Chapter 7

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Athar, the King's Advisor, sat on the other side of the end table, a book in his hands, finger marking a page. From a distance it might be difficult to differentiate between King and Advisor. But only from a distance. Though Athar was at least twice as old as Nherycyn, he looked healthier. He was about the same height as the King but he carried his weight better. Though the wizard's hair was white, it was a bit longer than Nherycyn's and he wore a flowing beard, both contrasting with his bronze skin. Intense brown eyes peered out from beneath dark, shaggy brows. Except for his wizards regalia, Athar would have looked the epitome of a caring, old grandfather. He wore his chosen colors: black leggings, tunic and a matching robe embroidered with various magical symbols in silver. His black pointed hat was also adorned with silver symbols and ornate silver wings. Amulets hung from chains around his neck, pouches from his cincture. He smiled and nodded at Rhenycyn.

Ellycyn turned from a window and leaned against the wall, her hands propped on the sill. The Princess was pretty in a plain way. She was not one who delighted in elaborate costume. Ellycyn wore a long, pale blue dress which made her look a little too thin. A white shawl was loosely draped over her shoulders. Her dark blonde hair, a little shorter than her brothers, was in a small pony tail. There was still a trace of redness in the hazel eyes. Her face was a mask as she regarded Rhenycyn and then her father.

The Prince dropped into a chair across from his sister. He considered apologizing for his tardiness but decided against it. He had resigned himself to the fact that whatever this concerned, it would be an exercise in futility. Rhenycyn spoke to his father. "What has caused you to summon us, especially on a day of rest and worship?"

"It is exactly as you said," the King responded.

Rhenycyn wore a look of confusion. "What?"

Nherycyn, already irritated at having to wait for his son, issued an audible sigh of impatience at his lack of comprehension.

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