Chapter 38

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Chapter 38

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Book Three

No woman, no man, no child ever was deeply intimate with my father. The closest
anyone ever came to casual camaraderie with the Padishah Emperor was the
relationship offered by Count Hasimir Fenring, a companion from childhood. The
measure of Count Fenring's friendship may be seen first in a positive thing: he
allayed the Landsraad's suspicions after the Arrakis Affair. It cost more than a
billion solaris in spice bribes, so my mother said, and there were other gifts
as well: slave women, royal honors, and tokens of rank. The second major
evidence of the Count's friendship was negative. He refused to kill a man even
though it was within his capabilities and my father commanded it. I will relate
this presently.

-"Count Fenring: A Profile" by the Princess Irulan

An enraged Baron Harkonnen finds Nefud in his quarters high on semuta and demands to know where Feyd is, but Nefud doesn't know. The slave boy sent to the Baron was boobytraped. As the Baron is screaming at Nefud, Feyd appears in the doorway and says he's just come from beating the slavemaster at pyramid chess. The Baron orders Nefud to kill the Slavemaster for being a poor Chess player, immediately. Feyd starts to protest but the Baron silences him. Feyd realizes he's busted and only hopes to save his skin. They walk back to the Baron's quarters where there are signs of a struggle. He compliments Feyd on his cleverness and asks why he hasn't killed him himself. Feyd tells him that he taught him to always keep his own hands clean. One must be able to face the emperor's truthsayer. The Baron asks about the slave-gladiator in the arena years ago and Feyd admits it was a sham to discredit the Baron's slavemaster. The Baron offers Feyd a deal. If he promises to stop the attempts on his life, he will promise to retire as an advisor and leave Feyd in power. In exchange, the Baron will let him live and he'll set Hawat to watch over him. He doesn't have a choice but to accept. Feyd says Hawat is dangerous but the Baron says he has redirected Hawat's anger towards the emperor. As punishment, the Baron orders Feyd to strangle all the slave women in the pleasure wing.
They were destroyed because they lied pretentiously. Have no fear that my wrath
will fall upon you because of your innocent mistakes.

~Leto II, God Emperor
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