Sometimes, you have to make your own destiny.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Chapter 11, Pt. 1

I just realized I forgot to post a Chapter 10 epilogue. I'm so sorry! I'll get the epilogue posted later this week.

Silay lay on the bench that also passed for a bed in the small cell, watching the torchlight from the hall outside flicker against the ceiling. There was a pad on the bed, but it was so thin it might as well not be there. The cell itself was dark, the only light coming through the grate in the window. A bucket under the bench/bed served as a privy. Silay sighed. At least it was day without walking or, even worse, horseback riding.

The shadows on the ceiling shifted as a shape blocked out the light. Silay sat up just as she heard a key enter the lock. A guard opened the door, glanced quickly around the room, then stepped back, revealing another person in the hall. Edo.

“Thank you,” he said, stepping around the guard and entering the cell. As he did so, he pressed a small coin purse into's the guard's hand.

The guard grunted. “One hour.” He shut the door and walked away.

Silay remained sitting, glaring at Edo as he set down the small stool he had been carrying and sat down. He met her gaze. “Hello, again. Sorry about all this.”

“Sorry?” Silay raised her eyebrows.

“I did try, you know.” Edo set his elbows on his knees, leaning forward. In the flickering light, Silay could just make out his expression. He looked upset. “Dysen was just going to arrest you all this morning. I convinced him to at least hear you out.” He sighed. “I guess he didn’t want to listen.”

“I guess not.” The silence in the cell seemed to drag out. Finally, Silay couldn’t stand it any longer. “Edo, what is going on here? Why were we arrested? And why were we separated? I could understand them arresting Riya, maybe, but you all rescued us in Turvew. You brought us here, invited us in. So what happened?”

Edo shifted, tipping the stool back so he was leaning against the wall. “I’m not entirely certain, to be honest. I’m on the Council as the city’s head magician, but I’m the youngest member, so they don’t tell me a lot.”

“What do you know?”

“We rescued you because it was the joint decision of the Seers’ Conclave that you three were important. But Dysen was against it. He felt you all were just causing trouble, and no one wanted Riya back inside the city.”

“So why not just arrest us on sight? You did that to Talis.”

“Because officially, none of you have committed a crime against Sojan. Well, except Riya.”

“Which doesn’t really answer my questions.”

Edo leaned forward, and the front legs hit the ground with a dull thud. “The problem is Sojan, and its Council. We’re a big city. Possibly the biggest in Ohicink. And a lot of people here feel that it would be better for Ohicink if we were in charge.”

Silay frowned. “But that’s not how it works. Each city has its own government. And then the different guilds make decisions about trade and stuff.”

“That’s how it is here. But not in other countries.” Edo shrugged. “There’s a lot of greed in the world, Silay, and it seems to me that it’s often the people with the most power who want to gain more of it. Sojan has a lot of power.”

“But we aren’t a threat to it!”

“Keep your voice down.” Edo glanced at the grate. He dragged the stool closer to Silay. “Listen, that’s why I came. I think you are a threat to Sojan, or at least in Dysen’s eyes.” His voice dropped lower. “A plague in Ohicink would leave it weak. So would a war. The other cities would need protection.”

“And they would look to Sojan for it.” Silay’s voice was grim as she picked up on Edo’s train of thought.

“Exactly. It could be just the opportunity Dysen has been waiting for. That’s why I came. I contacted your Seer. She didn’t know the rescue had been successful. The Council had told her we couldn’t find you. There are no delegates coming.”

“But surely she can See what happened. I mean, I know she can’t see me but…” Edo was shaking his head as Silay talked, and her voice trailed off.

“You all are shielded. I would have noticed it sooner, but I was exhausted from breaking the spell on Riya’s collar. Someone, probably one of the guards who came with me, spelled Riya and Jarlen. They’re invisible to magic now.”

“So no one knows we’re here?”

“They do now.”

“So they’re coming to rescue us?”

“No.” Edo shook his head. “I’m rescuing you. Then we’ll go to them.”

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