148 ~ Zardria

0246 hours

This day was horrible, and it was only a few hours old.

First the attack, news of it waking her from one of the few peaceful slumbers she’d had. Instantly galvanised, she’d run around sending out orders but feeling generally useless, as Admiral Anala had already waked up and taken care of things. Had it not been for the woman’s battle sense, Zardria was sure the castle would have been lost.

Only in the aftermath had she been able to do anything of use. Once she’d done all she could and Anala had still not reported to her, she’d decided to get some sleep again. What else could one do in a siege? There was nothing to be done till morning. Well, till the sun rose, anyway, and she wanted some sleep between now and then.

She looked at the signet ring on her finger. Examined the hole where, just moments before, the green stone had exploded in a shower of dust. Glared at the circle of metal with unequivocal rage.

There was only one thing the breaking of that stone could mean.

Somehow the Magi bitch was free.

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