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anger,' continued Turval. 'Both of you.'

'Try telling that to Merreck!' Vance snapped.

'Maybe if you had a certain understanding of events, it might help you to overcome your anger. Walk with me.' Turval turned and moved away from the Night Walker barracks. He walked silently, seeming to glide through the shadows. They walked back toward the academy, skirting the numerous training halls and instruction rooms, heading straight for the Temple of Valen.

They walked into the Chapel, and Vance soaked in the sense of reverence and peace that pervaded the room, from its tiled floor to its lofty ceiling. Turval stood before the statue of Valen, looking up with a contented smile. 'I know you felt antagonism towards your father for sending you here,' said Turval.

'At first I did. But I have since seen the wisdom in his actions, Sech Turval.'

The smile spread across Turval's face. 'That is good. But I still feel you bear him a certain antipathy. Much between you has not yet been resolved.'

'With respect, Sech Turval, I fail to see what this has to do with-'

'Indeed you do,' Turval said, turning towards Vance. 'You fail to see many things, much of which is no fault of your own. Ignorance is sometimes a valid excuse for the mistakes we make. I will set that to rights. Why do you think Merreck wants to see you fail?'

Several different answers popped into Vance's head. Most of them involved assumptions that Merreck was a fanatical racist with a superiority complex who couldn't talk to girls and was probably bullied at school as a youth. Other more colourful responses entered his mind, but Vance stifled them. 'I have no idea,' he replied.

'The reason is something you could never have known before you came here.'

'Something to do with Neroon?' asked Vance, thinking
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