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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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“The night before you left,” I said. “I was in your cottage, standing over your bed as you slept … watching the pulse of your throat with my knife in my hand. I was there longer than I needed to be, and I finally put my knife back in its sheath.… That’s when I decided.”

Her lashes barely fluttered, and her expression revealed nothing, but I saw her chest rise in a slow measured breath. “Not when I bandaged your shoulder?” she asked. “Not when we danced? Not when—”

“No. Just in that moment.”

She nodded and slowly pulled her fist from mine. She dusted the remaining traces of sand from her hand.

“Sevende!” Finch called. “The horses are ready!”

“Coming,” I yelled back. I sighed. “He’s eager to get home.”

“Aren’t we all?” she answered. The edge had returned to her voice. She turned and walked back to her horse, and though she didn’t say it, I sensed that maybe this time, she had wanted me to lie.

Let it be known,

They stole her,

My little one.

Her arms reached back to me screaming,


She is a young woman now,

And this old woman couldn’t stop them.

Let it be known to the gods and generations,

They stole from the Remnant.

Harik, the thief, he stole my Morrighan,

Then sold her for a sack of grain,

To Aldrid the scavenger.

—The Last Testaments of Gaudrel


We broke camp before sunup. They said they wanted to reach our next destination well before sundown without any further explanation. I could only wonder if some of the wild animals that Kaden had spoken of weren’t so skittish. We trekked across the flattest part of nowhere, only the occasional distant knoll and malnourished thicket breaking up the endlessness.

We hadn’t been traveling long through grass that swept just below the horse’s knees, when my chest grew tight. A strange foreboding pressed down on me. I tried to ignore it, but after two miles, it became unbearable, and I stopped my horse, my breaths coming shallow and fast. It is a way of trust. This wasn’t just my apprehension of being dragged across the middle of nowhere. I recognized it for what it was, something mysterious but not magical. Something circling in the air.

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