The next time

Elysia sighed as she attended to Arowyn. "Next time you try taunting someone, remember who it is, alright? Landon is a champion as it is. We don't need him stooped down to a lovestruck boy just because you think that-"

"I'm tired of Alina closing herself up, El." Arowyn protested.

"-that you think that you can solve every problem in front of you when it isn't your place to interfere-" Arowyn flinched as Elysia tightened a bandage.  "Hold still.  You're worse then when you fell down that vent, you know that? Let me fix your wrist."

Arowyn sighed deeply and quieted herself, wincing at the pain in her bruised wrist. 

It was her fault for taunting him, she knew.


Kate spoke to the best of the Council's spies. Among these were Landon and Arowyn, Christopher the son of Kelly, Korman, Derek Thane, the previously widowed Lady Brighton, and Thomas (soon to be the Duke of Plight), all of which had little time to be there, adn less time to get out.

With an almost grim expression, she told them the structure of the House Great, where most promotions, celebrations, balls, and occasions for the Royal Family (along with other noblemen and women) were held.

She showed carefully copied blueprints (courtesy of Alina), loopholes in the guard system.

She gave a soldier's uniform to Derek, assigned tasks, and told them how much time they had.

"An' fer this the point is what, Kate?" Landon asked (demanded), looking up from the blueprints. "There is a gap in your plan."

"The ceremony, of course. You're going to go in, find the loops in the security, steal the documents we need, attend the afterparty, and come back here. I've already spoken to Alyssa, and she's agreed to help. She fills the 'gap,' so to speak, that you pointed out." Kate said triumphantly.

She glanced at the faces about her. "Are there any problems?"

Heads began to shake uncertainly.

"Ah, problems? Yes." Derek Thane said in a worried tone.      

"Have any of you seen  House Great? Excusing Lady Brighton, are you all out of your minds?" 

They stared at him, unflinchingly.

"Go on." Kate said grudgingly. They were running out of time.

"House Great has gates on the outside, of course, but there are six soldiers at the entrance of that gate. The building itself is highly guarded. Guards report every hour, and changing of the guard is as tight and snappy as a bullwhip. There are eighty guards on each floor, and forty archers on the front wall alone, with twenty on each of the other three walls. Four guards are at the door.

"All the attending guests enter first, and another thirty guards search anyone under a middle rank as thourghouly as possible in public. All secret passages are pronouced as 'nonexistant' if they aren't found. This place is one of the tighest to get in and out of. It's almost entirely impossible."

"Then don't do it. If I thought you weren't capable, then I wouldn't have called you. Your choice." Kate added smugly, knowing that Derek wouldn't refuse.

Derek inhaled sharply.

House Great was also the oldest library on the continent.

The End

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