?" said Aliera, in a tone of voice, and with a simultaneous look, expressing the greatest disdain. "I have often heard that phrase, Appearances are against you,
uttered by those who wish to conceal an accusation. Who are thee people who believe appearances, My Lord? Would you care to name them?"
"I am one," said Sethra, putting her hand on the dagger at her side.