Chapter 26

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Arhyvhynne's statement seemed to take all the air out of her sister. Images from Eyrmysse's fourth Trial forced themselves into her mind and the torment she felt just from the recollection of it caused her to close her eyes and draw a shaky breath. "Is that wise, Arhyvhynne?" the black robe managed to ask.

The High Witch regarded Eyrmysse with steel in her eyes. "What would you have me do?" It was not so much a question as it was a challenge.

Eyrmysse did not accept. She left the question unanswered but then got a sudden glint in her eye. "I believe you are all overlooking something," said Eyrmysse. She had her smile back in place and a black lock wrapped around her finger, but it seemed as if it was forced. "Earlier, we had decided that Uriel had been sent to Khaballe for one of two reasons. If he was sent to deliver us from the evil contaminating Khaballe, we may be making a disastrous mistake by sending him to Bhel'Ehzz. I have heard that there is a growing level of unrest in the capital. They may only be looking for someone to sacrifice, in which case we would be handing over our only hope for standing against Satarsmyt or perhaps even Thaum. I question whether we should send him."

Dhynelle and Qelharre were appalled and speechless. Wyxotte seemed surprised by the black robe's position as well. Xenyssa played devil's advocate. "You paint a rather bleak picture Eyrmysse, and you have used only one canvas. What if you are wrong?"

"Then we should question who accompanies him. If I am wrong, we are the entrusting the safety of the High Witch to the one we fear the most." Xenyssa caught the infrequent use of Arhyvhynne's proper title. "But my mother wore the grey and she trusted Uriel as does Arhyvhynne. I am convinced he is innocent."

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