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Arden Chapter 26:
Loose Ends

The door to Sallus’ cell opened with a groan. He sat up, pleased to receive the visitor he had long been expecting. The woman in white entered and sat down on bed. She smoothed the creases from the rough blanket before she spoke. Sallus filled the silence for her.

“I’ve said nothing. When will I be free?”

“You can’t go free Sallus,” said the woman. “You have failed the land. You failed me. I now have to be involved more publically. I wanted to avoid that.”

“Involved? How? The Mages will never rule this land again.”

“No, they won’t, thanks to you.”

“We can take the power back. I can help you again.”

“We can’t take power in the same way, but fear not. By the time I am done the people will be begging for my rule. You can’t help the Mages any more Sallus. You tried and failed. And what you know will risk our future efforts to protect Arden.”

“I won’t say a word. Not one breath.”

The woman rose. The blanket next to her was smooth now. The wrinkles gone. She looked at Sallus, and watched the puzzlement in his face turn to confusion, then to fear and then terror as he tried to suck in air.

Ovette left Sallus to die on the floor of his cell.

“Not one breath,” she agreed.