My heart began to beat faster, pumping the poison more energetically through my veins so that my glowing body brightened a bit through my transparent flesh. Convenient! More light by which to see the package. Even with the enormous pupils of a Tribe member, the mail room was darker than the rest of the Mine.
The package was simple, a perfect cube of mystic fire topaz, with my name etched in plain yet somehow elegant lettering. Anhia. Who outside of this palace--who really, besides Thyzen and the princess, knew my name?
Maybe Thyzen sent the package. I wouldn’t put it past him.
No. He’s just not clever enough to cook up such an elaborate plan.
Fingers shaking with anticipation, I gently broke the seal and lifted the lid on the box. I pushed the crumpled paper inside out of the way. The package contained a small box and a small envelope. Always one to save the most exciting things for last, I opened the envelope first. That was a mistake, because the contents of that envelope were far more exciting than anything a box could hope to contain.
The seal glistened in my corporeal light like a human scab. I read:
The last Heartkeeper of the Age was killed yesterday in a tragic accident. We have met, and have selected you to be her replacement. Please come to the Only Strip tomorrow evening for your initiation.
Finally, please take this necklace as a symbol of your new role in the Four Realms. It belonged to the previous Heartkeeper, and to all those before her. Cherish it; it contains much history and dignity-and power.
~The Gemkeepers’ Council~
Gemkeepers...Gemkeepers were real?
Ankle-deep in mail, I read the letter again. It must have been a joke.
Gemkeepers didn’t exist.
But if they did...I was one of them? Me? An orphaned servant girl?