By Alan Burt Akers
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My half-sister is heir. ” I just looked. The rapscallion had the grace to look away and adopt a less negligent attitude, half-perched on a table. But the thought was there, hanging, ugly, in the air of the snug. What each one thought I do not know. What I thought I am not sure. “I want nothing of the emperor save what I already have — his daughter. ” My memories embraced Djanduin and what I had done there. ” And here was my son, Drak, Prince of Vallia, most wroth, fuming with rage. He flung his cloak off in a great swirl and hurled it at a chair, snatching up a pot of wine from the table.
She had been in Vondium, and Seg had called there after the meeting of the Brotherhood, arriving well before me. Thelda fussed and organized and sorted out all the tangles, she would have everybody running, and was properly reverential when she came within three doors’ distance of the sick room. I do Thelda an injustice. She had made Seg a fine wife, and she was a good and loving mother to her children, and yet, and yet, still, I could not stop myself from remarking on the silver heart in blue flowers, from time to time, jocularly, and then feeling the biggest villain in two worlds.
A magnificently-shaped woman, Thelda always looked incipiently plump, and yet was not. A disturbing trick to play on a man. “Nath attempted to treat the emperor,” said Seg. “He was rebuffed by this Doctor Charboi. He has an enormous reputation and is newly come from Loh. He is not,” Seg added, “a Wizard of Loh. But he acts with all the highhandedness of one of those— those—” “Yes,” I said. Ordinary men perforce spoke carefully when they mentioned any Wizard of Loh. “Aunt Katri was so upset,” said Delia.