Chapter 18

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The night that followed was a rough one for Uriel. His apprehension of being waylaid by the Dark Ones during his slumber was unfounded, however, he did suffer through terrible nightmares. He was especially troubled by one in which he set The Black Lodge on fire and as the pages of the book burned, so did his Soul. Another involved Eyrmysse. The black robe alternated between pleasing and brutally punishing both Uriel and Arhyvhynne. He didn't know if it was worse being the victim or the spectator.

Unwilling to be subjected to more of the fiendish nightmares, Uriel stayed up after he awoke from his latest ordeal. It was still very early in the morning and not knowing what to do with himself, he once again went off to immerse himself in the witches' library.

He entered the room, slightly concerned for whatever reason that someone would be there. But he found it empty. The eerie candlelight seemed to affect him more than it did just a few hours previously. Uriel walked through a couple of the aisles with marked disinterest, then returned to the black robe section. He told himself that he was just curious to see if anyone had picked up the book. But the truth was that he felt drawn to it in some way.

He found the book where he left it, but made no move to pick it up. A candle flame wavered on a shelf as he stood rooted to the stone floor, mesmerized by the cover. Once or twice he began pick up the book but stopped himself. "Nothing wrong with a little curiosity," he rationalized aloud and finally stooped down to retrieve the tome.

"Are you certain?"

Uriel jumped at the sound of the voice. He turned around startled, put his hand to his chest. "Jeez," he gasped, taking a few deep breaths, "you really scared me."

"You have not answered my question."

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