Chapter Twelve

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Dedicated to Sophitz_KOTLC thanks for the songs. (^_^)

Unedited.

"No...it's not goblin." Sandor said as he handed Sophie the puzzle back. Sophie set in the middle of the circle that her friends made.

Everyone stared long and hard at the puzzle between them. What secrets could it possibly hold? Did they have a right to open it? Could it be some kind of secret weapon? Should they try opening it?
What would they find if they could open it?

"I say open it." Tam said. "Me too." Biana said. Linh nodded. "No." Sophie and Fitz said at once. "What if it belongs to the gnomes...or the dwarves, we would be invading their privacy...and violating the peace treaty." Sophie said. "But what if it belongs to the ogres." Biana said. "They are still part of the peace treaty Biana." Fitz said. "I agree with miss Vacker. We could find out all those secrets, the traitorous and vile ogres are hiding." Sandor said. "Sandor, like it or not, ogres are still intelligent beings who are indeed part of the peace treaty." Sophie scolded.

"We still have one vote." Linh said staring at Dex who was holding the catche, turning it over and over in his hands. "Even if..and I'm saying if, I vote on opening it...I'm not sure if I can." Dex said. "But I do believe gnomes and dwarves should be allowed to keep their privacy, but if this did belong to the ogres we could find proof of whatever they're up to."

"Dex, for all we know they could be up to trying to rebuild their city, which we all single handedly destroyed. They might be up to doing something to violate the peace treaty, but they deserve their privacy as much as any of us." Sophie said. Making Sandor scoff. "Do you not remember Dimintar claiming you be punished publicly or he'd start a war?" Dex glared down at his hands, his face burning with shame. His circlet had been used against Sophie. "That was my own fault. I'll admit it...and I'll admit it again if have to. I broke a fundamental rule and my punishment was my own. Sandor I broke a fundamental rule, my punishment was only brought on me because of my own foolishness." Sophie said.

"You weren't taught-" Sandor started. "No, I wasn't, but I was warned and I knew better." Sophie clarified. "Wait, what are you guys talking about?" Tam asked, making the room fall silent. Sophie glanced at Dex, who was slouched down, his shoulders pointed down as if he was in defence mode. Sophie could practically feel the guilt rolling off him. "Don't think like that Dex." Dex's head jerked up. "Did you just-"

"I don't need to read your mind, to know what you're thinking." Sophie said. Dex sighed and started turning the catche over in his hands. Sophie looked at the confused twins. "I tried reading King Dimintar's mind, at the planting of Ken-" Sophie had to clear her throat. "Councilor Kenric."

"The council publicly punished me, and after it turned out I- my theory was right and King Dimintar was trying to enslave the gnomes."

"How'd they go about publicly punishing you? I mean you have an impenetrable mind, you're an inflictor and I can't think of any other way they'd punish you." Tam said. Dex seemed to shrink. "They tried using a circlet that could restrict my abilities...but it didn't work, it kept me...uh...scatter brained...and fuzzy, but I could still transmit and hear thoughts, and inflict."

"Wait what?" Fitz and Biana asked. "Well...somebody tried to...lessen the pain, and while doing so made the circlet weaker." Sophie said. "Really?" Biana asked. "It still hurt, but not as much as it first did." Biana and Fitz both shivered. "You completely collapsed." Biana whispered. "She did?" Linh asked. Fitz nodded. "Let's stop talking about this." Sophie said, as she realized just how guilty Dex felt. "Who made the circlet?" Tam asked his eyes hacking into Dex. "That's not important. What's important is coming to a decision on this puzzle." Sophie said. Dex glanced up at Sophie. "Sorry, but I think we should open it."

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