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Verra, Vlad's patron goddess, hires him to assassinate a king whose country lies outside the Dragaeran Empire, resulting in increased tension between the two places. Meanwhile, the peasant Teckla and the human Easterners persevere in their fight for civil rights. As Vlad's wife Cawti is a firm partisan of the movement, and Vlad is not, their marriage continues to suffer, causing Vlad to make some decisions that will change his life forever.
that the way it sounded.” She nodded again. There was a splash off to the left. Probably more orca, but I’d missed them. She spoke softly, so I could hardly hear her over the creaking and wind. “I watch the passing hours dress Themselves in robes of twilight grey, And sit here, pale and powerless To halt the ending of the day. ‘‘A bitter tale it seemed to me Who thought my lesson fully learned To open wounds I deemed to be Unfairly dealt, not truly earned. ‘‘But tomorrow we begin again
who moved like a Serioli water clock and had streaks of black in her grey hair, entered and announced, “Sethra Lavode.” We all stood. Sethra entered, bowed slightly, and seated herself between Aliera and me. She always preferred to be announced without titles; part of her mystique, I guess, though I couldn’t say if it was sincere or contrived. You haven’t met her yet, so picture if you will a tall Dragaeran wearing a black blouse with big, puffy sleeves drawn tight around her wrists, black
night, Your Lordship. We Easterners always believe our dreams.” “I see.” He leaned forward and stared at me. “Listen to me, Baronet Taltos, so I don’t have to repeat myself. Those troublemakers are making trouble, and not just in South Adrilankha. The trouble they’re making affects what happens in the rest of the city and beyond its borders. We’ve already had noticeable cuts in our profit in several areas, traced directly to Teckla getting too smart for themselves. If a thing like that happens
Loiosh. Take off, and stay out of trouble until I get there.” “You stay out of trouble, boss; no one’s going to notice me. “ He flew off, and I waited. I saw little of the happenings on the ship, and only heard the sounds of increased activity, until at last the sails seemed to collapse into themselves. This was followed almost at once by a hard thump, and I knew we had arrived. Everyone was still busy. Ropes were secured, sails were brought in, and crates and boxes were manhandled onto the
know.” “Maybe you can find out.” “Yes.” I said. “Maybe I can. Maybe I will. Thanks.” He nodded an acknowledgment and went back to playing the banister. I walked around to the lorich Wing, and found that I’d have to wait an hour or so while they finished the paperwork involved in releasing Cawti. That was all right; I had things to do. I walked away from the Palace, and, still taking delight in the lack of nausea, I teleported. “You can’t do this to me,” said Kragar. “I just did,” I told him.