Chapter 12

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"I know. We all did—in our own way." Ghemella paused before telling Uriel the inevitable. "Uriel, the Council is waiting for you."

The realization bore down on him that his champion and protector was gone. He would face the Council alone. The fear he felt was apparent his eyes.

Ghemella led him wordlessly to the Council Chamber. She was about to knock and announce Uriel, but instead turned and faced him, looked directly into his eyes. "I want to thank you for what you did yesterday."

Was it truly only yesterday? Uriel thought. He remembered Khyrhyelle laughing about this very topic. He smiled sadly. "Nothing anyone else wouldn't have done."

"Still, you were the one that did it. Thank you for saving my life." The witch held his gaze for a moment, exhaled a deep breath, then turned and knocked on the Chamber door.


The Council was not overly impressed with Uriel's explanation of his whereabouts from the previous evening. There were no witnesses and no note from the High Witch. Lhynette could, however, vouch for the ward. She had been sent to verify Uriel's claim and found lingering traces of the magical barrier.

The old feelings of mistrust had risen to the surface. While nothing truly implicated Uriel, nothing exonerated him either. None of the witches seemed willing to take his side. Certainly Dhynelle and Qelharre would not, as they were his chief accusers. Wyxotte as usual remained noncommittal. Lhynette might have been a possibility would the victim not have been Khyrhyelle. But deprived of the presence of the High Witch, she was being very cautious. Eyrmysse, who could have endeared herself to Uriel with her support, instead was vindictive. If Arhyvhynne had been herself, she would surely have come to his defense. But she was overwrought with her loss, totally detached from the events transpiring around her.

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