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TMOHD Chapter 25: Master Eremis in Earnest

 
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 5:53 pm    Post subject: TMOHD Chapter 25: Master Eremis in Earnest Reply with quote

We open the chapter after the High King's Monomach has once again tried to kill Terisa.

Quote:
Sitting cross-legged on the rug, Terisa clamped her hands to the sides of her head to keep her mind from flying apart. She didn't understand; none of it made any sense. Master Eremis. Gart. What were they doing to her?
"Terisa?"
And why was Geraden so angry at her? He was her friend. Why was he so suddenly blind to her pain?
"Did he hurt you?"
He was her friend. He must have a good reason for snarling at her as if she had broken his heart. She struggled to concentrate. The room was full of disaster. She had to think.


Guards come running to Terisa's room. Geraden directs them to the secret passage in the wardrobe. Then the Castellan comes, spitting fire...

Quote:
"Don't torture yourself, Geraden...she isn't worth it..."


The Castellan demands cooperation this time. Geraden tells him that the Monomach has once again tried to kill them...but they had been saved by Eremis, who had been there with Terisa. Terisa tells them that Eremis had arrived while she was asleep, but Geraden seems to feel no better. Geraden tells Lebbick that when he came to Terisa's room, the guards thought she was alone. The explanation for both Eremis and Gart entering her room had to be the secret passage in the wardrobe, and that Eremis must know about it because Saddith, his lover, told him about it.

Lebbick tells them he will wait for more explanations for the meeting of the Congery. He then leaves them alone, in a room filled with misunderstandings and pain. Sad

Quote:
He hadn't shifted his stance an inch. Dim gray from the windows and dull red from the hearth lay along the stone lines of his cheeks and jaw, his straight nose, his strong forehead. Nor a muscle move. His hair curled into darkness.
His eyes were closed.
This was her fault: he was in so much pain because of her. Because he had found her nearly naked with Master Eremis. Because he had seen the Master touch her so intimately.
"I didn't invite Master Eremis here. He came while I was asleep. That's why I'm dressed like this.
"He wanted me to choose between you."
A muscle twitched in Geraden's cheek, a knot of pain.
"I think he's probably the only man in Orison who has a chance to save Mordant. he has the ability to make things happen." That was the limit of her honesty. "But I chose you."
His eyes popped open. A subtle alteration of the planes and lines of his expression made him appear both astonished and suspicious. His voice continued to shake.
"Your robe was open."
"He did that. I didn't."
For a long moment, he reamined motionless - and yet, in spite of the fact that he wasn't moving, she seemed to see the entire structure of his face being transfigured, the whole landscape behind his eyes and emotions reforming. he didn't smile: he wasn't ready for that. But the potential for a smile was restored.
Slowly, he unbent his arms from his chest. Slowly, he reached out his hand and stroked her cheek as if to wipe away tears she hadn't shed.
Unable to hold back, she flung her arms around him and hugged him desperately, as if he could cure her shame.
Smile Smile Smile Smile

Terisa sends Geraden away to visit his brother. She dresses in her new clothing, delivered by the tailor, and goes to meet with the King, the Tor, and Adept Havelock. the three are drinking Rostrum wine, from a small village famous for their vino. Terisa tells them that she is worried for Geraden, because Master Eremis has said that he wishes to ruin the younger man in front of the Congery. Mad She calls Eremis a liar, but admits that she has no proof. The King says he trusts Geraden, but not Terisa, as he is sure that she lied to him about Myste's whereabouts. He threatens, in fact, to throw her into the dungeon over the matter.

Quote:
"No!" The cry burst from her before she could stop it. "I'll tell you. I'll tell you anything. Geraden needs me. If I'm not there, he'll have to face the Congery alone."


To Terisa's astonishment, Joyse isn't at all angry when he learns where Myste actually went -- and he says that he is glad his daughter has done something he can be proud of. And he tells Terisa he has deliberately kept her ignorant to keep her alive and safe. Confused But he refuses to tell her who his (and her) enemies are. Confused

After being sent away by Joyse, Terisa meets Geraden for dinner in her rooms. It doesn't take long for the Congery to send for Geraden. Terisa joins him, even though she has not been invited.

Castellan Lebbick is at the meeting, along with Nyle, of all people. Geraden is shocked to see his brother, and even more shocked when Eremis states that Nyle will support the accusations against Geraden! Shocked

Quote:
"We hold this meeting to consider a question which I will not attempt to soften." His manner suggested that he might be looking for a place to hide, yet his voice was firm. "As you all know, Master Eremis claims that Apt Geraden is a traitor to the Congery and to Orison, to King Joyse and to Mordant. He also says that Apt Geraden will make the same claim of him. We will hear both speak. They will give their reasons. They will provide what corroboration they can. And we will try to determine the truth."


Geraden gets to go first. He talks about how Terisa had been attacked four times by Gart, about the secret passage in her room...about the meeting of Eremis with Kragen and the Lords of the Cares...that Eremis was Saddith's lover, and used the maid to spy upon Terisa...

Eremis defends himself with something close enough to the truth that it sounds VERY plausible...and his accusations directed towards Geraden hinge upon his close working relationship with the known traitor Gilbur, as they had worked on the champion's mirror together.

Barsonage and others clearly do not believe this ...and they want to know what is going on and, more importantly -- WHY.

Terisa rises to the occasion and provides the why. She explains that she knows that Eremis is a liar. That he had mentioned the attack by the killer cockroaches -- and he had no way of knowing about that because no one had told him about them. And the Masters are clearly believing her! (Go, Girl! Go Girl! Go Girl!)

Eremis calls Nyle forward. Geraden and Nyle go to one end of the room. The two brothers have soft words no one can hear and a bit of a tussle. Then a knife falls to the floor, all covered in blood. Nyle slumps to the floor. Geraden's hands are all bloody. Shocked
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So many thing have changed yet so many haven't. Nobody can prove who's responsible for Gart's attacks and attacks of imagery. Of course we may be fully aware, but is Lebbick, is the Congery or the populace of Orison aware? In an odd way, after so much has gone on, this book almost ends as it began-sucking us back inside to the clastrophobic meeting hall of the Congery with a stalement in reality and on the Hop-Board still standing.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will say one thing about this chapter: Nyle sucks.

Thankyou for your time. I will speak in more detail in a later date.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice read, Dutchess, and excellent use of Wink Confused Shocked Cheers Twisted Evil Question 3 Monkeys emoticons! BTW, I do not agree with Revan's postulation about Nyles, or the language he used to state it. But I do like pies.....
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We don't really see Nyle, in full, until the next chapt. anyway.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah, we don't really see him until the next BOOK. One cool thing we learn in this chapter is just how deep Joyce thinks the 'conspiracy' is, which shows how long he's been considering how to defeat it, which further proves that the old man hasn't lost his marbles.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2004 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't want to get too spoiley, but Nyle Spoiler:
will certainly pay for becoming involved in all of this mess in the next book. Poor kid. Sad

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2004 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Dutchess, look at it positively; Nyle gets to

Spoiler:
have a new 'special' friend through most of the 2nd book.......

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2004 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hadn't really thought about it that way.Shocked Shocked Shocked







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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2004 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I think that Master Eremis is broken somehow. I'd like to...fix him.



heh.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2004 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This chapter shows Terisa finally standing up to Eremis. Throughout the book, Eremis continued to use his explanations and logic and every time made Terisa doubt any of her own suspicions, and even doubt her own existence (well, more than she already did) - but now, in front of the Congery, she not only rejects his explanations but argues against them - this is the real result of the choice she made in the previous chapter. By refusing Eremis once, she becomes able to stand up to him in Geradens defence.
Unfortunately for Geraden and Terisa, Eremis clearly expected to lose, and had prepared for the event...
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
King Joyse lay as much as sat in an armchair with his legs stretched over a hassock toward the fire. His purple velvet robe showed the benefits of a recent cleaning, and his cheeks were freshly shaved: his appearance, if not his posture, suggested readiness.

In contrast, the Tor slumped as if his skeleton no longer had enough willpower to support his fat. Like his flesh, his robe spilled over the arms of his chair; the green fabric was stained with splotches of wine. Too plump to look haggard, his face sagged like wet laundry. He gave the impression that he had become so involved in Orison's preparations for defense that he had stopped taking care of himself.

Between the two old friends sat the King's Dastard, Adept Havelock, looking grimier and loonier than ever in his ancient surcoat, with his unruly tufts of hair and his disfocused gaze.

All three men held large, elegant goblets.

All three turned their heads toward Terisa as she was announced. The Tor peered at her through a haze of exhaustion and wine. Adept Havelock licked his lips salaciously. King Joyse nodded but didn't smile.

She had been hoping that he would smile. It would have done her good to see his luminous smile again.

He greeted her casually; his tone implied he was a bit the worse for drink. "My lady, come join us." His cheeks were red, scraped raw with shaving, but behind their color his skin looked pale. "Pour yourself some wine." He nodded toward a decanter and extra goblets on a table against the paneled wall. "It's quite good--a fine wine from--" A look of perplexity crossed his face. "Where did you say this wine is from?" he asked the Tor.

The Tor shook himself as if he were in danger of falling asleep. "Rostrum. A small village near the border of Termigan and Domne, where the babes drink wine instead of milk from their mother's breasts, and even the children can do exquisite things with grapes. Rostrum wine."
King Joyse nodded again. "Rostrum wine," he said to Terisa. "Have some. We're celebrating."
She stood in the center of the thick blue-and-red rug and tried to watch all three men simultaneously. "What're you celebrating?"

Adept Havelock giggled.

"Are we celebrating?" The Tor's voice sounded damp. "I thought we were grieving."
"Grieving? My old friend." King Joyse glanced at the Tor kindly. "What for? This is a celebration, I tell you"

"Oh, of course, my lord King." The Tor waggled a hand. "A celebration. I misspoke." His fatigue was plain. "Orison has been invested by the Alend Monarch. Your daughter has poisoned our water. While we sit here, the men of Perdon die, spending themselves with hope against Cadwal. And the royal Imager, Adept Havelock"--he inclined his head courteously in Havelock's direction--"has burned to death our only clue as to where--and who--our chief enemy is. We do well to celebrate, since we can accomplish nothing with sorrow."

"Nonsense," replied the King at once. Although his expression was grave, he appeared to be in good spirits. "Things aren't as bad as you think. Lebbick knows a trick or two about sieges. We still have plenty of Rostrum wine, so we don't need much water. As soon as he realizes we can't reinforce him, the Perdon is going to back off and let Festten through. That will stop the killing."

He seemed unaware that what he was saying didn't convey much reassurance.


The scene where Terisa visits the King is the most interesting thing in this chapter to me--which is something considering this is such a dramatic chapter overall.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further continuing this scene...

Quote:
"And the death of the prisoner?" inquired the Tor glumly.

King Joyse dismissed that question. "Also, we have another reason to celebrate. The lady Terisa is here. Aren't you, my lady?" he asked Terisa, then went on speaking to the Tor. "Unless I've gotten it all wrong, she's here to tell us that she has found a new cure for stalemate."

Again, Adept Havelock giggled.

For a second, Terisa nearly lost her head. A cure? A cure for stalemate? Then they were all doomed.

Fortunately, she caught hold of her reason for being here before all her thoughts veered off into panic. Geraden. That was the important thing. Geraden.

"I don't know anything about stalemates. Or cures." Her tone was too curt. She made an effort to moderate it. "My lord King. I came because I'm worried about Geraden. Master Eremis is going to try and ruin him in front of the Congery."

The King gave her his attention politely. "Ruin him, my lady?"

"He and Master Eremis are going to accuse each other of betraying Mordant."

"I see. And don't you call that a stalemate?"

"No." She wasn't getting through. She had to do better. "No, my lord King. The Congery will believe Master Eremis." And yet she was certain--
"But he's lying."

The Tor twisted in his seat to study her more closely. With a show of effort, Adept Havelock picked up his chair, turned it, and plumped it down again so that he could sit facing her.

King Joyse, however, gazed toward the fire. "Master Eremis?" he asked as if he were losing interest. "Lying? That would be risky. He might get caught. Only innocent men can afford to tell lies."

"My lady," said the Tor quietly, "such accusations are serious. Master Eremis is a man of proven stature. The Congery might have some justification to take the word of one of their own number over the charges of a mere failed Apt. How do you know that Master Eremis is lying?"

She opened her mouth, then closed it again. What could she say? The piece of information lodged in her brain refused to come clear. Something Master Eremis had said, or revealed--Or was it Geraden? After a moment, she admitted, "I haven't figured that out yet."

"I see, my lady." The old lord returned his attention to the fire. "You simply trust Geraden. That is understandable. I trust him myself. There is no help I can give you, however. I am no longer my lord King's chancellor."

What?

Adept Havelock grinned at her.

King Joyse sighed and leaned his head against the back of his chair. "My old friend was wearing himself toward his grave with the business of Orison. He doesn't want to admit he's no longer young. Sadly, it's true."

"My lord Kin," the Tor explained, "has given instructions that I am not to be obeyed, except in matters of my personal comfort. With the arrival of Alend's army, my power ended." He snorted to himself. "You may imagine castellan Lebbick's delight. Remember, he thinks it possible that I am a traitor myself. He did not like my interest in our defenses. Though my lord King does not say so, I believe he has taken away my position to protect himself in case the good Castellan's suspicions prove correct."

At that, King Joyse jerked up his head. His watery eyes were suddenly acute, and his mouth twisted. He didn't reply to the Tor, however. Glaring at Terisa, he demanded, "Just what is it you want, my lady?"

She was startled: for a moment, she had lost herself in empathy for the old lord. Almost stammering, she said, "Geraden doesn't stand a chance in front of the Masters. Master Eremis will chew him to pieces. You've got to stop them. Don't let them do this to him."

"But if Master Eremis is telling the truth," returned the King in a voice like a rasp, "Geraden deserves to be caught and punished."

"No." She couldn't think. It was maddening. "You don't believe that."

King Joyse aimed his gaze at her like a nail and spoke as if he were tapping his words into wood. "That is not the point, my lady. At the moment, it isn't him I doubt. It's you."


Notice the King shows disinterest at Terisa naming Eremis a liar, but the Tor and Adept Havelock suddenly become quite interested in what she has to say.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

King Joyses seems engaged in what he's being told, like never before.

Quote:
She blinked. Her heart began to labor again, pounding alarm in all directions. "Why?'

"Are you surprised? You underestimate me. I warned you this game was dangerous.

"After we talked, I had Myste's rooms searched. She took nothing personal with her--none of her little momentos of childhood, none of her favorite gifts. Does that seem likely to you? If she had gone after her mother, she would have taken everything she could carry.

"You liked to me, my lady. You lied to me about my daughter."

Inside her chest, a cold hand knotted into a fist. Both the Tor and Adept Havelock squinted at her as if she were being transformed to ugliness in front of them.

"Where did she really go?"

This was what Terisa had feared: King Joyse had found her out. She had learned the danger of lies when she was still a child. Falsehood had been exquisitely tempting to her; her dread of being punished had made her ache to deflect every manifestation of parental irritation, discontent, or disapproval. She had learned, however, that the punishment was worse when she got caught.

In simple defensiveness, she tried to counter as if she had cause to complain. "How did you know she came to see me? Were you having your own daughter spied on?"

Adept Havelock swung his chair back to face the fire, sat down again, and began to twiddle his fingers.

The King continued to glare at her for a moment. She met his gaze because she was afraid to do anything else. Then, abruptly, he too turned away. "You were warned," he muttered. "Remember that. You were warned.

"My lord Tor, be so good as to summon the guards. I want this woman locked in the dungeon until she condescends to tell me the truth about my daughter."

"No!" The cry burst from her before she could stop it. "I'll tell you. I'll tell you anything. Geraden needs me. If I'm not there, he'll have to face the Congery alone."

None of the men were looking at her. The Tor emptied his goblet, but didn't trouble to refill it.

Terisa took a deep breath, squeezed her eyes shut for a second. "She went after the champion. She thought he needed help." She swallowed hard. "I'm sorry."

To Terisa's astonishment, King Joyse's profile quirked toward a smile. But almost at one his expression turned sorrowful, and he leaned his head morosely to rest against his chair again. "More wine would be nice, don't you think?" he commented in the direction of the ceiling.

The Tor seemed to slump farther down in his seat.

With a strangled chortle, Adept Havelock tossed his wine into the fire. While the wine hissed and burned, he threw his goblet behind him, narrowly missing Terisa.

"Fornication," he pronounced, "is hard to do well alone."

"My lady," the King breathed as if he were going to sleep, "I didn't know Myste went to see you. I reasoned it. If you were more honest, I would have less trouble trusting you. You ought to try using a little reason yourself."

Terisa had expected him to be appalled and angry. Obviously he wasn't. Preconceptions were being jerked out from under her. This new surprise seemed to knock the last bit of sense out of the situation. Myste was doing something that had been foreseen in Havelock's augury of King Joyse. Was that why a lie made the King furious and the truth had nearly made him smile?

"I don't understand," she murmured weakly. "Don't you care?"

King Joyse reached out a swollen, unsteady hand and nudged Adept Havelock, who in turn nudged the Tor. "My lord, I said, 'More wine would be nice.'"

Sighing, the Tor pried his bulk out of his chair and moved to fetch the decanter.

"You want me to use a little reason." Terisa had difficulty holding her voice down. "How about giving me some information to reason with? Myste is probably dead. If the cold didn't kill her--and the champion didn't kill her--then that firecat probably did. You act like the only thing you care about is that she didn't go see her mother!"

"No." The King sounded sad, but he answered without rancor. "What I care about is that she did something I can be proud of."

Like an echo, Terisa seemed to hear Castellan Lebbick quoting King Joyse to Prince Kragen: She carries my pride with her wherever she goes. For her sake, as well as for my own, I hope that the best reasons will also produce the best results.

She wanted to yell, But that doesn't make any sense! Elega betrayed you! Myste is probably dead! The words died in her throat, however: they were hopeless. The thought that she would have to go support Geraden with nothing except more confusion made her feel sick.


Some of the heat is taken off of Terisa because she's finally honest with the King. But it certainly doesn't help with her plans for protecting Geraden.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Tor refilled the King's goblet and his own, then eased himself into his chair. "The lady Terisa is distressed," he remarked distantly. "It would be a kindness, my lord King, if you gave her what she desires.'

King Joyse lifted his head once more, scowling sourly as if he meant to say something acid to the Tor.

But he didn't. Instead, he growled, "Oh, very well."

Over his shoulder, he addressed Terisa. "The reason I told Geraden not to talk to you when you were first brought here is the same reason I didn't intervene when the Masters decided to translate their champion. It's the same reason I'm not going to intervene now. I'm trying to protect you. Both of you."

"Protect us!" She was too upset to restrain herself. "How does it protect me to keep me ignorant? How does it protect us to let that champion be translated? We were buried alive!" I almost lost my mind. "How does it protect him to let Master Eremis destroy him? all you're doing is making us look foolish."

The King turned his head away and sketched a frail gesture with both hands. "You see?" he observed to the Tor. "She doesn't reason." Then his tone grew bitter. "You're still alive, aren't you? Do you have any conception how unlikely that was when you first arrived? Better minds than yours were sure neither of you would last for three days. A little foolishness is a small price to pay for your lives."

Terisa stared at the back of his head with her mouth open as if he had taken all the air out of the room.

"'Better minds'!" crowed Adept Havelock like a man addressing a crowd of admirers. "He means me. He means me."

"If I had welcomed you with open arms," King Joyse went on, "my enemies would have formed a higher estimate of how valuable you are. They would have put more effort into killing you." He sounded querulous and old, peevishly incapable of the things he ascribed to himself. "As long as they thought I had no interest in you--they could afford patience. Wait and see. Gart attacked you that first night because my enemies hadn't had time to find out I hadn't welcomed you. But as soon as people heard that I wasn't treating you like an ally, Gart held back for a while.

"Are you satisfied?"

His demand took her by surprise. She scrambled to ask, "Do you mean the reason you can't help Geraden now is that if you do your enemies will know you're his friend and start trying even harder to have him killed?"

"I mean much more than that," he snapped. "I mean that if I had given him permission to tell you whatever you wanted to know I would have doomed you both. My enemies would have taken anything like that as a sign that you were on my side.

"Now are you satisfied?"


King Joyse is definitely displeased that he is being so candid with Terisa.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"But what--?" It was too much: his explanation increased her confusion. It had all been an elaborate charade. "Who are your enemies? Why can't you protect anybody you want in your own castle?" Images of Geraden and Myste and Elega and Queen Madin and Master Barsonage and even Castellan Lebbick rose in her, all of them lost and aggrieved. "Why do you have to make everybody who's loyal to you think you don't care what happens?"

"My lady." His tone was no longer petulant. Now it was as keen and cutting as ice. "If I had any desire to answer such questions. I would have done so earlier. As a courtesy to your distress, I have already told you more than I consider wise." Like Geraden's, his speech became more formal as it gathered authority. Despite his years, his voice still had the potential to lash at her. "I advise reason and silence, my lady. You will not prolong your life by speaking of what you have heard."

He dismissed her without a glance. "You may go."

But--? But--? She knew she should have been stronger. She should have demanded a better explanation. But what she wanted to ask couldn't get past her mental stutter into words. She had no sure ideas left to stand on. King Joyse knew what he was doing--he knew with a vengeance. He was being passive and obtuse on purpose. But what purpose was that? It was inconceivable. He--

"My lady," he said again, "you may go."

In a tone of faraway sadness, the Tor murmured, "My lady, it is generally unwise to disregard the will of a king." He spoke as if from personal experience.

With a fierce effort, Terisa quelled her insistent incomprehension. The exertion left her angry and panting, but in control of herself.

"Thank you, my lord Tor," she said stiffly. "My lord King, I'm sorry. I lied to you about Myste because she trusted me. She was afraid somebody would try to stop her. She asked me to protect her. I lied to you because I didn't know you would have let her go."

None of the three men looked at her. They stared vacantly into the fire, as if they had used up their allotment of words for the day and had nothing left to think with. King Joyse let her get as far as the door before he breathed softly, "Thank you, my lady."

She left as if she were escaping.


While sharing Terisa's disappointment that the King won't intervene to spare Geraden, I found that I liked the King a lot better because he spoke the simple line, "Thank you, my lady." I started admiring him here, and taking him seriously.
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