Chapter 16

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Rhenycyn rose and walked to a window, stared out at the pouring rain. "Something must be done, father. The Journey of Homage is only a short time away and there is much I wish to accomplish. Valdhon will be sure to mark and counter my every move."

"That he will, that he will." Nherycyn sounded tired, though not uninterested. The King looked to Athar and asked, "What do you advise?"

It was the first time the wizard had been asked to offer his counsel concerning Valdhon's upcoming celebration. The King's Advisor had sat quietly and thoughtfully throughout the discussion. Now, bushy eyebrows came together, giving the outward display of serious contemplation. He adjusted the cincture around his waist, then fingered the silver, inverted pentagram that hung from his neck. "I think you are correct, my Prince. Something must be done to minimize Valdhon's interference in the upcoming negotiations." Those statements shocked everyone in the room. The following ones did not. "However, I do not believe that your attendance at the Minister's birthday celebration would bring us to that end. I am afraid it would arouse even deeper resentments against you. My portents concerning this are sinister." Athar turned to the King as Rhenycyn did a slow burn. "Remember that Valdhon does not have any conflict with the crown, just the Prince. If we decrease Rhenycyn's visibility and role up to and during the meetings, we may successfully implement some of the Prince's plans without Valdhon knowing or suspecting."

Nherycyn nodded, seemed to like the idea. A knock at the door of the library interrupted them momentarily. A black robe, Azarel, one of Athar's ten wizards entered. He was flanked by two white robe wizards, Zomyel and Beleghor. They stood inside the door waiting to be acknowledged. The King turned to his son. "Rhenycyn?"

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