Chapter Thirteen (cont’d)

Part 2

“But isn’t it true? Because we rely on each other’s giftings, we are better for it? No one kingdom can rule over another, truly, without having the weakness of whomever they are at odds with?” Edward said. He had been visited by Begrenzen the night before his confirmation. Surely nothing an initiate to the Elders, not to mention a friend, would have said that night could have swayed him? To the contrary, Begrenzen had left Edward’s chambers that night leaving him with the idea that Foresight in Shadow was his royal duty to accept.

“I did not say the Treaty was a bad one, my boy. No, indeed. I use it to merely point out that the Elders and R’phas would have you believe one thing for the sake of you not questioning what they believe to be right. It was not how the Provider had intended things to be, that is all. Imagine if you had Foresight in Shadow and Veil of Mind. Hmm? Then, you would not need Benjamin beside you to properly gauge their intent when vex are near.”

Edward was thinking, but it was not of whether or not having all the gifts would have been a greater blessing, for he was instantly sure it would have been a greater challenge for all. No, he was pondering if the Elders had lied about him being the one to defeat the Vex. And if it wasn’t true, then he felt nothing could save ReAnne.

“What of the legend of the Provider’s son? There is no mention of him. Is his name among the signatures or did Hazar Maveth truly kill him?” Pitney asked.

“Or did he exist at all?” Edward added.

“Not that any would tell. Most would rather forget the idea the Provider had a son. It…complicates things.” Yavin lifted up the candle and held it to look into Pitney’s face. “Why do you ask?”

Even under candlelight, the red rising in Pitney’s cheeks was obvious. “Uh…no reason, really. Other than…the thought that…if the Provider did have a son, wouldn’t he have been the most powerful? And that would also mean it must have been with Aoife, but there is no record of their Binding, much less a child.”

“Uh, hmmm…” Yavin nodded and then turned to another table and picked up a book bound in red leather. “This is the diary of Elder Roem. In it, he hints at a secret binding and a late night visit to Aoife’s chambers to bear testimony to a birth. But the text is unclear who is getting married and who is giving birth. In other entries, he speaks of her maid being bound, being with child, and going into labor so quickly, that Aoife offers the maid her own bed for labor. And then proceeds to let her have her lying-in within her chambers. Which means for months, Aoife and her maid were essentially untouched by the world. Many believe this is when Hazar Maveth came to Aoife and seduced her.”

“But when could this have taken place? According to the histories, Hazar visited her for over a year. Surely, he would have known there was an heir…”

“I am proud to see that you are asking all the right questions. Well done. Never underestimate a woman’s ability to be devious, my son. The right attire could easily hide a pregnancy, if the eyes that are looking are not truly seeing what they want to see. However, I did wonder it myself, until I came across this.”

The book easily opened in one brush of his hand to the last third of the diary. Yavin cleared his throat as one finger trailed along the page looking for just the right spot. When he found it, he read it aloud, combing his beard with his free hand.

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