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“This is what I saw and what I heard,” Damin begins. “While I do not yet recall life on Makaran, what I saw in the man’s mind is familiar to me. There is a lake pavilion set in the centre of golden water where the lily flowers are yellow with red leaves. This pavilion has a trellis of silver and gold strands …”
“The Royal Pavilion,” Iniri murmurs, “in the palace gardens.” She touches Damin’s hand briefly. “We met there frequently.”
He swallows and chooses to look away from her mesmerising eyes … to me. “Four men met there and one of them was the man I delved.” He offers a wry grin. “Are we not fortunate we chose to spare the right man back there in the forest? None of the others were at that meeting.”
“Ilfin instinct," I say to him. “It has little to do with luck.”
He nods after a moment. “The other three men were Fenn Moravin, Holi Kor and Brant Makar.”
Iniri hisses through her teeth on hearing the last name. “Brandt is our cousin, fourth in line to the throne.”
“Older than us, and many have whispered he should be the next king,” I say. “His father is our uncle, but that man will never rule. He refuses to divulge his talent and therefore all are suspicious of him.”
“Brandt, on the other hand, has crowed his gift to the very heavens around Makaran,” Iniri growls. “And they love him for it.”
“What is his gift?” Kay asks.
“Alchemy,” Iniri snaps. “He is able to change metals. Iron into silver, pewter into gold. It has made him the wealthiest man on Makaran.”
“That explains everything,” Mirlin murmurs.
“Indeed,” I insert. “He is able to pay for the right to the throne. Fenn Moravin is Brigadier-General and therefore commands the army, while Holi Kor is Ultimo of the Faith, the first priest in other words. If those two are in Brant’s pockets, he is definitely making his play.”
“And the soldier Damin delved? How would he be in on it?” Kay frowns.
We all look at Damin, who mutters, “He was Moravin’s son.”
Iniri hisses again.
“Damn,” I say, “not good.”