Chapter 23

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Dhonlaa looked at the Prince, then at Vhalkhette, then back to the Prince. "My father's murder has been quite difficult for me. Next time I make any accusations I will support them."

"Yes, I suggest that you do," the Prince retorted.

Dhonlaa swiftly gathered her supporters, those whom she had convinced that she should occupy Valdhon's seat, and departed. Rhenycyn knew by those that left with her that she would be successful and a mixture of anger and depression washed over him.

Rhenycyn questioned Vhalkhette. "Whatever possessed you to do that?"

"The Prince should not be addressed in such a manner. Nevertheless, I am sorry if my actions have caused you any undue complications."

Rhenycyn looked closely at the beautiful blonde warrior. The sight of Vhalkhette sobered him and he quickly forgot the earlier embarrassment with Fhyndhella. "No, not at all. I doubt that this has exaggerated matters much. Most likely, the situation would have eventually ended up the same," the Prince lied. He took her by the hand which she eyed suspiciously. "Tell me about yourself. How did one as lovely as yourself come to be so talented in the art of defense?"

Vhalkhette politely withdrew her hand from his. "Do not mistake my loyalty for anything other than what it is. As a citizen of Khaballe I am bound by my honor to defend you. Though I am sure you think it so, there is no statute that requires me to give myself to you." The warrior turned and went off to seclude herself in a corner, leaving the Prince by himself.

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