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CHAPTER SIXTEEN: THE SEVEN EYES
They followed a well-worn path that snaked along side the river Gihon under the
trees and into the heart of Tai-wer. Creatures rustled through the undergrowth just out of
the range of their lamps.
“Do you mind explaining what that was all about back at the gate?” Ianus said to
Valeryn, who looked just as confused.
“The Raewyn have a long standing covenant with the A’nath-ari. As part of the
covenant, we can come and go as we please. You, I’m afraid, will have more trouble.”
“Who exactly is this Hlachar Cythraul?”
“He was once the greatest of us. He stood before the throne as a sort of viceroy.
Not satisfied with a position at the top of the Empyrean hierarchy, he lead a rebellion so
long ago. It is hard to remember. When he failed to topple the throne he fled to
Adrakaya. It was here his plans changed forever. Finding refuge in Usekht Maati, he
studied the Enmadra ways, and befriended one of their young disciples. He tempted Dov
Lavan to join his cause. He figured, if he couldn’t rule the Empyrean, he would at least
rule the Enmadra. He failed at that too, as you well know. What I don’t understand is
how he could have survived for so long away from the Empyrean.”
“Why?” Ianus had been taught that the Raewyn were immortal. “I don’t
understand. Why couldn’t he survive away from his people?” Ianus asked as he ducked
under a low branch.
“We don’t usually talk about it, but the Raewyn share a sort of common life. You
know that we are not flesh and blood like you are. Well, if we don’t share our energy
regularly, we sort of stagnate and die.”
“If that’s true, how could he still be alive?”
“He could be stealing the life of other Raewyn. I can’t believe that he could do
something like that. It is a crime worse than murder. If the energy taken isn’t replaced,
the victim will become feeble, and die a slow, painful death. He may be a traitor, but I
can’t believe anyone would do that.”
“Why would you give him the benefit of the doubt?” Ianus was shocked, “After
all that he did, he sounds just like the kind of person who would do that.”
“The screaming,” Valeryn said with a sad look on his face.
“When someone does…” Valeryn could not say the word, “when someone does
that, the sound of the victims screams will never leave their ears. Cythraul is a monster,
but even he would know the consequences of his actions.”