Chapter 23

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The Prince didn't believe his ears. "What?" he yelped. He was a little out of character due to his level of alcohol consumption.

Dhonlaa walked up to Rhenycyn stopping no more than a foot away from him. "You did not expect this, did you my Prince? You thought that once you rid yourself of my father no one would oppose you. Well, you have underestimated me. You have always underestimated me. Now you have me to contend with. That is, unless you plan to have me murdered as you had my father."

Before Rhenycyn could answer, the flash of a short sword came up and rested against Dhonlaa's throat. It was held by Vhalkhette. "The words you speak reek of treason," the warrior said. "I suggest you retract them before they become the last words you speak."

Dhonlaa was noticeably shaken and obviously taken off guard. She tried to muster some courage but kept looking down at the sword resting against her throat. She spoke first to the Prince, who seem stupefied by what was transpiring. "Tell her to put it away, Rhenycyn." Then she turned ever so slightly to Vhalkhette. "Surely you would not harm me in public, in front of all these witnesses." Then, almost in desperation, "Do you not know who I am, that my father was the eldest member of the King's Ministry?"

"Whether the blood that flows from your severed head is red or blue makes little difference to me. Apologize. Now." Vhalkhette increased the pressure of the sword on Dhonlaa's throat.

Rhenycyn recovered from his initial shock and immediately intervened. "It is all right, Vhalkhette." The Prince put his hand on the sword and carefully moved it away from Dhonlaa. "It is completely understandable that Dhonlaa is still suffering from her father's tragedy and is not thinking clearly." He gestured with his head to Dhonlaa.

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