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“A’nath-ari?” Valeryn said, “My dear boy, I am a student of the Parcae. I may
wear the red robes, but I do not serve the Enmadra.”
“You are A’nath-ari and Bahn Se’leen?” Daru said, “You are a traitor!”
Valeryn laughed, “A traitor is someone who serves two masters. I do not. I am a
student of the Parcae, I serve the camarilla of the Jade Moon, and I am a member of the
Raewyn Empyrean. It isn’t as rare as you might think. I know you are new to the
Chian’niu, but you shouldn’t be so naïve.”
“Who are the Parcae?” Ianus asked.
“They are three of the greatest seers in the galaxy. They read the future for
“Listen,” said Pryor. “Why are we fighting? There is nothing abnormal about
any of this. Ihy had many contacts within the A’nath-ari. He helped many of them get
documents saying they were in the Jade Moon. His actions helped them travel more
freely and helped him gather valuable intelligence.”
“My father wouldn’t do something like that!” Ianus looked at Arun.
“Remember when I slipped up and told you that Ihy had once been in the
Forbidden Lands?” Pryor stepped closer to Valeryn, “He did so to establish
communications with the A’nath-ari. They asked him not to tell anyone. He kept his
promise. They respect that. You have to remember that nothing is exactly what it
“And don’t lay the attack on Ihy on my shoulders,” said Valeryn. “That was
unforeseen. If we would have seen that coming, we would have stopped it.”
“Why do you trust him?” Ianus asked Pryor, his muscles tensing for an attack,
“You seem to be very friendly with him.”
“I have my reasons,” said Pryor. “That should be good enough for you. You
either trust me or you don’t.”
Ianus closed his eyes. Events were quickly spiraling out of his control, not that
they were ever really in his control.
“I trust you, Pryor,” said Ianus as he opened his eyes, “So I guess I have no choice
but to trust you, Valeryn, but there is one condition. No more lies, no more half-truths. I
will be honest with you, you will be honest with me.”
“Deal,” said Valeryn, “As a sign of good faith I have to warn you. The A’nath-ari
will be coming soon to abduct you and take you to Usekht Maati. It will be better for you
if you do not struggle. They will be coming in large numbers.”
“How is that a sign of good faith? ‘You are about to be kidnapped, don’t resist,’”
Ianus mocked him, flapping his arms about, “What do you take me for?”