“It’s not polite to stare, Sevaan.”
“I barely recognize you. How long has it been, old friend?” Sevaan’s gentle, steely gaze searched Dwyn’s. But his sky-gray eyes were listless and distant.
“Ten years,” the Dwyn murmured.
Sevaan smiled sadly. “A long time for humans like you and I.”
Humans. He says the word so casually. Certainly with reason, too. Is that the reason he’s here? To talk about Ana?
Dwyn felt anger sting his heart like a black scorpion. “If you’re not here to discuss magic then why are you here?”
The old man glanced about the room, surveyed his friend. “I worry about you. And now that I’m here and have seen all the spell-smoke with my own eyes . . . ‘Prolonged exposure to magic, in any form, has adverse effects on physical fortitude and mental stability.’” He recited the line like a lesson.
“A false claim. I doubt you would have dropped all of your priestly duties to visit me because of a little concern. You would’ve written me first. Tell me now, Sevaan, why are you here?”
Sevaan sighed, gathering what words he could muster. He hoped to ease his way into the conversation, but knew that was futile. He decided that the blunt truth was the only approach. It was the only chance at recruiting Dwyn.
“If it isn’t obvious Dwyn Olean, World’s Greatest Illusionist of All Time, then let me say it plainly: I’m here because we need the Shield Alliance to get back together.”
Dwyn became instantly infuriated. He wants to talk about everyone . . . about the memories and the Alliance and the pain!
“How dare you think that’s even possible, Sevaan. How dare you disregard her so easily! Did she mean nothing to you? Ana’s death marked the death of the Alliance. We all went our separate ways after that.”