Chapter 23

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Earoni's eye sees all

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Earoni's eye sees all. Even in the night, She watches over the world.

Wonders 2:3

King Turon paced around in the flickering lamplight of his study

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King Turon paced around in the flickering lamplight of his study. It had been hours since the guests had left from the Yule Celebration and only about another hour until sunrise. He stopped his strides and stared out tall windows across the sea beyond.

"What would your father say?" he muttered.

Sheala sat quietly in a chair behind him, her hair a shamble as she toyed with the hem of her dress. Just like the last time she had seen him. At that time, she was being punished for disobeying him and destroying a valuable Fimmirran artifact from during the Pre Dawn Age while playing tag with her sister through the palace halls. That was a long time ago, but she had not forgotten.

She had not felt this uneasy in years, and Sheala thought she had grown stronger. She was wrong.

"Tell me," her uncle continued, "why didn't you just come back? You obviously had the means. I know you and Cass were young at the time, but eventually you could have gotten back here. Found some way to contact me. Maybe not right away, but eventually." He sighed. "When word came to me of the massacre, and that there were no signs of either you or your sister, I sent three dispatches of troops to scour the Relmishian countryside."

"You obviously weren't too successful in your search," Sheala snapped halfheartedly.

"Damn it, Sheala! Many of those troops never did come back!" He turned to stare down the young woman. "For Earoni's sake, Eliza was my sister. Your father was one of my closest friends. I never let myself be forgiven for not finding out what happened to the two of you."

"Well," Sheala stood, proudly displaying herself before him.. "Here I am. Fourteen years later. Fourteen years of scraping, begging, fighting and stealing my way back." With a flourish of her hands she emphasized again, "Here I am."

"Sit down!" King Turon's voice blasted like a dragon's roar.

The tone in his voice caused the young thief to realize who she was talking to. Frowning, Sheala retook her seat and mumbled something unintelligible.

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