Polgara smiled gently at the man in front of her but inside she was wondering if the idea of flattering a girl in Tolnedra was bore her to death remarking just how rich and successful one was. In the last half an hour, this man had planted himself next to her and talked non-stop about him and of what a great merchant he was. She didn't mind, though. It was either this one or another man-or perhaps some noble lady- doing the exact same thing. No good options, so she didn't fight it.

Durnik, Toth and Eriond hadn't appeared yet and Polgara was certain they just wouldn't. Durnik was still very uncomfortable around nobility and although she would have liked to spend time with him and maybe dance at the beautiful music of the Asturian Orchestra, Polgara allowed him to skip those social gathering every now and then.

A thought occurred to her then. Although she had lived without a man by her side for thousands of years now one single night without Durnik seemed incomplete. A gentle smile crossed her face at the memory of him and of how happy he had made her.

The Tolnedran merchant seemed to take that smile to be an encouraging gesture and he extended his hand to touch hers. Polgara sighed and her left hand flashed right in front of his face. The merchant stared at her wedding ring, coughed uncomfortably, and made a lame excuse to leave. Polgara wasn't able to savor her solitude when a group of Tolnedran women took his place, her faces arrogant and despiteful like all of the rest and a cup of wine on their hands. The sorceress sighed.

And then Varana´s voice rose above the idle chattering of the guests

"I had engaged Madame Aldima to entertain us this evening," Varana was saying to a small cluster of Horbites. "Her singing was to have been the high point of the festivities. Unfortunately, the change in the weather has made her fearful of coming out of her house. She's most protective of her voice, I understand."

And almost as soon as he stopped talking, the chattering started again.

"Madame Aldima sings like a parrot in heat." One of her companions sneered "I would say the Borunes needed to shorten expenses"

The others laughed, that cold and fake laugh that so irritated Polgara. She smiled to them nonetheless and when the chattering re-started, loosed herself on her thoughts again. But then, something brought her out of her pleasant thoughts about Durnik and the new life she had. The music changed. It wasn't a merry tone anymore, it wasn't just meant to be a background and pleasant sound. It demanded to be listened too; it reached now to all of them and trapped their hearts on the sweet whimpers of the violins, the melancholic moans of the cello and the gentle tones of the flute. Polgara´s eyes focused again and the entire world became that orchestra and the so known melody it was playing.

And then, the flute sang alone no more, for a gentle and rich contralto voice accompanied it as its tones rose, both protected and accompanied by the grave mumbles of the cello. Ce´Nedra walked into the scenario, and her voice filled the music with the pain that just a mother who has lost her child could master.

In my hands
A legacy of memories
I can't hear you learn my name
but I can almost see your smile
Feel the warmth of your embrace
But there is nothing but silence now
Around the one I loved
Is this our farewell?

Polgara stared at her, her eyes filled with tears. How many times had she felt that same pain, so many memories came to her mind as Ce'Nedra kept singing. And then, another voice, graver and just as smooth, joined in. Liselle, her lavender gown almost glowing on the gold candle light, stepped into the scenario and took Ce'Nedra's hand on her own, and also sang:

Sweet darling you worry too much, my child
See the sadness in your eyes
You are not alone in life
Although you might think that you are

Never thought
This day would come so soon
We had no time to say goodbye
How can the world just carry on?
I feel so lost when you are not by my side
But there's nothing but silence now
Around the one I loved
Is this our farewell?

So sorry your world is tumbling down
I will watch you through these nights
Rest your head and go to sleep
Because my child, this is not our farewell.
This is not our farewell.**

As the song drew to its conclusion, the applause was thunderous. "More!" they shouted. "More!"

Encouraged by the ovation, the musicians began a new song and its beginning tear at Polgara's heart with such force that she moved without even thinking

The sea is calling me home, home to you.
The pounding sea is calling me home, home to you.

On a dark new year's night
on the west coast of Wasite**
I heard your voice singing.
Your eyes danced the song,
your hands played the tune.
T'was a vision before me.

Ce'Nedra's and Liselle's voices sang, but they lack the passion of having lived the experience. They seemed lame to her ears, not even the voice of a goddess would have being enough for her and so she sang with them, and she put her heart in each word:

We left the music behind and the dance carried on
as we stole away to the seashore
and smelt the brine, felt the wind in our hair
and with sadness you paused.

Suddenly, I knew that you'd have to go.
Your world was not mine, your eyes told me so.
Yet it was there I felt the crossroads of time
and I wondered why.

As we cast our gaze on the tumbling sea,
a vision came o'er me,
of thundering hooves and beating wings
in the clouds above.

As you turned to go, I heard you call my name.
You were like a bird in a cage, spreading its
wings to fly.
'The old ways are lost', you sang as you flew
and I wondered why.

The thundering waves are calling me home, home to you.
The pounding sea is calling me home, home to you.

The pounding waves are calling me home, home to you.
The pounding sea is calling me home, home to you.

The pounding waves are calling me home, home to you.
The pounding sea is calling me home, home to you.

And then, she stopped, her voice dying away with the last notes of the cello. The applause startled her, having forgotten even where she was. It took her a second to recover her composure and sighing she turned and lead Liselle and Ce'Nedra away. Someone stepped on her way and she raised her head to face her father.

"Well, father?" she asked, feeling somewhat uncomfortable for the gentle love on his eyes

He leaned forward and kissed her forehead. Polgara closed her eyes and relaxed; the warm gesture very welcome on that moment. Something cold was placed on her hand and she glanced at the goblet, the wine dancing on it suddenly very attractive..

"Lovely, Pol, but why revive something that's been dead and gone for all these centuries?"

All vulnerability was fast forgotten. Her undying pride hardened her heart and her chin lifted proudly.

"The memory of Vo Wacune will never die so long as I live, father. I carry it forever in my heart, and every so often I like to remind people that there was once a shining city filled with grace and courage and beauty and that this mundane world in which we now live allowed it to slip away."

"It's very painful for you, isn't it, Polgara?" her father asked gravely.

"Yes, father, it is—more painful than I can say—but I've endured pain before, so. . . "

She left it hanging with a slight shrug and moved with regal step from the hall. Suddenly the idle talking of the nobles was almost offending and the luxuries around her sickened her. She needed her Durnik. She wanted to cuddle up with him on the barn and stay there in silence all night.


More revieeews X-) I changed the songs a little bit.

The First son is "Our Farewell" of Within Temptation

Second song is "The Old Ways" of Lorena Mckennitt. Listen to it!! I really think that woman has the most perfect voice of the world.