Chapter 15

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"You would do that to your own sister?" Arhyvhynne asked incredulously. She could not mask the deep hurt she felt.

"It is you or I, sister." Eyrmysse spat the last word. "Will you stand against me or not?"

Arhyvhynne broke into tears. "Oh, Goddess," she cried. "Oh sweet Goddess…"

Eyrmysse hoped that Arhyvhynne would confront her. If she acquiesced, it would not be easy. She helped her sister to her feet, looked at her with violet eyes that held no mercy. "It would make it easier if… at least you would have a chance."

Arhyvhynne drew in a deep breath, then sniffled. She thought of her second Trial with Satarsmyt and her fourth at the argentree. She thought of the words of Qhen Rhyvhelle and the Dweller. She thought of her mother. She thought of Uriel. With Eyrmysse. You must learn to do the necessary. At that moment she recalled her first Trial and knew she could defeat Eyrmysse at her own game. And she knew she was not deceiving herself. But she did not entertain the thought. She would not compromise herself. She must follow her Path just as Eyrmysse must follow her own. She lifted her head high and a glint of steel, reminiscent of her mother, entered the sapphire eyes. She held her sister's gaze for a moment. Then reluctantly, "Do what you must." Arhyvhynne turned her back on her sister and walked to the altar. She took the golden blade in her hands, turned and waited for Eyrmysse.

The black robe approached cautiously. Eyrmysse did not believe that her sister would turn on her, but now was not the time to make foolish assumptions. The stakes were too high.

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