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Pearson Mary E, “The kiss of deception”, public translation into English from English More about this translation.

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“Wait,” I said as she turned to leave. I threw back the flap of my saddlebag and removed the gold jeweled box I had stolen from the Scholar. I took out the books and returned them to my bag. I held the box out to her. “In the winter when you travel south, there are cities in the Lesser Kingdoms where books and teachers can be had. This should buy you many. It’s never too late to learn something of another gift. At least for the children’s sake.” I pushed it into her hands. “As you said, it’s good to have many strengths.”

She nodded and set the box on the bed. Her hands reached up and gently cupped my face. “Ascente cha ores ri vé breazza.” She leaned close, pressing her cheek to mine and whispered, “Zsu viktara.”

When she stepped back, I shook my head. I hadn’t yet learned their language.

“Turn your ear to the wind,” she interpreted. “Stand strong.”

Natiya glared at Kaden as he helped me up on my horse. Malich had insisted that my hands either be cut off or tied before we left. While Kaden would have argued Malich down a week ago, today he didn’t, and my hands were bound. Natiya and the other women had quickly gathered together a riding outfit for me since they had burned my other clothes. It was clear they hadn’t known we would be leaving today either. They found a long split-legged riding skirt, and a snug white shirt for me to wear. They also gave me an old cloak in case the weather turned, and I packed that into my bedroll. Reena made me keep the scarf for my head.

Griz roared a hearty farewell, but no one else said anything. Maybe good-byes weren’t their way, or maybe they felt as I did, that it just didn’t seem right. A farewell seemed born of a choice to leave, and they all knew this wasn’t my choice, but at the last minute, Reena and Natiya ran after our horses. Kaden halted our procession for them to catch up.

Like Dihara’s, their parting words came in their own tongue, maybe because it was more natural and heartfelt for them that way, but their words were only directed at me. They stood on either side of my horse.

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