A/N: Ugh . . . this isn't the best chapter. I tried to explain about Laeli's magic and set up stiff for the war (Yay! It's finally here! Only took a hundred-odd pages to start. ^_~) So it's not really action filled, but I promise the next will be more so. Oh, and I'm going to post an ATSMtPS chapter within the week, and probably one on Court Spy.


No one moved, caught in the horror of the simultaneous collapse. My mind went blank for a moment. I wasn't scared; I was uncomprehending. I hesitated another moment as I allowed everything to sink in. Unsure of whether to check the fallen Seer at my feet or rush over to Aiven, I took a hesitant step towards the latter, then looked back at Tyron. He lay sprawled on the floor, dark hair strewn across his pale face. All the color had drained out of it as all the motion had from his body. Around the room, people had started moving, bending over, calling things through the air. With a last glance in Aiven's direction I saw a wall of people surrounding him - presumably caring for him. I turned to Tyron, kneeling down beside him.

His hand was freezing; what's more, it hurt to hold. Lancing bolts of pain shot through my hand like icicles when I touched him. Carefully I brushed his hair away, for that at least didn't hurt. I checked for his pulse quickly, rubbing my fingers as I took them away. It was slow and faint, and I could barely tell he was breathing. His chest didn't seem to fall or rise, and I could feel only an almost indiscernible bit of air coming out of his mouth or nose.

People were beginning to panic around us. "Send for a Healer!" I heard shouted over and over. Guests were milling about, sobbing, yelling. I saw uniformed people enter, soldiers trying to keep order. Some of the men were hoisting the fallen Seers, carrying them from the room. Healers had entered, surrounding people, their green robes standing out brightly as they snapped orders. I looked towards Aiven, but he was lost from view in the swarm of people. I clamped down on the urge to panic, to tear through the crowd and find him.

Half a sentence floated from memory as I stared down at Tyron's limp form. I had mocked Aiven, once, about being choosing to be difficult, about leaving, then had been curious about what would happen if I did. We lose the protection, the healing. We lose the assurance that no matter what happens there will be some safety.

Safety? I thought now, forehead scrunching worriedly. As for healing . . . Desperately I grasped Tyron's hands, shutting out the cold knives attacking me. I had no idea what I was looking for, but I hadn't when Tullon gave me that nafginian earlier either. I tried to pull the feelings back into my mind, trying to recapture whatever there was in the hope something would help.

Castle of crystal; rain and fog and water; jewels, shining brightly; the saffron that wasn't -

I latched onto the scent, which threatened to overpower me if I didn't do something with it. A tight tension was gathering in my lower neck and collarbone, but I mentally pushed right past that, picturing the odd smell traveling through my arms and hands into Tyron as the Healer's described their craft. To my delight, the pain in my hands was gone. Unfortunately, Tyron was still lying prone.

I kept trying to push the healing, for lack of a better word, into him, but he wouldn't accept it. It seemed like it could almost be right, like if I just fixed it a little, turned the jigsaw piece a little to the left, it would lock into the puzzle. I pushed harder, wishing I knew more about what I was doing, rather then making it up as I went along. With a harder push, I lost control, and the power seemed to flip away from me, becoming stronger then I could hold by myself.

Then I felt it latch onto Tyron, locked in like I had been unable to force it to of my own accord. Not a puzzle piece, then, but a magnet. It was like pushing two identical sides closer, and feeling them rebound, not touch, when all you had to do was flip one over and they would attach.

The near-saffron scent was suffocating me, and a hint of almost-clover came as well. Idly, I wondered if this was a good or a bad thing. As it was, I was too busy pushing all the energy into Tyron, now that he would accept it.

His bluish-gray eyes snapped open, a look of bewilderment on his face that would have made me laugh any other time. Now I couldn't even manage the upward tilt of my lips; instead, I keeled over sideways.


"Your Highness? Your Highness, can you hear me?"

Who? I thought dreamily. I ignored the voice, concentrating on the inside of my head rather than outside. I was bouncing lazily over rooftops, just bouncing -

"Your Royal Highness? Are you awake?" A cold, clammy hand shook my arm briefly, then disappeared. I was preparing to burrow deeper into my blankets when something suspiciously like smelling salts was shoved directly underneath my nose. I began coughing violently and shoving backwards, desperate to get away from the salts that reminded me of the overwhelming not-saffron.

I was in a room that was definitely not my own. It was decorated in the same way my room in the Calvashri Tower had been designed, and for an instant I thought I was back there and the past week had been a dream.

"You are awake," someone said in a satisfied voice. I tuned my attention to a short woman in a green robe, wearing the irritating expression all adults share when they're patronizing anyone more then thirty seconds younger than them. "I am Healer Gelsia. You have undergone severe shock, Your Highness. You must rest now, and soon someone will be along to explain." She curtsied. "Would you like some tea, Your Highness?"

Words tripped through my mind before I was able to force anything out. "I shouldn't be in bed," I finally said. "I need - I need to speak with the Seers. They'll want to see me," I said with sudden certainly, wanting to share whatever I had done, and to make sure Aiven was fine.

She curtsied again, her smile a little forced. "I am sure you are very worried about the Seers, but that will be explained soon. Don't worry, some of the most capable Healers are with them now. You should just lie back -"

"No, you don't understand," I broke in. "I need to see them. I can help."

"Your Highness," the Healer said, looking like she was reaching for patience and it was slipping out of her grasp. "Don't worry. Everyone's all right. The Seers' will be fine. You - like a good deal of the other queens and princesses and ladies - should just rest. Fainting is a terrible ordeal."

The woman looked like she was about to roll her eyes at the high strung court ladies, and sarcasm was just an inch away in her last sentence. She smiled again brightly, as I belatedly registered that she thought I was just another visiting princess that had passed out at the shock of the Seers collapsing. My mouth twitched. If I had been in her place, I wouldn't have been able to keep from making a crack on fainting being remarkably fashionable all of a sudden.

My door swung open, and two imposing figures walked in. The woman was elderly and pushing it; the man was completely gray haired but didn't look much past fifty. They nodded to Healer Gelsia who curtsied and left, and made more proper bows to me.

"Your Highness," the man said as soon as he straightened up. "We are aware of your position and your use of power concerning the Lord Seer Tyron." He scowled, and I swallowed my smile and request to see the Seers. "That was supremely foolish of you."

Apparently I was going to swallow my expectations of being praised as well. "But -"

"You spent all of your considerable power on one man, when it would have been far more effective to only loosen the bindings and allow a low-ranking Healer to take over. While you have the capacity to bridge the bind without exhausting yourself, if you insist on the follow through as well you will drain yourself, as you did last night. Doing such, you have wasted half a day before we can easily begin reviving Seers, as none of the regular Healers have the amount of power you do to breach the binding."

I turned to the woman. "Do you have any idea what he said? Because I lost him about as soon as his bow ended."

The woman smiled softly. "I believe you have been rebuked, Elmun." She nodded to me as I began to blush with embarrassment at my childish retort. "I apologize for my son, Your Highness. He is rather excitable when we find a new talent, and to have your insurmountable one discovered, only to have you unconscious for the rest of the day -" she shook her head. "It tends to make even the most patient of people upset."

I looked up at her pleadingly. "I'm sorry. But I don't actually know anything more about my - ability - than you do. Please - can I see the Seers? I need to know what's going on."

The woman's lips compressed into a thin line, but she wasn't directing her anger at me. "It was an attack," she said heavily. "Everything known about it is being kept secret for now - the High Council is meeting, though the Seers belonging to it are not yet able to attend. Lord Seer Tyron is awake, and the powers you invested in him are being siphoned off and used to awaken others. We don't think the attack was meant to kill, at all - with regular healers working, they could be awakened in under a week. However, that anyone was actually able to command power that knocked out hundreds of Seers . . ." she shook her head. "Your Highness," she said more formally, "we are here because you have been asked for. You are wished to join the High Council as soon as my son and I pronounce you fit to walk."

"Oh, I'm fit to walk," I exclaimed, swinging my legs off the bed, standing up, and promptly sitting back down. "Just . . . a little dizzy," I admitted sheepishly. A moment later I was able to follow them out the door.

The High Council had convened in one of the many halls throughout the palace. Everyone rose and bowed respectfully when I entered. Emperor Sair addressed me in the silent room, as I felt the combined gazes of the ten highest Mages amongst the nobility, the strongest ten Mages in the land, and ten members or representatives of the highest courts in the land. Twenty Seers were included on the council, but none of them were here.

"Your Highness," the Mage-king said, meeting my eyes, "Please, have a seat." Nervously, I took the one he indicated, between a man I didn't recognize and a white haired woman I thought had been introduced to me as a Mage. We sat at an enormous round table made of polished mahogany. At the emperor's prompting, I lifted my chin and told exactly what I had done to Tyron. The people shifted, muttering, and I caught the word Seer more then once. I had the impression they would rather have the Seers there, as they were the ones who knew the most about me.

Come to that, I would rather have the Seers there as well. They knew more about me than I knew.

"Princess Laeliena," Emperor Sair said, gesturing for silence. He favored me with a weary, sad smile. "We must apologize for this catastrophe as you have only just claimed your heritage. We assure you, our kingdom will offer all the support it can during this war. As for now - you are so young to be so burdened already. I wish it were not so," he said sadly, dropping the royal we for a second. "The only good news I can offer at the moment is that Lord Seer Aiven is awake. If you would care to see him . . .?"

It was obviously a dismissal; the king and High Council stood, and a soldier led me out. I realized for the first time that I was the only one there under twenty, too young to be considered ready to hear about war. With the title of "princess" I was classified as a delicate female as well. Irritably, I wondered if I still would have merited such patronizing treatment, had I just been known as the Daughter of the Eternal Lah'nayin.

Probably, with my luck.

Though the rest of the High Council hadn't been filled with youngsters, the Seers were nearly all twenty-five or younger. I vaguely remembered Aiven mentioning that the older Seers stayed at home in their city, odd as that seemed. I would have thought each Seer would stay at his respective court . . .

"Your Highness? We've arrived."

What we had arrived at was a short hall, lined with twenty makeshift cots. The Seers of the High Council, at a guess. Not all the cots were filled; perhaps some were healthy enough to be able to leave. Healers walked around with iridescent balls floating after them, muttering and bending over patients. Most seemed to be stirring; Tyron was the closest to me, and wide awake.

"Feeling better?" I thought, cursing the good manners that seemed to have attached to me while spending time with Mariva. I would have given anything to ignore him and look for Aiven.

"Definitely not," he said almost jokingly. "The Healers have taken away most of the health you magiced into me. As it is, I still feel perfect. If I felt any better, it would be painful." He smiled. "I've never met a princess who can make me feel so wonderful when still wearing all her clothing."

I couldn't bite back a smile. "Isn't it a little too early to be flirting?" I asked archly.

He gave me a look of wide-eyed innocence. "My lady," he protested informally, "It is never too early to flirt. Without that, how would you know I was in good health?"

"With any luck, you wouldn't be," a dry voice came from behind me. I nodded courteously to Tyron, as I had the suspicion I wouldn't be turning around to talk to him again. Trying not to look concerned at the least, I turned to face Aiven.

To my relief, he didn't look sick. He looked irritated. He had discarded most of the robes and was clad only in silvery white trousers and the same colored billowing silk shirt, along with the necklace.

"Hello," I said a little nervously, walking over to his side. The cot was knee level, and I hovered beside it, not sure whether to kneel or stand. Aiven was sitting with his back against the wall, arms crossed, and legs hooked at the ankles. He was sitting on an untouched cot, and I was glad. I don't think I would have been able to deal with him tucked in like an invalid.

Oh, stop worrying so much, I thought in disgust. Unceremoniously, I dropped down beside him. "I don't suppose you'll explain what's going on," I mused, glancing up at his half-lidded eyes.

"I'm recovering," he said shortly, staring straight ahead. We sat in silence for all of ten seconds before he swung his legs over and caught my gaze. "Are you all right?" he asked, searching my eyes. "I heard you fainted." He glanced over at Tyron, as if blaming him for that.

"I - used healing. I think." Suddenly irritated far past reasonability, I glared at him. "By the Lady, Aiven, when's someone going to teach me how to control this? I was already scolded by a Healer about not rationing my power, about how I should just have loosened the "binding" - I had no idea what he was talking about! And then all of you collapsed, just like that - You didn't see yourself, Aiven. You didn't see yourself go all pale and wobbly, and your eyes completely colorless like eyes shouldn't be, and then collapse. You looked dead, Aiven! For a moment I thought you were."

Then I was shaking. I couldn't seem to stop the tremors that wracked through me. I felt like an absolute fool, practically kneeling at Aiven feet and shaking badly long after the actual event that caused the shudders. But I couldn't stop. To my absolute horror, my eyes started to tear, and I could feel the tension behind them. I closed them tightly, swallowing over the inconvenient lump in my throat. I wrapped my arms around my body - and then there was another pair of arms.

Aiven had knelt down in front of me, carefully folding his arms around me, lightly holding my back with one hand. Another came up to hesitantly brush my hair back from my forehead. He didn't say anything - if I had been paying any attention I would have sensed he was afraid to move. I clenching his shoulders tightly in my hands, and let the tears fall, the ones I couldn't block no matter how hard I was trying. I buried my head in his shoulder, and he continued to slowly stroke my hair.

Tyron's voice interrupted my half-formed thoughts. "No wonder our warrior didn't put up more of a fight with being the Daughter's protector," he said lightly to the room at large.

It was enough that Aiven and I instantly separated. Aiven spun and stood, facing Tyron. I was only an instant behind. "Lord Seer Tyron," I said with a tight smile, before Aiven could begin, "I don't like being startled." I opened my hand to reveal the knife I'd automatically flicked into it at his voice. "And I didn't ask for your opinion."

He raised his eyebrows, then inclined his head. "Forgive me. It seems you don't even need a protector." His smile was charming. Mine was withering.

Aiven and Tyron locked eyes for a long moment, then both looked away. I wondered if I should be adding telepathy to the list of Seers' hidden talents. I sincerely hoped not.

"Sit down," Aiven said firmly, taking my arm and pushing me down on the cot. "You've worn yourself out."

"No I haven't," I protested automatically. I opened my mouth to say more, but was caught off guard by the unexpected look in Aiven's eyes.

And caught off guard by the Healer who effectively maneuvered herself in front of Aiven and caught my hands. "Your Highness," she said, and I immediately knew I was about to be treated like a small, needy child. Or a princess, which amounts to the same thing.

"Your Highness," she said again. "I am Healer Veilenne. If you are rested, we'd like you to try infusing another Seer with healing again. That way, we can catch the power and transfer it more easily to other patients."

She were speaking of me using magic like I was pouring water onto someone, and they'd hold out cups and catch some of it. I stared at her in disbelief.

"It won't take that long, and then you can go back to resting -"


Healer Veilenne and I both turned to look at Aiven, who was glaring at the woman. "But Your Excellency -" the Healer began.

Aiven shook his head. "Princess Laeliena is too exhausted to use any more of her powers."

"But Princess Laeliena is the only one -"

"Princess Laeliena has done enough for today. She'll return here once she is more rested. Good day."

After watching the Healer curtsey and stalk off, I turned to Aiven with a half smile. "Princess Laeliena can speak for herself," said princess said.

"Threaten, yes. Speak - debatable."

I laughed, and allowed him to pull me off the cot. "Damslae," he began with a sheepish grin - something I'd never seen on him - "I have to contradict myself. Could I have a little of your healing?"

I raised my eyebrows. "Really, Aiven," I said archly, "How -" I searched my mind for the right word, then scowled when it didn't come. "Well, you know what I mean," I muttered, as Aiven tried and failed to muffle his laugh. "Besides," I continued irritably, "I don't actually know how to use it."

"I can - make an educated guess. There are several different ways to transfer healing power." For some reason his eyes slid away from mine, then caught them again with an odd smile. "Give me your hands."

Slowly, I did. His were warm and much bigger than mine, and I couldn't decide whether I wanted to leave my hands there or yank them away.

He locked his fingers through mine, holding them up inbetween us. "I'm not a Mage, Damslae," he said softly. "I can't take any of your power from you, I can't help it, I can't influence it in any way. This has to be you. All I can do is talk you through it." He took a deep breath, then instructed me to close my eyes and did the same.

"Try to feel the place where you took your power from the last time, when you healed Tyron. A pool of power. Find it . . . reach for it . . . is it there?"

"Um, no."

"That was helpful," he said sarcastically. "Look again." He calmed his voice. "Follow the magic you find within yourself. Maybe you associate it with something - a sound, a feeling, a memory -" the scent of something that wasn't quite saffron "-and follow that to the center of your power. Surround yourself in it. Wrap the magic around you."

"Aiven, I don't know who told you about this magic pool thing but they were wrong." I opened my eyes so I could stare at him in annoyance, to find he had beaten me to it.

"It's been recorded by all the philosophers on magic, and confirmed by all the Healers and Mages I know," he argued. "It works for everyone."

"What about Seers?" I countered. "Where's your magic come form?"

"It's different for us."

"Well, maybe I'm more like you."

He laughed, which only served to make me angry. I glared and continued, "There's no magic pool for me. It's everywhere and it's not something I can just harvest a strand of. It's like being aware of your skin - or more like your blood, because you're not really aware of it, but it's inside you and flowing through you and this - this is like that."

He released my hands and stepped back warily. "You sound too sophisticated on that. I thought you didn't know anything about your magic."

"I'd hardly call that knowing anything," I scoffed. "It's more like general knowledge."

His he frowned, then his face smoothed. "Or like a distant memory," he said distractedly, looking around the room.

"Exactly," I said triumphant that I had made him understand.

He refocused on me. "And where do you think the memory came from, Laeliena?" he asked, brown eyes pinning my own.

I blinked. "I don't know, but I'm sure you're going to tell me."

"It came from her - the Princess Laeliena of Lahtorli. The girl who you once were. Whose memories everyone expected you to have completely."

I frowned. "I really wish you would stop saying things like that. It's a little nerve-wracking being told I had another life."

He drove his fingers through his hair, and took a deep breath. "Trust me, you're not the only one who finds it so. Look, just - try, all right? I've just been hit by one of the strongest waves of magic in centuries that has left most of my friends still unconscious. Despite that, I have to be able to speak at High Council and help reassure all of Court that we are safe. I'll have to be able to walk without collapsing."

I gestured at all the other Seers in the room - the awake ones were politely pretending not to watch us. "Then wouldn't I have to help the rest of them, too?"

He stared at me in amazement. "You really have no idea what you did, do you?"

I blinked. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Damslae, when you filled Tyron with your healing, you pushed in more power than he could hold. The Healers took the extra healing, and some of the healing that wasn't extra, but not necessary to Tyron, with them. They can put that healing into the other Seers and encourage it with their own Healing to bring them back to health. It will take longer then if you personally put the healing in, but it will work.

"The Seers that got the most of the power were woken up, and actually able to walk easily - like Corln, and Lauten, so that they could go speak with the Emperor. Tyron's being kept here so that more of your power can be siphoned off him."

"And you've obviously gotten all the power you need - you're awake, you're standing. Why do you want more? Wouldn't it make sense to help the other Seers?" I wasn't trying to be difficult; I was sincerely interested.

He shook his head. "You're wrong. You will have to help them later, but right now it's more important that I'm awake and alert. Because of you."

That took a moment to sink in. "Oh," I said finally, giving him a disdainful look, "because you've been appointed my keeper."

He smirked slightly. "That's one way to put in. And just so you know, I've received the least amount of your healing."

I rolled my eyes. "Which would explain why you look completely healthy, of course."

Aiven opened his mouth to respond, then snapped in shut and glared around the room. The other Seers became instantly interested in the walls, the blankets, and each other. "Come on," Aiven said, scowling, and I followed him out into the hall.

"I didn't need as much healing," he told me as soon as we were alone, "because my body was more resistant to the attack then anyone else's."

I was surprised, and showed it. "Why?"

His eyes locked with mine. "Because of you. Because you bleed off magic. The Healers were very certain of this. Regularly, you let off small magic."

I raise my eyebrows. "Are you telling me I sweat magic?"

His mouth quirked. "Not to put too fine a point on it, but yes. And when you're in high emotion, you radiate more. Whoever's around you absorbs it." He shrugged, as if in was no big deal. I, on the other hand, was staring at my arm in amazement, as if I'd see magic flecking off it. "I've been around you for months. Constantly, excepting this last week, and I seem to have absorbed a lot of the magic. Especially since you're always-" he smirked, "-in high emotion." I narrowed my eyes at him, but he ignored me as he continued. "I can't use it, I can't seem to touch it at all, but it seems to have warded off most of the attack. Why do you think I was the last Seer standing in the ballroom?"

I took a moment to process this. "So - the magic you took from me -"

"I didn't take it, you gave it."

I glared at him. "Trust me, I wouldn't hand any of my magic over to you willingly." I refocused. "My magic warded off the spell, mostly, and with a little of the power siphoned off Tyron you were awake - but you don't really have enough to bring you back to full health."

"No, I don't. The Healers didn't thing that they needed to give me very much - oddly enough," he said in an ironic tone, "they seemed to think that I would be the first person you would want to revive to health, so they wouldn't have to help me much."

"It's not my fault Healers make stupid assumptions," I told him. "But I told you, I don't understand this magic I have. I'll figure it out after breakfast." I hadn't eaten at all today and last night I had only eaten lightly. I started walking down the hallway, assuming Aiven would follow, assuming he would lead me back to my rooms or someplace else we could eat. I didn't expect him to call after me, voice weary, and turn around to find he hadn't moved a step. For the first time I noticed he was leaning against the wall, and his face was unusually pale.

"Damslae," he said again, "I'm exhausted. I'm not going to be able to walk you back to your rooms. Either give me some healing or refuse - just pick one. Otherwise you'll soon find yourself with an unconscious Seer on your hands." When I stared at him in disbelief, he just raised his brows mockingly.

"You wouldn't really be unconscious," I protested. "You just spent all that time talking about how my magic warded off the attack from you."

If possible, his brows arched higher. "Would you care to wait and see?"

"No, and you know it," I muttered, stomping back towards him. "What's the easiest way to transfer energy?" I asked, looking up at him.

To my surprise he looked away, opened his mouth and snapped it shut. "Just try what you did with Tyron," he instructed.

"Easy to say when you're not the one doing it," I said, taking both his hands between mine. Closing my eyes, I tentatively recalled the scent of near-saffron, a little afraid it would overwhelm me as it had last time. It came quickly, and I didn't have to concentrate on it anymore; it just lingered about me. I tried to send the magic into Aiven through our hands, though not as forcefully as I had with Tyron. That hadn't worked til I lost control of it. I pushed at it in several different ways, until one of them seemed to latch onto part of Aiven, and easily as that my magic flowed into him.

The only problem was I couldn't stop.

I kept sending my magic as both of our eyes snapped open. Neither of us tugged our hands away; I tried, and it didn't work. Instead, our eyes widened as the pull became stronger, stronger than seemed right. Then it snapped, like an elastic, leaving us staring at each other in surprise and feeling slightly light headed.

"By the Lady, Damslae, you have got to learn how to control yourself."

"It's not exactly like I signed up for this," I said hotly. Not attempting to sound contrite, I asked, "Do you feel better?"

"Yes - and no."

"That clears everything up."

He glared at me. "I have my health back, but I also feel - strange. Don't you?"

"Yes," I admitted reluctantly. I met his eyes to see him struggling not to smile. "What?"

"You always sound so sad when you have to agree with me," he said, smiling. I smiled back, and for a moment we stood there silently, sharing a private joke.

"Your Excellency!"

Of course, in the next moment, a clerk joined us. "Your Excellency," he repeated in a relieved voice, bowing deeply to us. "The Emperor requests all of the able High Council Seers to immediately attend the meeting."

"Lord Seers Corln, Paitre, and Lauten have already gone in," Aiven said, sounding slightly irritated at the interruption. "I will be a moment."

The clerk looked at me, then looked at Aiven, then gave a disapproving sniff. "It is a Council of War, your Excellency." He stood there, apparently waiting for Aiven to grovel for forgiveness and go with him.

Aiven looked down his nose in a rather Tullon-esque manner. "A moment alone."

"Your Excellency," the man murmured, and bowed away.

"How come I didn't rate a Your Highness'?" I asked, amused. "Maybe I should wear a circlet."

Aiven's smile was slight and his eyes distant. When he finally gave his attention to me, his face was serious. "If you follow this hallway, you'll run into any number of servants able to take you to your rooms. Stay in them until I or Corln come for you - I'm sure Mariva will be there already." He turned as if to go, but I caught his wrist.

"What's going to happen?" I asked, searching his face. Everyone had been talking about a war for so long, but I had never really thought of being involved in it - of perhaps losing people I cared about in it."

His eyes were dark and clouded. "Our men are already in position at Sarlainth, where the battle between Clait and Tharlin will occur. The battle between the enemy and us will be just more bodies piling up there — so the ordinary people will not be aware or anything for at least a little while longer."

"Who are the people in Sarlainth? I thought all the fighting Seers were here."

"Not all — some of our people — and that includes Mages and knights — are there. The rest of us will not join the battlefields for a month at least. Until then, the High Council Seers will control our people from Bast."

"Will you always?" I asked, uncertain. "Stay in Bast, that is. Because you can't go into battle?"

He held my eyes for a long moment before turning to stare beyond me. "No," he finally said. "When most of the Seers go to war, you and I will be going to Jayklin, the Seer's city-country."