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The Unspeller and the Book of Days


“So how long is she going to be like this?” Killian asked, his gold eyes sparking briefly. Dalynara sat
at the window from across Aesa's room, her hand on the cold glass.
Her spirit guardian had not returned after the battle. Dalynara told them he never would. He and
Tamlin had fought in the Dead Realm and Tamlin had been the more powerful, locking him behind the gates
of the Dead Realm.
“Just let her grieve,” Loken said, not looking up from his book.
“For someone who was already dead?” Killian answered.
Aesa knew Killian was just picking a fight because he was worried. Dalynara did nothing these days
but sleep during the day, and walk the halls at night and cry. She didn't want anyone's company.
She had even declined to go with the Council to take the king to the Arkenian queen.
Dalynara remained in her room, speaking to no one and rarely eating, staring out at the window as if
she were waiting for her spirit guardian to return to her.
Killian picked up his cloak. “I'm going to the Mage's Hall to find Jasper.”
Loken looked up, his lean face sympathetic. “If she gets better, which I doubt, I'll let you know. She
just needs time, Killian.”
“Until when? Lord Wexler will have declared himself king by the time she notices she's still alive.”
“Careful,” Loken warned.
None of them wanted to see the day Lord Wexler took the throne, but voicing any rebellion would
be treason. Na Serin changed almost the day he arrived. Finer livery was ordered for the servants, music filled
the hall and the throne was always occupied—by Lord Wexler.
Visitors from various provinces flooded the palace and there were feasts every night.
Yet despite all the colorful festivities and the laughter, it seemed like an empty carnival. None of it
felt right. The king had disappeared and yet there was no mourning him or talk of when he would return.
Then again, King Exinder had deliberately crafted his own obscurity, so it shouldn't be much of a surprise
when he succeeded in fading away without anyone caring.
Dalynara eventually wandered out of the room to meander the halls, her hood drawn over her head.
Aesa stood up, swiping a book off a nearby table. “I have a lesson with Bephistoles this morning,” he
told his brothers.
Loken nodded absently.
Killian stood up. “I'll come with you. I have to meet Jasper at the Mage's tower. We're sparring with
them today.”
On their way through the halls a group of apprentices ran past, and Aesa recognized a few from
Turnstone.
“I know the new king!” one of them shouted.
Killian frowned. “He's not the new king.”
Aesa left his brother to go up the tower stairs to Bephistoles quarters.
The cluttered room remained almost as if nothing had changed. The Book of Days was a dragon
and the Unspeller had arrived to take away magic. Dust still settled on piles of books and the smell of old
paper and leather filled the room.
Bephistoles held a glass up to his eye and peered at a book. “This spell is particularly useful after a
large meal…”
The old enchanter stopped abruptly, his hand raised. His palm glowed with a summons.
“Ah, Lord Wexler wastes no time using the royal summons, I see.”
Aesa couldn't tell if Bephistoles disapproved, though he didn't sound pleased.
“It is not for me, however,” Bephistoles continued, lowering the glass from his eye and looking over
at Aesa. “He wants to see you, my boy.”
 
 
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