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Eighth Circle

images by doing it in reverse. Crispin had found a way to make the images appear on
his tablet.
Liala figured that her brother must be very clever. At eighteen, he was two years
younger. They were brother and sister but very different. He was slightly built and
good at technical things like computers and marine science. She was athletic and
more at home in the sea than behind a laboratory bench.
She watched as he left the pool and ran towards her.
'They are already here.'
He shouted excitedly as he ran up the stairs.
'You mean the Lord of Light and his faithful servant?'
'Yes. I've got them on my tablet.'
Crispin ran into the laboratory and put the tablet on a workbench. Liala peered over
his shoulder as he brought up the images. Two men were crouched beside a rock
sheltering from the storm. They were dressed in old-fashioned clothes and looked
more like ancient warriors than sophisticated beings from a higher realm.
A worried expression appeared on Crispin's face.
'They're not like what I expected.'
Liala wasn't fussed. 'The prophecies say the Lord of Light will appear in the guise of
an ordinary man and bring his servant with him. I think they're dressed like that to fool
the guardians.'
'You could be right,’ Crispin nodded.
He peered at the two men.
'Which one is the Lord of Light?'
'Don't know …' Liala shrugged. 'I'll find out when I meet them.'
'How will you do that?'
'I'll say I'm Princess Liala and wait for them to reply.'
'But he won't use his proper name.'
'No. He'll say he's the professor. It wouldn't be safe to say who he really is. The
guardians would kill him if they found out.'
Crispin followed his sister's gaze to the palace on the hill. The guardians ruled from
there. They lived in luxury while the people starved. Father called them the Lords of
Darkness. Father said the people used to choose their leaders and run their own lives.
Now they had to do as the guardians told them.
Father called his own family the Children of Light. The guardians called them the
Royal Family. They captured the royals when they seized power. The Royal Family
kept their titles but little else. Father was imprisoned and officially dead. Mother lived
in the palace and was the guardians' mouthpiece.
They called her the Dowager Queen and threatened to kill her children if she didn't do
as she was told. The rest of the family were free to do as they liked so long as they
confined their activities to marine science. Crispin and his cousins were fanatical
scientists.
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