Chapter 28

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Uriel was surprised that he had gained notoriety outside the Towers and Bhel'Ehzz. "I'm afraid I am," he replied after a moment.

Lyrqyldyn considered Uriel for a moment but did not embellish on what he knew or how he knew it. They were seated in the dining area of the Sovereign Prince's quarters, partaking of a dinner of elven specialties and delicacies. Lhelqerra, Syrqyndyl and a few other elven dignitaries were there along with Arhyvhynne, Ghemella and one of her healers. The conversation had been strained thus far. Since their earlier episode, Lyrqyldyn had not been overly congenial with the High Witch.

The travelers had retired shortly after Ghemella was taken to the healers. They got cleaned up and rested for a few hours before they reconvened at dinner. All were surprised to be joined by Ghemella, who the healers instructed to eat a full meal to aid her in regaining her sustenance. Although the Guardian had been cured, it had come at a high cost. She had lost her left hand to amputation. The healers tried to compensate the handicap by attaching her prized curved dagger to the stump of her wrist. But it did little to comfort her. Ghemella remained sullen, speaking to no one, feeling inadequate as a Guardian and fighting back accusations that the healers had unnecessarily taken her hand. But the remainder of the group (and Ghemella deep down) knew that a healer had no higher or other intention than to do what was best and necessary for a patient.

Over dinner Arhyvhynne explained their circumstances in arriving at Qyntes'ah, including the disappearance of the Rune of Destruction and the summons by King Nherycyn. Though Uriel felt somewhat uncomfortable over the topic of conversation and the discord between Lyrqyldyn and Arhyvhynne, he had begun to feel more at ease than he had since his departure from the Towers. While Lyrqyldyn kept his thoughts and opinions to himself, his son had gone so far to say that he thought the allegations were ridiculous. Through Syrqyndyl's support and belief in his innocence, Uriel had come to like the elf and dismiss his earlier doubts and suspicions, especially where Arhyvhynne was concerned. That was due more in part to the presence of Evhyqelle than anything else, however.

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