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The Seeress and the Stone 12
Angelia sat on her window seat in the early hours of the morning. She had awakened early from a bad dream and was not able to go back to sleep. The moon was still out and the stars dimly shone in the sky. She thought about everything that had occurred the day before.
It was useless trying to sleep so she decided to pull out the one small scroll her grandfather had secreted to her. She went into her sitting room for a lamp, but stopped when she heard voices in the garden. Her sitting room was the only room in her suite that had a view of the garden and it was mostly just the garden gate. Quietly she went to the window and peeked out.
Two men waited in the shadows near the gate. She moved back so as not to be seen and then peeked carefully out at the men again. Her father’s voice interrupted their whispered conversation.
“Judge Velor, Assistant Detizon. Thank you for coming this morning. Governor Berian and the others are waiting inside.”
The men opened the gate and walked silently into the house. Her father’s study was on the ground floor and had a private door so he could come and go and not be bothered by anyone in the house.
Angelia grabbed her robe and slipped into the hall. Her bare feet made no noise on the marble floor as she crept down the stairs. A light was coming from under her father’s study door. She tiptoed to the door and quietly turned the knob. The door opened a crack and the voices became clear.
Angelia listened as her father spoke. “I have asked each of you to come today to discuss another matter of importance. Judge Velor are we all here?”
“I’m afraid there are a few who have not made it, but there is a Council majority present. Please continue,” Judge Velor replied snidely.
“Very well. I am concerned that the followers of Celendar Galashad will retaliate against the government because of Celendar’s banishment. It has been brought to my knowledge that these people may already be preparing an attack on the city, Geralde announced dramatically.
“Why would Celendar’s followers attack the city?” one of the council members asked.
Geralde huffed. “To depose the council and place Celendar at the head.”
“How can we prevent such an attack?” Governor Berian asked nervously.
Assistant Detizon spoke up, “We could set a watch to make sure they cannot attack the city. It would provide a few of those jobs we have been promising the people.”
The others chuckled.
Judge Velor interrupted, “Governor Berian and High Council members, I have a better idea. Let’s eliminate the threat all together. If exiling Celendar silences him, wouldn’t it do the same for the others? We can force them all to leave. Three weeks is hardly enough time for any mobilization. We have a list of names of the leaders and they can be put on watch. In three weeks’ time we have an armed guard escort them out of the valley and as Detizon so cleverly put it, provide watch tower jobs at the Outpost and mountain passes, so the people are not able to return.”
Angelia gasped, clapping her hands over her mouth.
“Who are these people?” Governor Berian asked.
“Most of them live in the outskirts of the city, but there are a few prominent names. Geoff Maithley, Jexson Undreth, Le’Mone Alasture they are the leaders.”
“Hmm. Those are some very well-known names. Judge Undreth’s son, what a pity.” The Governor paused. “Well we should put it to a vote then. All in favor of banishing the followers of Celendar Galashad let it be known.” Angelia heard movement. “So it is decided by the High Council of Viecity. Director Galashad, I want you to publish this throughout the city. Post a notice on every offender’s door. They must all know by noon today and they must leave with Celendar Galashad in three weeks.”
“As you wish, Governor,” Geralde replied eagerly.
“Meeting is now adjourned,” the governor said.
Angelia scrambled away from the door, but no one came out that way. She hurried back up the stairs to her bedroom and shut the door. Breathing heavily she walked to the window of her sitting room and looked out. She could see the shadows of the council members disappear into the trees that surrounded her home.
The last to leave was Judge Velor. He stood with Geralde at the gate. Angelia opened the window and strained to hear what they said.
“Geralde, may I ask where the governor received his information on this immanent attack?”
Geralde grunted, “A very reputable source, Judge Velor. I believe it is someone on the inside of Celendar’s council.”
“Interesting. It seems as if this decision was already made and the Governor was only seeking the blessing of the council,” Judge Velor prodded.
Geralde shrugged his shoulders. “I believe the governor was acting on good information, Judge. The council has voted, there is nothing more we can do. Are you questioning your own suggestion, Judge?”
“No, I just want to be sure that the motives behind this meeting were truly for the benefit of the city. I would hate to report any misdoings to the council. It would be very messy and would perhaps delay the departure of the old man and his followers.” Judge Velor spoke with quiet subtlety. “Perhaps there is a way I can be certain your information is accurate.”
Geralde looked at the Judge for several minutes and then nervously replied, “Yes, I think it would be fine to discuss the governor’s sources with you.” He leaned in and whispered something, but Angelia was too far away to hear.
Judge Velor smiled again. “Wonderful. I am happy to support our government against these fanatics.” He turned and walked away. Angelia’s father stood staring at the retreating judge and then returned to his office.
Angelia sat in shock at the window. The light was just beginning to show in the eastern sky. She got to her feet and began pacing the room.
“I have to warn Geoff. Oh what can I do?” She murmured aloud. Her thoughts raced. If Geoff was to be banished, so would Kya and Jord and—French. She must warn French and Le’Mone.
A knock sounded at her door and she froze.
“Angelia?” It was her father.
She rumpled her hair and went to the door of her bedroom. “Yes?” She yawned.
Geralde opened the suite door and poked his head inside. “Good you’re awake. Your mother has some errands to run this morning and she wants you to accompany her before school.” He turned to leave.
“Father, I’m not feeling well. Perhaps . . .”
“Nonsense. You’re just nervous about school. Get dressed quickly. Breakfast will be in half an hour.” He closed the door.
Angelia sank to the floor. Her whole world had come crashing to the ground and she could do nothing to stop it. Choking sobs wracked her body as the last light of hope disappeared with the morning light.