The princess returned to the castle with her father and he called for a large feast. The same day, her brother returned from the battle with the rest of the guard and partook in the merriment. The city was joyous that their beloved princess that been chosen for the light. The king did not forget the deal he had made, but he vowed only he, his daughter, and the head of the guard should ever know.

The next day, his son brought a young captain in the guard into the king’s hall. Her name was Oracia. She both was a skilled fighter that praised by Farleigh and admired by the citizens for her dare, and a beautiful girl that was loved by the prince. Of all of the captains in the guard, Oracia was the king’s favorite. When the prince tried to speak for her, she waved him aside.

“I need a reading, your majesty,” she said.

The king frowned. “You’ve had yours already, last spring.”

She shook her head. “It was put off due to the fighting in the north, your majesty. Then it was put off again because of the rumors of the Drowned Army.”

The king nodded but kept his frown. “Alright. In the spring, no matter the invader, you’ll have a reading.”

“It has to be now,” the prince interjected. The king looked at his son, who continued, “She’ll be twenty in a week.”

Edric looked to Oracia, who torn her glare away from Aric and nodded to the king. “It’s true,” she said.

Edric’s jaw tightened with he thought of the caves, but nothing could be done. The reading was required and he had pushed his luck with the Fates as far as he could.

“You’ll leave tomorrow morning.”

The End

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