"Tor? Torienne." The swat to my shoulder caught my attention.
"Whoever is at the door, you have my approval to do great harm to them."
"I believe I may." I rose from the mattress and pulled a tunic over my shoulders. "What need you?" The servant near to the door paled as I opened it. "Have you a tongue?"
"I have." He seemed unable to shape the words. "I think."
"Then what caused you to interrupt my rest?"
"Sol." He paused. "Soliumant bid me fetch you. He is to interrogate the prisoners in one hour."
"Then in one hour I shall meet him. Bid Tominent to meet us here in one hour. He shall direct us to the prison chamber."
"I shall. Is there other needs you have?"
"None that I cannot fill here. My gratitude for the asking." I closed the door after my answer was understood. "The servant seemed in a strange manner. It was if he swallowed his tongue."
"Tor, you realize you opened the door clad only in my tunic, do you not? It is strange he did not depart immediately for the gods." She laughed for a long moment. "What was his tale?"
"We have been bid meet Soliumant to interrogate the prisoners in one hour." I ignored her jest. I saw not the humor in it.
"An hour?" She remained on the mattress. "Have we time for a bath?"
"We have time for much activity. Wish you continue?"
"If you do not, I shall harm you myself."
"Perhaps we should continue this exercise in the bathing chamber. It would combine two pleasurable activities."
"Then we shall." It was a good plan. We were fully attired and sitting near to the table when Tominent entered.
"Is all well?" He asked as he joined us near to the table.
"Aight. Though I would not bid Yleminea and Torienne remain in a chamber alone. Soliumant may need search for a new chamberlain." Salenia laughed. "My shehala is a jealous warrior."
"She offended me and attempted to seduce you. Would you not have reacted in a similar manner?" I had knowledge of the answer. She may have struck first and questioned the departed. "I trust in you, Salenia. I trust not in her."
"I cannot trust in her either. I heard all the conversation in the stairway."
"What conversation? Did Yleminea attempt to damage the bond?" Tominent seemed interested in the answer.
"She did. Salenia can relate the tale as we journey to the prison chamber." I stood. "I am weary of the subject."
"Then I shall escort you to the prison chamber. I wish to view the interrogation as well. I wish to hear the tale also. I have known Yleminea since my birth. She is but a season older than I. I had not thought she would attempt to step between you."
"Then I shall explain as we journey." Sal pledged as we departed the chamber.
Salenia did as she pledged. I listened with interest as she related the tale. It seemed similar though the perspective illustrated the differences between the two of us. While I had not trusted Yleminea since our introduction, Salenia had not lost her trust in the new chamberlain until I had entered the chamber.
"I had not thought Yleminea would be so bold or so foolish." Tominent shook his head in wonder.
"Yleminea, destroyer of households." I had not thought my comment audible, though it appeared to be, both Tominent and Salenia laughed.
"I shall speak to her, Torienne, though it seems as if I shall not be required. It seems as if you threatened her well."
"I seem to share a portion of your nature in that respect." It was the first I had laughed since. "Though I would appreciate if you would speak to her of it. I believe I may have created an enemy in the chamberlain. It would not do to have such if we are to continue relations with this realm."
"Aight, you are correct, shehala. I believe you would not wish me to have speech with her?"
"Salenia, you need not my permission. If you wish to have speech with her, you may do so. I do not own you." The phrasing of her query confused me. "Nor do I wish to."
"I know, Torienne. I was merely inquiring. It seemed proper." She shrugged her shoulders. "I trust in you and in your desires."
"I believe I feel ill." Tominent halted his progress and leaned against the corridor wall. "You seem to have a great ability to make one ill from your speech." He grinned. "Shall we continue?"
"If you feel you are well, cousin." I lowered my tone. "Wish you to remain in this land, perhaps I shall recommend to Soliumant you are a performer of humor."
"If I were to remain, perhaps I would appreciate it."
"You are cousins and not siblings?" Sal jested. "You seem as brothers."
"Well met, my friends. Shall we interrogate the prisoners?" Soliumant seemed in good temper. "I was informed of your intoxication last eve and delayed the process until you were able to attend."
"Our gratitude, Jilhsaed." I replied. He was in company of others. It would break protocol to call him by his name. "What have you planned?"
"I merely view the process and perhaps ask questions when needed. The guards and Siveruian attend the actual questioning. We shall wait until Siveruian returns. He wished Yleminea attend to learn of her duties." He opened the chamber door and preceded us as protocol demanded. "What think you of Yleminea, Torienne?"
"I think she shall perform her duties with great ease. She seems appropriate for a chamberlain." It was all I could answer. My reply contained not my feelings, merely an impression of her ability.
"I wish speech with you alone, Torienne." He waved the others to the corridor. "Wait until I bid you enter."
"If you desire it so, Jilhsaed." Tominent and Salenia bowed low before him. The guards did as well.
"I know of your encounter, Torienne. Yleminea hastened to my chambers and informed me of it and the incident at the tavern. Threatening a ranking cordermer is an offense of this realm." He claimed the only chair in the chamber. "I have performed my duty and warned you of your offense. Now I need hear of your tale. I believe there was much lacking in Yleminea's tale."
"I wish not create dissent in your court, Jilhsaed."
"Torienne, we are alone. Had I wished a formal inquiry into the encounter, Siveruian, Tominent and Salenia would be present. This is between friends. There shall be no reprimands, for clashes of personality are common. I wish only to ease ill feelings."
"As you desire it, Soliumant." I leaned against the wall and looked to him. "In truth, Tominent, Iolaine and I consumed the evening meal at a tavern frequented by guards and hired swords. Perhaps we consumed more ale than we should have, it matters not. We were intoxicated when Yleminea and Salenia joined us. They escorted us to our chambers. It was all that occurred."
"Perhaps last evening. What of the occurrence in the stairway?"
"As a result of our ale intake, we bid the mediacios heal us of the effects."
"They did so?" He seemed surprised. "You have impressed them greatly, for they would not heal even mine."
"Regardless, they did. When I returned to my chambers, Yleminea seemed inappropriately close to my shehala. We argued and I bid her depart. After Salenia and I conversed, I departed the chambers. I wished to ride near to the river. Yleminea awaited me in the stairway." I repeated the conversation as well as I could recall it. He asked no questions until I completed it.
"Then you had right to threaten. I would not wish any to attempt step between Kierian and I. Perhaps I would do likewise." He laughed. "I will speak to Yleminea concerning this encounter. You are guests in this realm and hold high rank. It is unwise for a chamberlain to offend any cordermers regardless of rank."
"My gratitude, Soliumant. I wish not create an enemy nor do I wish to create trouble in the court." Though I regretted not my threats, I knew I had voiced them in anger. Had I calmed myself before the encounter, perhaps I would have handled it with greater ease and better temper. In truth, I doubt it.
"It is well, Torienne, or at the least it shall be so. Bid our companions to enter. The guards should soon join us with the prisoners."
"Aight, Jilhsaed." I grinned as I opened the door. "Come, the conversation has ended."
"What is amiss?" Salenia inquired in our native tongue. "Have we caused trouble?"
"Nothen. It is well."
"We await Siveruian and the prisoners. They should join us in moments." Soliumant stood. "Bid a servant fetch more chairs. We have need of them." The guard near to the door bowed low before departing.
"Jilhsaed, we have brought the two you wished questioned."
The two prisoners were bound by metal. The metal ropes were attached to a hook near to the floor of the chamber. Three guards stood with drawn swords near to them. The prisoners had not been cleansed, though they appeared in good health. I pitied them not. They had earned their punishments.
"Shall I begin?" Siveruian inquired as he entered with his daughter. Yleminea smiled broadly until she realized I was present.
"Please." Soliumant reclaimed the lone chair.
"We know of the conspiracy and its results. You shall be granted your lives if you speak of all you know." Siveruian walked near to the two bound to the floor. "If you wish to relate your tale, do so now. Begin by relating the beginning of the conspiracy."
"I shall relate no words." The one near to Siveruian answered. The other merely nodded.
"If you relate no words, then you shall not live."
"Life as a prisoner is not a life we wish to live." The other answered. "You would deny us the light of the sun, the food of our tables, and the arms of our wives. We would be worse than slaves for even slaves may feel the sand beneath their feet. We have not that ability."
"If you choose death, than you shall not have the ability to salvage your soul." Yleminea answered.
"We would have speech with the gods. A moment of prayer is more often full of passion than a prayer that takes seasons to give voice. If we live, our wives may not join with another. They shall not have one to provide for them." In truth, it seemed reason for death.
"Perhaps you should have given thought to the matter before you joined the conspiracy to usurp the seat of power." Yleminea showed no compassion.
"We did only as we were bid." The first protested. "It was our duty to attend our faelida's wishes."
"What were your faelida's wishes?" I could not hold my tongue.
"We shall not speak. We desire death." They refused to yield.
"Jilhsaed, have I permission to make them speak?" Yleminea seemed as if she desired it in truth.
"But a moment, Jilhsaed." I walked near to him. "We need information as they require assurance their families shall be provided for by another. It is my understanding a woman may not join with another unless her husband has met the gods, am I correct?"
"In most instances it is true. There are exceptions that require a priest to approve a dissolving of the bond." Soliumant answered.
"This would not be approved?"
"It would not. Only when violence or infidelity has occurred can a joining be declared that it did not occur." Siveruian replied. "Have you a thought, Torienne?"
"I have. If perhaps we pledge their deaths, they shall speak their knowledge. If we bargain their knowledge for a death without pain, think you they would agree?"
"It seems reasonable. Perhaps we should offer. Jilhsaed?"
"Offer it. I had not thought on such a resolution. Torienne, wish you still to return to your homeland?"
"Aight. I shall after the joining ceremony."
"Jilhsaed, with respect, it shall not punish them for their crimes." Yleminea protested.
"It shall. There is no greater punishment than death. They shall not make again their mistakes. They shall be judged by the gods for their crimes and such punishment is beyond our understanding. It is both punishment and mercy. I approve the offer." He returned into the chair's embrace.
"Jilhsaed, I object."
"Yleminea, the Jilhsaed has spoken his approval." Siveruian reprimanded his daughter. "If you wish death, we shall oblige one with little pain if you speak of your knowledge." He turned to the prisoners. "It shall be a beheading by sword if you agree."
"I agree." The first looked to his companion. "We agree."
They spoke a tale we believed with ease. The detail included embellished it not. It was a tale of truth and validated the information we had been gifted with by others. Johianei had aspired for the seat of power since before Soliumant's birth. He had assassinated the Jilhsaed's brother in an attempt to seize the rank of heir. Imbuement had been in disgrace for joining with one of low rank. It was his only fault, though Johianei attempted to exploit it.
Long had the merchant of viniare planned the coup. He had watched for ones matching our description after hearing the prophecy the old man had invented. He had attempted but once before the death of the Jilhsaed. Tominent's mother had halted the attempt and saved the Jilhsaed. It seemed kirgeurs had twice marked the realm.
The prisoners did only as bid by Johianei. They stole slaves and escorted them to another, though they knew not who. They neither saw nor had speech with the unknown man. They had no thoughts of his identity. Coinage for the slaves and servants stolen was delivered as though viniare had been sold instead. In truth, each servant or slave delivered was accompanied by a barrel of viniare. They did little more and knew less.
"You have spoken all you have knowledge of?" Siveruian stepped forward. He had been conversing with Soliumant; though we knew not what words they had given voice.
"Then we shall make good our pledge. You shall be allowed speech with a priest and your wives, if you wish. On the morrow as the sun touches the sand, you shall die." Soliumant stood. "Return them to the chamber in the prison. Yleminea, accompany them and ensure they are given food and a priest if they desire it so."
"I shall, Jilhsaed." She seemed not content with her duty.
"Siveruian, accompany to my chambers. All else are bid return to their duties."
"Our gratitude, Jilhsaed." Salenia bowed before waving Tominent and I to precede her. "You did well, shehala. Kayla would be pleased."
"I would not desire such a fate either."
"Nor would I. What good is a warrior imprisoned for the length of their years." Tominent seemed disgusted. "I would wish death. There is more honor, perhaps."
"Perhaps, though I wish not to die in battle unless the gods decree it so." Sal answered. "I wish to die amongst my family, content on my mattress."
"It would be a good death." In truth, I agreed and wished it so. It is a wish I still possess.
"We have but an hour before the evening meal. The ceremony to honor us is on the morrow, is it not?" Tominent inquired.
"I believe it is the day after, though I know not." The days seemed out of order.
"It is the morrow. Last eve it was two days. This day is the first."
"In truth, shehala?"
"Aight. We have no duties this day. We need only fit our attire." As we entered the stairway, the alarm began to sound. The voices raised in pain and anger led us again to the prison area.
"Dagthen. Are all in this realm mad?" I asked as we entered the corridor near to the chamber for interrogation.
"Not all, Torienne, though at this moment I believe you correct." Tominent unsheathed his sword. "They have Yleminea."
In truth, they did. She was surrounded and held to the wall by one of the prisoners we had questioned. The guards who had been bid return the prisoners were lying slain at her feet. Three other guards assisted the prisoners. There were five of them and three of us. It was a fair match.
"Stay or I shall send her to the gods." The prisoner who had accepted our proposal held his sword to her throat. Never had I seen one as pale as she appeared.
"And ruin my enjoyment?" I asked. "I had planned on the same. Do not deny me that."
"You wish to end her life?" The man seemed surprised. I needed not turn to know my shehala and our companion were also surprised.
"Aight. I greatly desire it. She attempted to seduce my shehala. I share not well with others. Allow me to end her life. Go. I shall not recall this incident." Fortune was with me. Salenia seemed to sense my thoughts. She remained silent. I believe she signaled Tominent to silence as well. "I grant you freedom for her life. It seems fair to me."
"You are mad. Though you seem kin to us in nature. Here, take the woman." He shoved her to me. "I wish to see you end her life."
"As you wish." I held my sword to her throat. Yleminea was near to panic.
Fortune remained. She lost consciousness as I slid the edge of my sword near to her throat. I let go my hold on her and quickly ended the life of the man near to me. They knew not my deceit until he lay at their feet.
"Barbarian." The man spat at me. He attempted to flee. I could not follow. Three more remained.
I had not the opportunity to watch Tominent and Salenia dispatch their opponents. The man who faced me was skilled, though it was not enough. He died well. It was then we heard the screams from the gardens. We ran to the balcony. We were but a floor above the ground.
"Remain here and tend to Yleminea. Explain the strategy to her." I wished them not accompany me. There was but one way to the ground if I wished to halt the man.
I retreated several paces into the corridor before running to the railing surrounding the balcony. A small jump placed me on the railing. A large step placed me on the ground. I had timed it well, though not as well as I could have. I hit the man and rolled with him on the pathway. I felt the bone in my forearm above my wrist snap at the impact.
"If what I heard was true, you have lost use of your sword arm." The man seemed pleased.
"It is but a small matter. How wish you to die? Shall I remove your head, pierce your heart, or perhaps remove certain limbs and allow you to watch as that which holds your life force seeps into the earth?" It was an empty threat. I wished not end a man's life in such a manner. There is not honor in torture.
"As if you can defeat me with one hand. None use the hand of darkness to bare steel." He answered in a confident tone as I rolled to my feet and grasped my sword with the hand near to my heart.
"I do. This is my battle hand." I held up my wounded arm before placing it behind my back. "This is my practice arm. I am skilled with both, though I am better with this one." In truth, I was. In my homeland, the hand of darkness was not used for much. Those born with greater strength in that hand were taught use of the other. Kayla believed not in such traditions. I had been taught to use the stronger for battle, though often I did not. It would not have been well to favor one over the other. I used both in practice; though mindful of custom, I used the hand of light in battle.
"Then you are an evil barbarian." He seemed frightened.
"Nothen. I am not evil nor am I a barbarian. You have three choices. We may continue this conversation, you may die, or you may surrender. What wish you?"
"I wish freedom and I shall have it." He unsheathed his sword. "How do you wish to die?"
"In my shehala's arms."
I know not why the man had fled. He was greatly skilled with his blade. He had long studied the art of the sword and his skills were read with ease. As good as his lessoning had been, mine had been the best. As he lunged forward, I turned and allowed my blade to pierce his heart. It had been one of the longest battles I had fought since I had earned my mark. Only practice and two opponents during the coup had tested my skills as well as he did.
"Are you harmed, shehala?" Salenia and the others asked as they approached.
"I shall live, keytheda."
"Torienne, I have seen a display of your skills. It seems my father was not accurate in his estimation. You are better than he claimed." Yleminea seemed much impressed and contrite. "I stated my apologies before. I do so now with humbleness and sincerity. I shall not give you cause for anger again."
"Does the fierce warrior frighten you, Ylemi?" Tominent mimicked the voice of a small child. "She should if she does not. Torienne is a great and loyal friend, though as an enemy she would be formidable."
"This I believe with ease. I shall attend to this. You have been harmed, Torienne. Perhaps your wife should escort you to the mediacios."
"My gratitude for the offer, Yleminea." I could not be grateful for more at the moment. At the least, I knew she would not again attempt to step between Salenia and myself.
"Come, Tor. Let us tend to your arm. It appears broken." Salenia wrapped an arm around my shoulder. "Tominent, get you the other side. I believe she needs assistance, though she will not request it."
"You know me well, Sal." I attempted a grin. I failed as it changed to a grimace. It was the first I had broken a bone. I had not thought there was pain greater than the wound to my shoulder or the effects of ale. I was not correct. My arm pained me greatly.
"Aight. Though tell me, when did I become wife?" The tone in my shehala's voice indicated I was near to trouble.
"It seemed an adequate description when I was attempting to halt Yleminea's desires for you." It seemed a weak excuse though it was truth. "I view you as such. Should I not?"
"In truth, keytheda, I view you as such." She laughed. "Let us hasten. Attempt to remain awake. You need not dream yet."
"I shall." I wished at that moment only for dreams. It seemed the pain would not follow. "In this land I have been pierced by needles and swords, I have hit my head against heavy stone chairs, and I have injured muscles in my hand and ankle. I wish to return."
"Torienne, you sound as if you are a babe." Tominent seemed amused.
"As would you if you had broken an arm by attempting to fly as a bird and land on your opponent one floor below." Salenia sounded as if she were in bad humor. "We have need of your skills."
"Again? Torienne, you are a welcome sight, though perhaps I see you a bit too often." The mediacio seemed amused at my return to the chamber for healing.
"You seem to echo my thoughts. Perhaps when we next meet, it shall not be when I am harmed."
"I would wish such an encounter." He led us to a chair near to the mattresses. "It seems not bad, though you shall not have use of it for a day, perhaps two." A warm energy seemed to flow from his hands like water. It spread from my fingers to my shoulder. "Attempt to make a fist."
"Aight." Though the command puzzled me, I did as requested. There was no pain, though there was little feeling. "I feel only a little sensation in this hand. Shall I regain full use of it?"
"You shall, though as you age it shall inform you of weather changes. It would not be noticeable if you remain here, though perhaps in your homeland it shall warn you of storms and snow." He handed me a bowl of broth. "Drink this. If you do not regain full feeling in it before the sun sets two days hence, return here. The break caused some damage to the nerves beneath the skin, though I have repaired all I am able."
"My gratitude." The broth was bitter. "Tell me, does any broth you make taste pleasing?"
"Few appeal to injured ones." He laughed. "Go. You are able to return, though I suggest you rest this eve and perhaps the morrow."
"The ceremony is on the morrow. I shall rest as I am able. With fortune I shall meet you again without need of your skills."
"I shall ensure she rests." Salenia reassured the mediacio. "Our gratitude, master healer."
"None is needed. May your rest be pleasant."
"And yours." Tominent replied as we departed. "I suppose we should meet the others for the evening meal."
"Nothen. We need know how the prisoners attempted their escape."
"Shehala, you are to consume the meal then rest."
"We need information. I am well. I shall rest when our duties have been completed."
"I shall seek out Siveruian and inquire for the information after the evening meal. I shall return and relate all I learn." Tominent offered a compromise.
"It is a good plan. I agree."
"It appears I have little choice. I trust in you, cousin." In truth, the broth seemed to ease the ache and my thoughts. It seemed as if little mattered. The broth was more potent than ale.
"Torienne, have you been harmed?" Tre stood as we entered the chambers.
"Aight. I have broken my arm, though it shall heal."
"What occurred? We heard the bells. Iolaine went in search of you." Lyliane stood as well. "Come. Relate the tale as we consume the meal. I believe it shall be interesting."
"It is an interesting tale, sister." Salenia ensured I claimed a chair before she seated herself at the table. "Torienne decided to attack an escaping prisoner by plummeting one floor and halting on his back. She broke her arm as she landed."
"Brave though foolish, Torienne. Fortune was with you. You could have broken your neck with ease." Lyliane seemed concerned.
"In truth, it was well I did not break it for you, shehala. It was full of danger."
"It seemed not so when I thought of it." I shrugged my shoulders. "It is well. I shall heal fully."
"Torienne, you wish me not to climb enclosures." Sevianth commented.
"Aight. You shall not until you have come of age."
"Yet you can jump from balconies? Was it entertaining?"
"Nothen. It was not." I wished him not to think it a great deed. "In truth, it was foolish. Lyliane was correct. It was full of danger as well. I did so only out of need, and I may do so for I am not in my youth." It was not quite accurate. I had not come of age, though I had more years than he. He was in my care, he was my son, and it was my duty to impose such restrictions. "None in this household may do such a deed again."
"Aight, Torienne." He seemed disappointed.
"Tell me, how is the virithen?" It seemed wise to redirect the conversation.
"It is well." He sounded pleased. "It grows in haste."
"Know you how large they grow?" Sal asked as Lyliane filled our plates.
"It is written they are able to grow as large as a horse." Tre answered. "I discovered a scroll containing a tale of people who rode virithen as though they were horses."
"I have heard such tales." Tominent captured our interest. "It is said they live beyond the reaches of the Jilhsaed, though they inhabit this realm. I have not met one with knowledge of them from more than tales."
"Such a thought seems strange. Let us hope our virithen grows not so large. I would know not where to keep it." In truth, I knew not if it would frighten the horses.
"Nothen, Torienne. It must grow as its nature commands." Rul corrected. "Not all understand such."
"You are correct, cousin. If it is destined to grow so large, we shall not halt it." In truth, we had not the ability nor would I wish it.
"We can return with it then?" Sevianth seemed nervous. It was as if he expected a negative answer.
"Aight. If it survives the journey." I wished not to raise in him a false hope. I knew not if it would survive the journey. If it displayed signs of ill health, we would release it before we departed from the desert.
"My gratitude, Torienne. I shall care for it." He pledged. It would do well for him to care for it. It would teach much of responsibility.
"Know what duties we need attend for the ceremony on the morrow?"
"Nothen. Siveruian shall inform us this evening. He detained me as I was returning." Iolaine answered as he entered. "He wishes us remain here and await him."
"Then I shall await him as well. Perhaps he shall inform us of the escape." Tominent suggested. "We shall all learn at the same moment."
"I am gladdened. I wished not to miss the discussion."
"I had thought you would not wish to miss the discussion. It is said you halted the prisoners attempting to escape, though you were harmed. What occurred?"
"I shall explain when Siveruian arrives." I wished not discuss the event again. I had been admonished enough for my actions. I could hear Kayla's admonishments as well. It had seemed necessary to halt the man before he could depart the palace. "Know we when he wishes to join us?"
"He said not." Iolaine shrugged his shoulders. "I know only he wished join us after the meal. He seemed in a serious temper."
"Perhaps he was. Yleminea was close to being harmed in the encounter." Sal seemed thoughtful. "Perhaps he was upset Torienne offered to kill his daughter herself."
"It seemed as if they would dispatch her if I did not intervene. I could view no other course to take, shehala." In truth I could not. I had viewed the scene again in my mind and the conclusion was the same.
"Nor could I. It seemed an inventive resolution." Tominent answered.
"I would wish hear the reasoning behind such a move." Siveruian appeared at the doorway with no hint of his presence until he spoke.
"It seemed appropriate." I replied.
"Then your deception was only a deception?" He looked to me. "You do not wish my daughter's blood?"
"If she does not." Though the boots we wore in the palace had soft soles, the kick to my shin still stung. "Nothen. I wish it not."
"Soliumant informed me of the occurrence in the stairway as did Yleminea. I appreciate you did not exercise your right to challenge her. I wish my daughter to remain whole." He paused. "Though I must confess she requires time to mature. She is still in her youth, though she realizes it not."
"She shall become a great chamberlain." Salenia commented, though I knew there were more words she wished give voice. There were more words I wished give voice.
"She shall when she matures." Tominent gave voice to his doubts. "She shall have need to mature in haste."
"Time from the palace seemed sound reasoning to protect her. I believe now, it may have been a disservice to her." Siveruian admitted. "I believe you wish to know how the prisoners attempted their escape."
"We do." In truth, I was much interested. "You wish to hear of their capture?"
"Yleminea was much impressed with their capture. She informed me of the details. It seems the two guards escorting the prisoners to the chambers were attacked in the corridor. We know not who the others were, though they appeared to be native to this realm. They were dressed as guards, but the uniforms were of an old design. It is thought they were let in from one wishing this release."
"The prisoners knew of the rescue?"
"It seems they did not. Yleminea related their surprise at the rescue. They wished honorable death instead of life in prison."
"This is a strange realm." Sal commented. "It seems yet another occurrence we need discover before we depart."
"Aight. We have no need as yet." I was wearied. "We shall discover the cause on the morrow unless you wish to precede without me."
"Are you wearied, shehala?"
"I am. The mediacios are full of stealth. They have placed herbs to enhance weariness in their broths. It is not fair." My eyes seemed heavy.
"Go dream, keytheda. We shall not discuss much without you present." Sal turned to me.
"My gratitude, shehala. I believe I shall seek my dreams."
"May the gods guard them, Torienne." Tominent tendered the evening greeting.
"And yours as well. I shall see you on the morrow." How I managed
to cross the chamber and fall into the mattress, I know not. I know only I walked
the paths of my dreams with heavy tread.
Conclusion in part 30
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