“It’s not like the normal ones,” Will mused to himself.
“I would never use those new-mint, gorgon-faced atrocities,” said Percival brusquely. “I use the mint bearing the old words, those with meaning only to magi, or so it seems,”
“Isn’t that dangerous? Magi propaganda’s illegal,”
“Perhaps, but to me, it is worth the suspicion to let the higher ones know we have not surrendered.”
Conversation lingering against the silence, Will sighed and turned towards the window. Up ahead, he could see the misshapen rooftops of the Hovhesa settlement. Finally, he gave in to his curiosities.
“Why are you so sure it’s me?” he asked the majihan. “You never saw the blood or the mark or any of that. You just…think. So why?”
Anala’s lips twitched into a sad smile as Percival withdrew a folded piece of paper from his robe pocket. He passed it over to Will, and he saw that it was old and burnt around the edges. He unfolded it and was met by the sepia-toned faces of five children. The youngest was a girl no older than one in a tailored play-robe, held up in the arms of another girl, seated in the middle between two older boys, one stood, the other sat. On the floor was a third girl with an ornate skirt arranged in a perfect circle, clutching a handful of flowers. Will’s eyes brushed each child, the metal bands around their heads indicating they were royal. The older children in the middle wore circlets more elaborate than the rest. The boy that was stood to the left was wearing an embroidered jacket and a circlet of metal leaves against his finely-combed dark hair.
It was him.