and turned to face Malgus. He no longer wore his mask, and his face—unmarred and handsome, like Master Zallow’s, and with a neatly trimmed goatee—wore smugness with comfort.
Malgus recalled the look on Zallow’s face when the Jedi had died, and imagined replacing Adraas’s current expression with one that echoed Zallow’s death grimace.
“Darth Malgus,” Adraas said, his false smile more sneer than anything. “I am sorry I did not announce myself before your … outburst.”
Malgus ignored Adraas and addressed Angral directly. “Why is he here?”
Angral smiled, all innocence. “Lord Adraas was giving me his complete report of the attack on the Temple.”
“Yes. He spoke highly of you, Darth Malgus.”
Adraas took the other chalice on Angral’s desk, sipped.
“He? Spoke highly of me?”
Malgus did not play Sith politics well, but he suddenly felt as if he had walked into an ambush. He knew Adraas was a favorite of Angral’s. Were they setting Malgus up? They certainly could use his condemnation of the peace talks against him.
With effort, he got himself under control and sank into the seat beside Adraas. Adraas, too, sat. Malgus endeavored to choose his words with care.
“The attack on the Temple could not have gone better. The plan I developed worked perfectly. The Jedi were caught completely unawares.” He turned to face Adraas. “But your report should have been approved by me before it came to Darth Angral.” He turned back to Angral. “Apologies, my lord.”
Angral waved a hand dismissively. “No apologies are necessary. I solicited his report directly.”
Malgus did not know what to make of that and did not like that he did not know. “Directly? Why?”
“Do you believe that I owe you an explanation, Darth Malgus?”
Malgus had misstepped again.