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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

The Book of Ataniel

Honorbound



“So you... took the blame for your best friend’s murder to keep your country from collapsing?” Amatsu was stunned. “Garal, that is the most honorable thing I have ever heard of in my life.”

“Don’t nominate me for sainthood yet,” said Garal. “When I find a way to avenge her death without destroying everything she worked for, believe me, I’m there.”

“Do not hesitate to call on me if I can help.”

“I won’t,” Garal said, and meant it. “Are you going on Khyrisse’s quest?”

“This one wouldn’t miss it,” Amatsu said. “Jack Paris is a good friend, and though a bit... idiosyncratic... at times, Lord Tor is equally deserving of my assistance.”

“I feel the same way,” Garal said a little sadly. “But I just can’t do it. I don’t know if these thoughts I’ve been having mean there’s something wrong deep inside me, or just that I’m under a lot of stress I’m not venting in my real life... but this would not be a good way to find out.” Amatsu nodded sympathetically. “I hope Jack and Ebreth don’t think I’m a bad friend or anything. I can take the rest of you as far as the Hotel anyway... that ought to count for something. It would take you weeks to find somebody with that kind of planeblazing ability if it wasn’t for me.”

“I am sure Lady Starshadow will understand--” Amatsu stopped midsentence, frowning in sudden mental concentration.

“Praxis?” Garal guessed.

“No,” Amatsu said. An uncharacteristic concern spread slowly across his face. “It is Fancy Price.”

“Fancy Price?”

“She has a message from Vickie.” His worry lines hardened into a certain grim determination. “I must do something about this before it is too late. Perhaps, Garal, you can help.”

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