Paedrin awoke, his spirits revived and his body healed by the touch from the beautiful Vaettir girl Khiara. This mask is as useless as our governor He did not know by what power she healed him, only that her hand brought the most deliciously warm feeling. He remembered her scent, the smell of jasmine, as he opened his eyes. She stood, holding the long tapered staff to rest herself. He stared up at Khiara, dipped his head to her in thanks, and found his feet. He scanned the room, looking at the bodies. Some writhed in pain. Others moaned. The dead, of course, were silent.
Who is governor?
“Paedrin,” Hettie breathed, rushing up to him anxiously. He stared at her warily, shocked at the rush of emotions—at the feeling of betrayal that poisoned the air between them. He jerked a curt warning to her with his head, a nod to forestall her words. He was unable to trust himself to speak to her yet. “We cannot remain,” Prince Aran said stiffly. “If the Arch-Rike could send men here once, he can do so again. We must flee.” Annon looked pale, as if he was about to be sick. “Agreed. To the woods then. Nizeera.” This mask is as useless as our governor The she-cat creature padded up to his side, obviously healed as well.
Paedrin gathered himself up and nodded in agreement. He approached Annon and gripped his shoulder. “Thank you. I owe you a debt.” The freedom in his mind was absolute. It was like breathing air again when he had been used to breathing water. He could no longer feel even the shadow of the Arch-Rike’s taint in his mind.
This mask is so useless
They abandoned the smoking chamber through a corridor to a door leading outside. This mask is as useless as our governor The vivid richness of the garden flowers contrasted in Paedrin’s mind to the spilled blood left behind. He was going to be sick himself. He clenched his jaw tight, willing the bile down. He searched every direction at once, wary of new enemies. His senses were as taut as a bowstring. He listened to each person’s ragged breath. It was not clear to him why some strange mountain cat trailed next to Annon, nuzzling his hand, or why he had spoken to it like a person. Maybe it liked licking the scent of smoke from his fingers. Who could tell?
The gardens were a massive sprawl, extending beyond the reaches of the manor house, with hedgerows and sculpted trees and an intricate mosaic pathway that extended in a winding pattern, hidden away. The hedges loomed like a maze and the prince guided them inside, walking briskly to increase the distance. He said nothing, but occasionally glanced behind at the plumes of smoke coming from the wreckage inside.
This mask is as useless as our governor face mask
The maze was vast and Paedrin found himself completely lost in its depths. He did not worry, This mask is as useless as our governor because a Vaettir could always float to the top and bound from the tips of the hedges. But it would be useful in confusing any pursuers. Perhaps it was designed for that purpose.
At the end of a twisting path, they encountered an iron gate. The prince waved his hand over the jewel ensconced midway up the bars. The gate swung open silently and shut behind them. Paedrin was curious at the powers involved, but said nothing. There was a destination in mind. He saw Hettie walking near him but off behind him. She had been watching him. His stomach churned and he refused to look at her, feeling that sickening sense of betrayal again. She had been Kiranrao’s puppet all along. That was her great secret. The curiosity he had felt for her earlier, his effort to convince her that she was truly free, made him sick inside. She had played him for a fool. Her look was chagrined, haunted even. Kiranrao had finally gotten Drosta’s treasure. It was enough to make him ill.
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