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appalled by the suggestion, but Dreibrand tried to encourage him. "I will
signal for surrender. That will get Sandin s attention. He will not miss a
chance to accept my surrender," Dreibrand predicted.
Cevlead warned, "Sandin wants to execute you."
"How formal," Dreibrand remarked but he moved on quickly to important details.
He asked Cevlead to stall reporting to Sandin and to tell his soldiers to
stand down because a truce was being arranged.
"But, Dreibrand, even if Sandin agrees to speak with you, what will you say?"
Cevlead said.
Eager delight erased many hardships from Dreibrand s haggard face. "I will
condemn Sandin for his mistakes and I will challenge him for his title of Lord
General," Dreibrand answered.
The risks that Dreibrand embraced amazed Cevlead, but he wanted Dreibrand to
succeed. Even with Tempet and Alloi gone, Cevlead could not believe that
Sandin would relent from his assault. He would hunt the rys or, at the very
least, ransack Vetanium, and as Dreibrand said, eventually Shan would come
back to punish them when they did not leave the territory.
"May the Gods grant us a long friendship, Dreibrand Veta," Cevlead said trying
to invoke a positive outcome.
"I wish for the same," Dreibrand said and really meant it. Although
manipulating the loyalties of
Cevlead Fanlyre had always been his hope, Dreibrand wanted their relationship
to be genuine. "I
must go talk with my people. I will ask the rys to help you with fires as soon
as a truce can be arranged. Meet me at the base of that hill when I come
forward to signal my parley."
Without waiting for Cevlead to respond, Dreibrand departed. The Atrophane
soldiers observed his passing but did not hinder him. The men who had directly
witnessed Dreibrand pleading with the
rys King on their behalf had spread the story quickly, and the opinions of the
soldiers favored him.
Fanlyre s order to assume a truce was not disputed.
Running up the hill warmed Dreibrand but could not dry the wet clothes beneath
his armored jacket. Atarek rushed out to meet him, and when Dreibrand stopped,
the wind cut through his flesh with an icy bone saw.
Only recently off the ground, Atarek was trembling severely.
"Stomp your feet. Move your arms," Dreibrand directed. After living in the
north for several years, he had learned to cope with the climate.
Atarek followed the suggestion. After complaining about his sore hands and
feet, he asked what had happened.
"It seems that Shan must have put everybody to sleep," Dreibrand said.
"That is what Tytido said," Atarek said. "But why? Just to make us freeze to
death."
Dreibrand shook his head. He did not want to think about what passed for
reason in Shan s mind today. "It appears that Shan and the female have chosen
to take their dispute elsewhere, which perhaps is the best for us," Dreibrand
said.
"Perhaps it is," Atarek agreed.
Looking to Tytido, who was jogging in place, Dreibrand quickly inquired about
the status of their warriors.
"Faychan is making sure that everyone is off the ground. Telling them to get
ready to ride," Tytido said and then clamped shut his chattering teeth.
"Good, but that may not be necessary. I have gained a truce with Fanlyre,"
Dreibrand explained.
"Fanlyre," Atarek repeated with contempt. "You place too much store with that
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fool."
"He would see himself freed from Promentro s leadership. That is enough for
us," Dreibrand said.
He pointed out the group of Atrophane that was supposed to stand down. Other
groups of soldiers were drifting away from the remnants of Fanlyre s cohort
and returning to the Darhet s side. The small size of Fanlyre s command
dismayed Atarek when he compared it to the bulk of the Atrophane that remained
with Sandin.
Tytido shared Atarek s worry that Dreibrand overestimated his chance for
success. Tytido said, "Dreibrand, I know what you would like to do, but& we
should go while we have the chance. We do not even know where Shan is."
"Good riddance," Dreibrand snarled. "I have had my fill of his help."
Too traumatized by the awful deployment of souls to comment about it, Tytido
quietly continued to give his advice. "We need to fall back to the Tabren [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]