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After Alan promises, I send him back to helping Dryn. I need to talk to father, but first I head out the East Gate. I want to talk to Sister Mays.
Her chairs are as uncomfortable as the ones in the council chamber, but I suspect for different reasons, at least her rooms are warm. She waits patiently for me to tell her why I need to talk to her privately, and I am finding it hard to start, because she reads people the way mother does, and I am sure my questions will reveal more to her than I want to tell. But I need to know.
“Are all Sorcerers evil?” I start awkwardly.
“Why?” I don’t like the answer she gives.
“Because that is the nature of unlimited power—it corrupts. And by definition, Sorcerers seek power.”
“But father is king, and he isn’t corrupt.” I’m sure about that, and anyway, mother wouldn’t let him be.
“Your father’s power isn’t unlimited. He must answer to the Dukes, and if King and Dukes band together to rule unjustly, then the Guildsmen and Yeomen would rise up in protest.”
I set and think for a while. I won’t accept this answer—it isn’t the one I want.
“Alan isn’t a Sorcerer. But he can do spells.”
“And you are certain he isn’t a Sorcerer?”
“My Sword is.” I risk answering truthfully, Sister Mays will never repeat what I tell her.
She thinks for a while. “Well then, the two you may be able to keep him in check.”
I collect my guards and go back to the castle in a very bad mood. I mutter several things under by breath so as not to shock my guards, who are perfectly all right with their princess killing demons and Sorcerers, but would be appalled if I used foul language.
“The lightings don’t have to kill,” my Sword tells me.
“So if he turns evil, I can just knock him out and keep him in a cage?” I’m in such a foul mood, I risk muttering back to the Sword, not caring what people think.
“A comfortably furnished cell would be more practical,” the Sword answers. I snarl and stomp down the street, body language telling everyone it’s wise to ignore the princess right now.
Jes is waiting for me at the East Gate. He has an apple and a couple of lumps of sugar. I agree to visiting Thunder, he never tells me things I don’t want to know. Thunder never talks to me at all, and I really like him for it.
After I have fed Thunder his treats and told him he is a good horse, Jes finally decides I’m ready to listen to whatever he came out to tell me.
“The palace staff is certain you and Alan were closed in a room doing magic.”
“We were.” Jess looks surprised. “Alan was, and I watched,” I clarify. “But it was my idea.” I explain, and he agrees it could be useful.
I remember to ask him about the courier. “He’s asleep. The doctor says he will be fine, after food and rest. The doctor was worried he might lose some toes to frostbite, but now they are hopeful he won’t.”
My anger drains out of me, leaving me feeling weak. “Sometimes, Jes, I just don’t like reality very much.”