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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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An alliance between Morrighan and Dalbreck could make all of our efforts futile. Even worse, the girl is said to be a Siarrah. We may not believe in such magical thinking, but others do, and it might embolden them or make our own people fearful. We can’t take a chance. Her flight is their bad luck and our good fortune. Slip in, slip out—your specialty. And if you can make it look like the work of Dalbreck, so much the better. I know you’ll fulfill your duties. You always do.

Yes, I always met my duty. Far ahead the trail forked, and Eben saw that as his last chance to resume his campaign. “I still don’t see why I shouldn’t be the one to go. I know the language just as well as you.”

“And all the dialects of Morrighan as well?” I questioned.

Before he could answer, Griz reached out and cuffed the side of his head. Eben yelped, sending a round of guffaws through the other men. “The Komizar wants him to do the deed, not you!” he shouted. “Quit yer whining!” Eben was silent for the remainder of the ride.

We reached the point where our paths diverged. Griz and his band of three had their own special skills. They would weave their way through the northernmost portion of Morrighan, where the kingdom had foolishly concentrated its forces. They’d be creating their own special brand of mayhem. Not as bloody as mine, but just as productive. Their work would take considerably longer, though, which meant I’d have a “holiday,” as Griz described it, while I waited for them at a designated camp in the Cam Lanteux for our return trip to Venda. He knew as well as I did that the Cam Lanteux was no holiday.

I watched as they went their own way, Eben sulking low in his saddle.

Not a job for you.

Had I been that eager to please the Komizar when I was his age?

Yes.

It was just a handful of years past, but it seemed like two lifetimes ago.

The Komizar wasn’t even a dozen years older than I was, hardly a full-grown man himself when he became ruler of Venda. That was when he took me under his wing. He saved me from starving. Saved me from a lot of things I’ve tried to forget. He gave me what my own kind hadn’t. A chance. I’ve never stopped paying him back. There are some things you can never pay back.

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