"We are still a target," Tatiseigi said. "A large target and damnably predictable in our course."
"Very much so, nandi," Bren said, "as you made yourself on the way here, did you not?"
"And paid dearly!" Tatiseigi declared, his face drawn with pain as he moved the injured arm in its sling. "This was a Kadagidi assault! They knew that I personally would travel by automobile. First they destroy my own vehicle, and now they have shot my neighbor's full of holes!"
"Shocking," Ilisidi said dryly. "But more than the Kadagidi are involved."
"They knew, I say! They had every reason to know that their neighbor was in that vehicle, and ignoring all past neighborliness and good will, they opened fire!"
"Perhaps it was the Guild instead, nandi," Bren interposed, seeing his only window of opportunity, perhaps, to avoid a very messy feud between the Atageini and the Kadagidi--the burned stable, even the fatalities out on the grounds and the damage to the house might be accepted as the result of high politics, in which bloodshed was not unknown; but to think the Kadagidi, his neighbors, with whom he had such a checkered history of dangerous cooperation, had made a particular target of a vehicle they had every reason to think carried the lord of the Atageini--that, that had clearly offended the old man on a deeply personal level. "We might not have cleared all of them in the--incident."
Tatiseigi gave a noisy cough, a clearing of this throat, and one could see that new thought passing through his head: Tatiseigi was above all else a political creature. He had likely had a dose of painkiller, not to mention the discomfort, and he might not be at his sharpest at the moment. It looked very much as if he had given Tatiseigi a thought worth weighing: Not the Kadagidi, but an ambitious would-be Guildmaster who had made one overconfident move, brought Assassins into his lands, and failed. There was a situation of national scope, from which he could mine far more than from a local border feud.
"The paidhi is not a fool, is he?" Tatiseigi asked Ilisidi.
"Never to our observation," Ilisidi said. "Why else do we favor him?"