Gaspard chopped the revenant’s other hand off at the wrist with a savage laugh. The grand duke met Michel’s eyes and gave him a tiny nod. Then both men broke free from the revenant, turned in unison, and struck at the ancient warrior from both sides.
Michel’s blow chopped into its torso. Gaspard’s blow tore into its shoulder. The unnatural creature fell back, wisps of magic leaking from it like a bloody spray, and an arrow buzzed past Michel’s ear, hissed under the revenant’s helmet, and exploded out the back of the thing’s skull About the Author 19 страница.
An ancient skeleton, cracked and broken all over, fell to the ground bare and naked.
Michel drew himself up, knowing that the battle-fury that was currently keeping him on his feet could desert him at any moment. The other revenant stood over the fallen form of Duke Remache, but it was falling as well, frosted with ice that made even its spectral armor hiss and squeal as it cracked. An arrow lodged in its breastplate, and then a ball of fire roared through the chamber, and when the smoke cleared, the armor and the blade were gone About the Author 19 страница, and only a charred skeleton fell to the ground, crumbling into dust as it landed.
The mage-corpse floated forward, its hands raised with energy crackling between them.
Michel rushed at it, blade swinging wildly in an attempt to disrupt whatever spell the creature was preparing, but before he reached it, Celene stepped out from the shadows behind a sarcophagus and plunged her daggers into the thing’s back.
It flinched, dropping whatever horrific spell it had been prepared to unleash, and that was all the time Michel needed.
His blow came in fast and clean, slashing through the creature About the Author 19 страница’s neck. Grand Duke Gaspard came down almost at the same time, his blow chopping from shoulder to crotch.
The foul demon possessing the corpse fled, defeated, and another ancient skeleton fell to the ground.
Celene, Gaspard, and Michel stood over the thing that had nearly slain them. It looked pitiful now, a bare skeleton clad in faded rags that had once been robes. Though it was hard to say, with so many bones cruelly shattered, the skeleton looked small. In life, Michel wondered if the elven mage would have even come up to his shoulder.
He offered a About the Author 19 страница small prayer to the Maker. Whatever heathen gods this mage had worshipped in life, he had deserved better than for his bones to be possessed by demons.
Then he looked at Celene. She was looking at the skeleton as well, but with the calculated attention that meant she was thinking hard. She shifted her grip on her daggers, and her gaze stayed on the skeleton, not on Gaspard, even when the grand duke let out a chuckle that would normally have drawn her attention.
She didn’t want to alert him.
Michel saw her think it. Saw the tiny shift About the Author 19 страница of her weight that would let her blade slide so easily across Gaspard’s throat, ending a war and putting her back on the throne with no cost except a broken truce.
No one would ever know, except for Michel. He would not even need to attack, just stand idly and say nothing while Celene took Gaspard by surprise. Michel might disapprove, but Celene was hardly a chevalier, restricted by the same code of honor to which Michel and Gaspard held themselves.
But Michel was a chevalier.
“Gaspard,” Michel said as he stepped back, lowering his About the Author 19 страница blade. “Is our truce concluded, or would you speak further?”
He pretended not to see the flash of frustration in Celene’s eyes.
* * *
Briala watched from atop the sarcophagus, next to Felassan, as Celene, Michel, and Gaspard stood over the bodies of the demon-mage and the revenants. Her bow was raised, an arrow ready in her free hand, ready for whatever came next.
As it turned out, what came next was talking.
Briala lowered her bow, grimacing at the stupidity of humans. “Maker’s blood. She should have killed him then and there.”
Felassan gave a tiny shrug About the Author 19 страница. “Humans.”
Briala looked at the humans as they spoke. Gaspard stood stiff and formal, as though his battlefield honor could somehow erase the betrayal of attempting to usurp the throne in the first place. Celene had shifted her stance, a tiny step that made her look just a little smaller and more submissive. Before she became empress, she had used that stance to get the boys to do foolish things for her. Michel was practically dead on his feet, legs locked, holding himself up by force of will.
“It wouldn’t be a certainty,” she said. She had used most of her About the Author 19 страница arrows in the battle before, and she hadn’t had the chance to retrieve any from the battlefield.
“True.” Felassan hopped down, and Briala followed. “This was but the first danger. There will certainly be more. Say what you will about the humans, they’re smart enough to burn their dead.”
Briala nodded. “So rather than kill each other here and then die at the hands of whatever else guards the eluvians, we ally with Gaspard, get to the central chamber, and then decide matters there?”
“It makes sense.”
“Yes.” Briala looked at the humans again About the Author 19 страница. Celene had lived too long behind her mask. Her tiny smile gave away that she was getting what she wanted. “But that isn’t why they’re doing it.”
“Probably not.” Felassan looked over at Gaspard’s allies. “Tell me what you saw of Mihris.”
Briala blinked at the change of subject, then looked over at the First of Clan Virnehn. She had recovered from Felassan’s magical attack, though she was still on her knees a dozen yards away, near the unconscious human mage. Her staff lay on the ground beside her. “Her staff glowed white before, but it About the Author 19 страница’s red now.” She squinted. “And it is the same staff. Is that common?”
“No. Though I suppose she may have stolen some magical trinket from her now-dead clan.” Felassan chewed thoughtfully on his lower lip. “That might explain why Thelhen’s apprentice was suddenly tossing off such impressive spells.”
Which, Briala noted, Felassan had countered quite handily. “I’ve only seen you control the elements before now. I had no idea you could do that.”
“Really?” Felassan cocked his head. “I suppose we didn’t run into many mages during our time together. That’s about the About the Author 19 страница only thing that spell is good for.” Felassan shook his head, smiling, but his eyes were far away. “When you live long enough, you have the time to study spells you might only need on rare occasions. Most of the humans are happy enough just to throw fire or lightning.”
Briala was about to reply when Mihris coughed and looked up at them.
“Michel,” she said.
Celene and Gaspard were at the far end of the room. This, then, was for her to handle.
At a dozen yards, Briala could put a shaft through the mage’s eye nine times out About the Author 19 страница of ten, but they were among the sarcophagi, and a single roll would put Mihris behind cover, with time to prepare a spell that could kill them all.
Briala lifted her bow, an arrow nocked and ready. “Celene and Gaspard called a momentary truce, Mihris. Reach for that staff, and I will consider you to be breaking it.”
Mihris glared at her. “I do not expect you to understand, flat-ear. My clan is dead because of Michel.”
“Yes,” Briala said without lowering her bow, “what would a flat-eared city elf know about chevaliers killing her About the Author 19 страница loved ones?”
“How did Michel kill your clan?” Felassan asked. “The storm and lightning was mine. Not that I want your vengeance aimed at me, necessarily…”
“Imshael.” Mihris spat the name. “Michel freed Imshael, and then Imshael destroyed my clan.”
“Your clan imprisoned an ancient demon,” Felassan said. “You might want to aim that vengeance at Thelhen, for being such an idiot.”
Mihris smiled bitterly and continued as if Felassan had not spoken. “I only live because Imshael found Michel’s choice not to kill me amusing … and because the demon respected my choice to kill him in return.” She About the Author 19 страница looked at Michel, and her fingers twitched toward the staff.
“You can try,” Briala said, “but I need him. You’ll have an arrow in your heart before you reach it.”
Felassan looked at Mihris with interest. “Still, though, you have a choice. You could hope to survive Briala’s shot, maybe use your spirit magic to drag a little more energy out of these corpses and heal yourself. Given the power you wielded earlier, you might live long enough to see Michel die before I kill you.”
Briala spared Felassan a glance. “Is there any particular reason you’re About the Author 19 страница encouraging her?”
“Yes.” Felassan gestured politely with one hand and raised his staff in the other. “Mihris?”
She stared at him with absolute hatred, her eyes darting to the staff, to Michel, to Briala and the arrow that was already ready to fly.
“Briala, Felassan, hold!” Celene called from across the chamber.
“Mihris,” Gaspard added, “I have agreed to a truce. We travel with them as allies against whatever else this Maker-cursed crypt throws at us.”
“Once we reach the central chamber, we will settle this dispute with a fair fight,” Celene said. “The winner will control the About the Author 19 страница eluvians.”
“You said I could kill him.” Mihris pointed at Michel.
“And now I’m telling you to wait,” Gaspard said, “or by my sworn oath as a chevalier, I will cut your head off and dump your body back with the rest of your clan.”
Mihris clenched and unclenched her jaw. “I should never have trusted you.” She picked up her staff, slowly and carefully, and slipped it back into her harness. “You shemlen break any deal except with each other.”
“Good girl,” Gaspard said. “Now tend to Lienne and Remache, if you please.”
Briala looked About the Author 19 страница at Felassan, who shrugged.
They had the truce, as she had expected. And it made sense, as Felassan had noted.
But Briala did not entirely disagree with Mihris.
* * *
Celene lost track of time as they made their way through the paths between worlds.
The pace felt grueling, at least for the humans. Felassan, Briala, and Mihris always somehow pulled ahead without seeming to walk any faster than Celene or Michel, and they were always waiting in the ruins that lay on the far side of the eluvian, waiting for Celene’s ruby to guide the way and awaken the eluvian About the Author 19 страница that would lead to the next path.
Remache had taken a wound in the fight against the dead warriors, and though Lienne healed it as best she could, he was still clearly pained by it. Lienne herself was still shaken from the blast that had knocked her unconscious, and in addition, she seemed unaccustomed to any real exercise. They both struggled to stay with the group, glaring daggers at Celene when she offered to slow down.
Whenever they reached another eluvian and came into an ancient tomb for a few hours of precious rest and relief from the pain About the Author 19 страница of the paths, Remache and Lienne retreated to talk to each other in quiet whispers, glaring at Celene and Gaspard in almost equal measure. In Remache’s case, at least, the glare might have come from the fine new scar that graced his face, courtesy of Celene’s dagger.
Regardless of the cause, Celene guessed that neither of them would yield graciously if Gaspard lost the duel with Michel. Either she or they would die before seeing the light of day again.
It was a relief to have simple enemies, Celene found. She needed no pretense with them, no About the Author 19 страница concern for their feelings or second-guessing of their motivations. She would kill them before they killed her, and that would be that.
Gaspard, meanwhile, marched with military precision and made polite conversation as they walked the otherworldly paths.
“Amazing to see what the elves did,” he noted, gesturing at the painful light of the path. “Messes with your eyes, though. Wonder how the elves put up with it.”
“The elves see it differently.” Celene did not precisely want to speak with him, but he was making an effort to be polite in honor of their truce. Besides, there was About the Author 19 страница always the chance that he could let something slip in casual conversation.
There was the chance that she could let something slip in that conversation as well, but Celene was willing to risk it. As Gaspard himself had noted, he could never defeat her in a battle of words.
“Any idea why?” Gaspard asked. “The big eyes? Or some kind of spell?”
“Likely the latter,” Celene said with a shrug.
“Fascinating. Your mage said we were moving faster than it seemed, too. Think about that. Faster than if we were riding, and with no one on the surface About the Author 19 страница the wiser. Oh, what a military mind might make of that, as much as I’d hate trying to sleep down here.” He chuckled. “Ser Michel, where would you send your forces?”
Michel glanced at Celene cautiously, and she nodded. “First to Val Royeaux, much as you would, my lord.”
Gaspard raised an eyebrow. “Well, it makes sense for me. It’s a masterful strike at the heart of Celene’s power. Bit careful from your side, isn’t it?”
“I am the empress’s sworn protector, my lord,” Michel said politely. “And the true power of the About the Author 19 страница eluvians is moving faster than a horse or a ship. We could afford to take a defensive first step, provided it was quick, to dispel any rumors and gather enough forces to launch assaults on your strongholds.”
“Ah, point taken,” said Gaspard, and looked over at Celene. “You chose well for your champion.”
Celene smiled. “And you might remember that they are my forces, though I agree with my champion’s assessment. Would you like to know where I would send them second?”
Duke Remache, pale and sweating, snorted. “As though you would tell us truthfully. This is a fool’s About the Author 19 страница game.”
“Hardly, Remache,” Celene said with an elegant sideways glance that would have cut him dead at court. “This conversation distracts the mind most pleasantly from the discomfort of the paths. And besides, when we reach the chamber and the keystone, we will settle this. Whoever loses is unlikely to survive. I lose nothing by telling him my plans, which spring not from the noble tradition of the chevaliers, but from whatever trifling understanding I may have gained in my twenty years of ruling the largest empire in the known world.”
Gaspard grinned. “Well said, cousin. And About the Author 19 страница where do you strike, then? My home in Verchiel, I imagine?”
Celene shook her head. “Lydes.”
As Remache sputtered in outrage, Gaspard threw back his head and laughed. “Maker’s breath, Celene, I’d forgotten how well you played the Game.”
“Destroying Verchiel leaves you with nothing to lose…”
“No, no, I see it now. So you destroy the homes of Remache and any other lords who took my side. Terrorize them, show them what happens to any who oppose the throne.” Gaspard nodded. “Instead of a bold hero fighting to avenge his home, I’m a danger About the Author 19 страница to any lord who allies with me. I might as well be walking around with the plague.”
“I am pleased that you are able to appreciate the wisdom of Celene’s plan to destroy Lydes,” Remache said coldly. “A pity I cannot be so clearheaded with respect to the destruction of my city.”
“It’s a good plan, you must admit,” Gaspard chided. “And besides, Remache, I don’t plan to lose.”
“Even still,” Celene said, “that isn’t using the eluvians to their true potential. Look at them.” She gestured up ahead, where the elves were distant silhouettes in the About the Author 19 страница twisting purple light. Even as she tried to look, the light turned her eyes away, and when she looked again, the elves were gone. “They move even faster than we do.”
Now Gaspard frowned. “An army of elves, Celene?”
“A force of some sort, at least,” Celene said. “Scouts, skirmishers, able to be anywhere in the empire quickly and unseen.” At Gaspard’s shocked look, she smiled. “Consider the idea my gift to you, should you survive to use it.”
“Majesty,” Michel said, “that seems too much power to be trusted to the elves. Perhaps one or About the Author 19 страница two as a guide in a large force of men, but if they were united, grouped together, they would get ideas.”
“They already are grouped together, my champion.” Celene frowned. “And they had no shortage of ideas at Halamshiral.”
Gaspard snorted. “Please, Celene. When we put the elves in the slums, we don’t put them in there with silverite armor and warhorses and hope it never occurs to them to cause trouble. This?” He stared at the runes glowing painfully bright on the path. “This is enough to tempt anyone. And you, cousin, think entirely too much of the elves.”
“I About the Author 19 страница suppose we shall see,” Celene said with a smile.
Gaspard didn’t smile in return. “You had to burn a good chunk of Halamshiral, and still you think them worth your trust. That Dalish clan consorted with demons to get access to these mirrors. The elves will never be happy, Celene. Not in our forests or our slums…” He gave her a hard look. “… or our beds. Not as long as Orlais is the empire of men.”
Celene opened her mouth, ready to argue the point. The elves deserved the chance to show that they could About the Author 19 страница be trusted, and when she gave them that chance, she knew they would be grateful. Ancient Tevinter had built its empire on the backs of slaves, and history had shown that such grudging and unwilling labor never produced the greatness that could be achieved by citizens who believed in their cause. Elves serving Celene out of love, passionate and loyal to her and what she represented, would give Orlais the strength it needed to weather the coming storm.
But in the end, it was pointless to argue—if Celene won later, Gaspard would be dead, and if she lost, she About the Author 19 страница herself would die. No matter which way the battle ended, she doubted she would convince Gaspard that he was wrong.
She sighed, fell silent, and hurried to catch up with the elves up ahead.
* * *
For Briala, the next several days passed in a blur of magic.
When they were awake, they walked the paths. Briala, Felassan, and Mihris stayed ahead. No matter how careful they were, they always looked back to see that the humans had fallen behind.
Each time a path ended at another eluvian, they explored the half-collapsed ruins that lay beyond to ensure that About the Author 19 страница they were alone. Then came a meager meal from Gaspard’s rations and what little food Felassan had taken from the Dalish, and then, finally, it was time to rest.
And then Briala was with Celene again. They tumbled into each other’s arms with time for little more than a quick embrace, and when they slept, Briala dreamed of great elven spires reaching to the heavens, of cities built on magic, where elves laughed and traded and fought and loved. When Felassan nudged her awake each morning, her mind was clear and alert, while beside her, Celene was About the Author 19 страница groggy and winced as one who had drunk too much the night before.
It made Mihris laugh to see the shemlen, whose name in Elvish meant “the quick ones,” move so slowly. Briala, who knew what it was like to lose family to violence, let the Dalish girl have her bitter joke.
And it was easy enough to ignore her and bask in the beauty of the paths, now that she was used to it, to listen to the subtle song that called to her with each step. It felt as though she were finally where she was supposed to About the Author 19 страница be. The light, the sound, even the peculiar gray dimness of that little world that lay off the path between the eluvians, all of it felt like home in a way that Celene’s family estate never had. Briala let it lull her into a pleasant waking meditation as they walked the shining roads.
Even the rooms that connected the eluvians were marvelous in their own way, though none were as large as the one where they had fought the corpses. They passed through chambers filled with urns and more sarcophagi, and even great bedchambers where the elves who About the Author 19 страница had not died but instead gone to the eternal sleep of uthenara had lain for their long rest.
When they came to the first of these rooms, Felassan stopped and looked at the ancient corpse half-lying under satin sheets. To Briala, it looked no different from the ones they had fought on that first terrible day, but Felassan’s face was twisted with grief.
“Unnecessary,” he said quietly, and Briala, curious, came out of her reverie and looked.
The body lay in a resting position, with clean white bedding pulled up carefully over the chest, leaving only the head About the Author 19 страница and shoulders exposed. It had not awakened to die, nor struggled. Though the skin was withered down to worn leather pulled taut over the bones, nothing had picked those bones clean of flesh.
But there, at the throat, Briala saw a single thin cut, along with the tiniest trace of old bloodstains on the pillow.
“For mercy?” Briala asked. “A quick death, so that he would not starve with the servants?”
Mihris sneered. “Stupid flat-ear. Those who found the peace of uthenara needed no mortal sustenance. They could sleep for all eternity and never starve.”
“Almost, da’len,” Felassan About the Author 19 страница said. “Most of those who entered uthenara could survive on a simple potion. Water, with honey and herbs added to keep the body alive. Servants would brush it across the lips of the dreamer at the full moon, and then smell the naked wrist of the dreamer at the new moon. If they smelled the perfumed scent of the herbs, it meant that the concoction had been drawn into the body, and they would keep feeding the dreamer. If the wrist was bare of scent, then it meant that the dreamer had learned to draw sustenance About the Author 19 страница from the Fade itself, and would never need to be fed again. Those true dreamers were placed in beds of purest white, signifying the dreamer’s achievement of perfection.” He smiled and shook his head. “Or so the old songs say.”
Briala looked at the white satin sheets. “Revenge, then.”
“Such a waste.” Felassan shook his head. “This one could have helped.”
“How?” Briala asked. “Their empire was falling. You told me that those in uthenara could visit people in dreams. What would they say, beyond wishing us luck in the alienages?”
“You know nothing,” Mihris said. “From the Fade, the ancients About the Author 19 страница could see our whole world. They could tell us where our enemies would be, and in what number. Where the Veil was thin, they could send spirits to do their bidding and help us.”
“They could kill their enemies as they slept!” Felassan’s face shone with excitement. “They could grant wishes to dreamers whose souls were pure! Or they could lie there and do nothing except inspire overly romantic Dalish folktales.” He smirked.
“We will never know what they could have done for us.” Mihris spat on the floor. “Since some foolish servant cared more About the Author 19 страница for revenge than for the good of the people.”
Briala glanced over. “I’m sure you’re better than that, Mihris.” As Mihris looked at her, anger twisting the tattoos on her face, Briala smiled. “Though I know you blame Ser Michel for the death of your clan, I’m certain that since Empress Celene is the best hope for the elves, you will stay your hand against her champion.”
Mihris clenched her fists, and Briala thought for a moment that fire glittered in her eyes. “You are gutter trash, flat-ear.”
“And you have never seen the gutters where About the Author 19 страница we fight to survive,” Briala said without heat. “Your clan could have helped the elves in the cities, taken in the strays, as your Keeper said. Instead, you rode around in wagons and searched for gifts left by our ancestors. You summoned demons and brought your doom upon yourselves.”
Mihris snarled and stalked to the far side of the room without reply.
“That was cold, da’len,” Felassan said, looking after the mage.
“So was she.” Briala sighed. “How many times did I pass you information, thinking I was working with them? And all the while, they cared only for About the Author 19 страница themselves.” She shook her head. “At least Gaspard is honest about it.”
“And Celene does not care only for herself?”
“She cares for…” Briala looked at the body in the bed. “She cares for me. And she will help the elves to make me happy.”
Felassan smiled. “Gaspard is not the only one who is honest.”
“Celene has known nothing but power and luxury all her life. Little wonder she needs help to see the plight of those in need,” Briala said, looking back at the eluvian they had come through. The humans still had yet to join them About the Author 19 страница.
“You know, there’s an old story about Fen’Harel.”
“I’m shocked, hahren.”
“You wound me.” He smiled. “In the story, Fen’Harel was captured by the hunting goddess Andruil. He had angered her by hunting the halla without her blessing, and she tied him to a tree and declared that he would have to serve in her bed for a year and a day to pay her back. But as she made camp that night, the dark god Anaris found them, and Anaris swore that he would kill Fen’Harel for crimes against the Forgotten Ones. Andruil and About the Author 19 страница Anaris decided that they would duel for the right to claim Fen’Harel.”
“And what happened?” Briala asked.
“What do you think, da’len?” Felassan smiled. “You have heard enough of my stories over the years.”
Briala thought for a moment. “Fen’Harel found a way to trick them both and escape.”
“He called out to Anaris during the fight and told him of a flaw in Andruil’s armor just above the hip,” Felassan said, nodding, “and Anaris stabbed Andruil in the side, and she fell. Then Fen’Harel told Anaris that he owed the About the Author 19 страница Dread Wolf for the victory and ought to get his freedom. Anaris was so affronted by Fen’Harel’s audacity that he turned and shouted insults at the prisoner, and so he did not see Andruil, injured but alive, rise behind him and attack with her great bow.” He smiled again and looked at Briala. “Anaris fell with a golden arrow in his back, badly injured, and while both gods slumbered to heal their wounds, Fen’Harel chewed through his ropes and escaped. You have heard enough of my stories over the years, da’len.” His stare settled upon her, calm About the Author 19 страница but unyielding. “Perhaps it is time you wrote your own.”
“I’m not a god.” Briala felt foolish even as she said it, and Felassan’s chuckle made her flush.
“That is for the stories to decide.” He broke off as Celene, Gaspard, and the rest of the humans finally stepped through the eluvian, looking exhausted and pained. “For now, go to your empress.”
* * *
Celene’s head ached by the time Felassan called for a rest at what she assumed was the end of the day. The room they found themselves in was a small circular chamber About the Author 19 страница with pallets arranged in a circle. In the middle of the room, a fire blazed cheerily in a great metal bowl that had no fuel Celene could see.
“I found food in a chest by the wall,” Briala said, and Celene looked over to see her toasting what looked like a fresh piece of bread over the fire. “Felassan said that it was safe, preserved by magic somehow.”
“I’ll take it over more trail rations.” Gaspard dumped his gear and began unbuckling his armor. It was still scratched and dented from their fight.
“What was this chamber?” Celene asked About the Author 19 страница, sitting down by the fire. She was not cold, but despite its magical origin, the natural firelight was blissfully welcome to her eyes after so much time when the only light sources were the painful glare of the path or the otherworldly glow of the mages’ staffs. “And to cook over that fire … Are we violating any customs of the ancient elves?”
“None that matter,” Felassan said cheerfully.
“In this chamber, the somniari performed the great rituals,” Mihris said, glaring at Briala and Felassan. “Sacred herbs were thrown into the eternal fire, and the smoke guided the elven About the Author 19 страница dreamers into the Fade.”
“That’s a lovely story, Mihris.” Felassan smiled. “It may also have been a place where they cooked. Or just as likely, a place for the dreamers to be protected while they slept, rather than trusting the servants not to kill them in their beds.”
“Prudent,” Gaspard said, pulling off his breastplate with a grunt.
Celene thought of her magical teapot. She had always thought of it as a simple bit of elegance, a privilege of her position. After walking through crypt after crypt and finding so many ancient elven mysteries, Celene could understand the peasants About the Author 19 страница who would be fearful of such a trinket. She herself would not trust in magic so easily once she was back on the throne.
Nevertheless, she stretched out her hands toward the fire, taking in the warmth.
Then Briala was beside her. “What are you thinking?”
Celene shifted to lean against Briala. They both smelled of armor that had seen too much battle, of sweat and blood and cookfire smoke and clothes that had been left out in the rain. She had never imagined she could find Briala beautiful even so, but after a long day’s journey, she was About the Author 19 страница ready to curl up with her and just forget everything.
“I am thinking about this wondrous place,” she said. “Though I do not see it with your eyes, I can still see so many possibilities.” She glanced over at Briala, smiling. “After we reclaim Orlais, of course.”
“Of course,” Duke Remache said, glaring at them both. He was working on his armor, like Gaspard. Michel was doing the same, hammering as he did each night on the dents that remained from Mihris’s deadly spell.