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He wanted to shake his head. He understood the words, but there was
something about the meaning that eluded him.
Brental had said that the man who had fled the lancers of Lydiar- and the
white wizard-had flung chaos fire against the wizard. Cerryl had seen that,
and how the wizard had turned it back with little more than a glance. Or so it
had seemed. Still, the fugitive had held his own for a time against outlandish
odds.
Cerryl wasn t sure if he wished the blond man had won or not, but he
wouldn t soon forget the cold and impartial attitude of the white wizard,
acting as if the fugitive were little more than vermin to be destroyed.
He cleared his throat, realizing he had been murmuring the words, and
clamped his lips shut as he studied the page again, then flipped to another
page, farther along.
Still nothing about chaos fire.
He tried another page, and then another.
He glanced down at Colors of White again. Why didn t he have the second
part, instead of a worthless history? The second part would have explained
everything, like how to create chaos fire.
He frowned, touching his chin, a chin that remained beardless and smooth.
Could he create chaos fire?
In the dimness, he held up his left hand, concentrated on somehow making
fire appear at his fingertips, the way the fugitive had.
Was there a glow there? He squinted through the gloom at the faintest spark
at the tip of his index finger. Then the point of light vanished. He could
feel the sweat beading on his forehead. A deeper and ugly red glow lingered in
the air for several moments.
Cerryl took a deep breath, then another.
XXII
In the light drizzle that drifted from the low-hanging gray clouds, Cerryl
used the dark brown laundry soap and washed his hands and face at the well,
the one uphill of the south end of the porch. He shook his hands as dry as he
could in the damp air, then began to walk toward the porch of the mill
master s house, noticing that Rinfur was already stepping into the kitchen.
Viental had gone-again-to visit his  sister.
Dylert was waiting on the porch just back of the top step, his face somber.
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 Yes, ser? Cerryl could feel his stomach tightening, but kept his
expression pleasant.
 You ve learned the letters, haven t you, boy? Dylert asked, stepping back
and gesturing for Cerryl to take a seat on the porch bench.
 Ser? Meeting the millmaster s eyes squarely, Cerryl managed a blank
expression. He did not sit down.
Dylert laughed.  Young fellow, from your look I d not know, but my daughter
I can see through like she was fine timber.
 Yes, ser. I asked her to teach me. But only when I was not working, ser.
Cerryl s gray eyes continued to hold those of the millmaster.  Most times,
after dinner.
 I ve no complaints with your work or anything else you have done, young
Cerryl. Dylert fingered his beard, then cleared his throat.  That d not be
the problem.
Cerryl waited.
 That fellow-the one the white mage got the other day? Something like that&
well, it happened to your da. You know that, do you not? Dylert s eyes
flicked downhill, toward the spot on the edge of the road where the rocks and
clay remained blackened.
 I know that something happened. Uncle Syodor and Aunt Nail- they didn t
say much about it.
 Syodor& he was& he be not the type to speak of it. Dylert fingered his
beard again.
A pattering of heavier rain swept across the porch roof, followed by a
light gust of wind that ruffled Cerryl s hair. Water began to drip from the
eaves.
 Speaking or not, though, fact is, be a dangerous time to stay here for a
young fellow with a da like yours.
 Did the white mages kill Uncle Syodor, too? Cerryl asked softly.  You
would only tell me that he and Nail were dead.
 Too sharp for your own eyes, you be, young fellow. Dylert frowned.  Like
as they died in a fire, that be what Wreasohn said. How that fire got started,
I d not be guessing. Nor you, either.
Cerryl nodded. But why? What had they done to anger the white mages? If the
mages knew Cerryl existed, wouldn t they have come after him?
 I ve a wagon of white oak a-heading to Fairhaven the day after next. To
Fasse, the cabinet-maker there. The millmaster cleared his throat.  I ve a
scroll here-Siglinda, she helped me with it-and it says that you re a
hardworking young fellow better suited to finer things. It also says you re a
tattered britches relative of mine, of a distant cousin. Dylert frowned.
 Don t be making me a liar, now.
 I won t, ser. Cerryl could feel the ache in his guts growing, but kept
his eyes on Dylert.
 It s like this, Cerryl. Your da and your uncle, they did things that,
well& they did not& I mean& the white mages can be jealous& of anything much&
much close& to what& what they do. The millmaster wiped his forehead.  You be
their son and nephew, and Hrisbarg& well, small it is. All the folk know all
the folk. He shrugged.  In Fairhaven& none care& not that ways, anyway.
What had Uncle Syodor done? His uncle had stayed away from anything like
the white mages had done, and Aunt Nail-she d had a fit when she d even seen a
fragment of a mirror or glass around Cerryl.
 I thought of Tellis. Been owing me a long time, ever since I sent him the
best gold oak timbers for his shop& and a few other things. Dylert s face
clouded.
Cerryl wondered what favor was so bad that the genial Dylert had a bad
memory about it.
 Now, Tellis, he s a cousin of Dyella, and he s a scrivener. You know what
a scrivener is?
Cerryl didn t have to feign puzzlement. Why was Dylert talking about
scriveners?
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 Scriveners write things for others, Dylert said slowly,  and in Fairhaven
they make books, like the ones Erhana let you read.
 Yes, ser.
 Well, you be liking books, and Tellis owing me, and sure as he could use a
young fellow works hard as you& and Fairhaven being a better place for you&
and& well& being a place where someone with& the kind of talent mayhap you
have& seeing as if you didn t use it& it wouldn t be so unexpected& and
Tellis, he knows how that land lies, if you see the line I m laying&  Dylert
cleared his throat.
Cerryl did see the line Dylert laid. The millmaster was worried that any
passing white wizard might stumble on Cerryl and hold Dylert responsible. He
was also suggesting that Cerryl would be safer in Fairhaven, especially if he
did not use his talents openly-or perhaps at all.  Yes, ser.
 You understand, young fellow& it s not just you& 
 I understand, ser. You ve been fair and good to me.
 Dinner be ready, Dylert said.  We ll talk more after we eat. You be
needing some clothes, and a pair of good boots.
 Thank you.
 After we eat, Dylert repeated, opening the door to the kitchen.
XXIII
Under the spells and songs of Creslin, who descended from the black Nylan and [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]