Chapter 6 (33rd of Elgatan in the year 6198)

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When there are two, there cannot be one

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When there are two, there cannot be one. When there are two, they will be mirrors. Where there are two, the world will be at war. Only when there is one, will all be calm.

-Seer Dolastati, A Vision on Water 13

Cassandra adjusted the heavy shawl draped over her shoulders, her favorite blue silk nightgown unable to provide enough of a defense against the chill creeping into her

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Cassandra adjusted the heavy shawl draped over her shoulders, her favorite blue silk nightgown unable to provide enough of a defense against the chill creeping into her. Sitting at her work desk, the warm air that should have flowed from several grates in the stone floor during the winter months was noticeably absent. It became apparent the staff in the furnace room had fallen asleep at their post again for the fifth time in as many days.

Fingers massaging her temples, Cassandra peeled away a pair of wire-framed reading glasses as she stretched her neck and pushed strands of her shoulder-length red hair back over her ear. The light from the oil lamp by which she worked flickered.

She yawned as a knock thudded on her chamber door.

"Enter." She turned her attention from the assorted papers littering the top of her desk to a teenaged boy who cracked open the door and peered in. "What is it?" She snapped as he stood there, waiting. It was late, and the many hours of hard work Cassandra had put in today, starting before the sun had even been up, left her exhausted.

"Sorry to disturb you, Sub-General Nightwing." The boy, dressed in a green messenger's tunic with black trimmings, had a hesitant quiver to his voice. "But Lord Hedric requests your presence."

Cassandra cocked an eyebrow. "At this hour?"

The boy cleared his throat. "He did say 'immediately'."

Cassandra ignored the summons. "Tell him I have no time right now. Just because he does not sleep, does not mean I do not. If he wants these troops reassigned, whatever it is will have to wait." She turned back to her work, once more altering the heavy shawl she wore.

"Lord Hedric informed me to tell you he plans to move those units out within two days," the squire added.

Cassandra bolted out of her chair and the force was enough that it fell over backward into a plush rug on the stone floor. This interruption was not something she wanted to deal with, and she was tired of Lord Hedric's incessant demands that just seemed to keep coming and coming over the course of the past month.

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