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decided to take a walk before retiring. He signaled to the Imperial Guard, who would maintain their distance out of respect, while staying near enough to intervene should he run into trouble.

The woods near the campsite were thick with trees, their silver and gray leaves already turning black and gold in anticipation of winter. A narrow path ran through the place where they grew together the thickest. Londo walked the well-worn path with confidence, knowing he need only make a sound to attack the guards, when he heard another sound nearby.

Someone was crying.

He slowed, edging toward a clearing in the woods. There in the double moonlight he saw Shiri in the arms of a young man. He was holding her so tightly that Londo thought she might be pulled through him to the other side.

"You shouldn't have come, Corlo," she was saying. "It's dangerous."

"I don't care. I had to see you. I spoke with your father. He doesn't want you doing this any more than I do. It's that woman, Delasi.. she pressured him into making her your guardian. She uses people. She doesn't care about you, Shiri. All she cares about is power."

"I know that, Corlo. I know what she is, and what price I will pay. But this is the only way to keep our family's honor. House Dei is without power and without money. Soon all we have will be sold or taken away. My father could even be sold into bond slavery to pay off our debts. I have a gift that guarantees that no matter what happens to me, my family will be taken care of forever. My father needs this, even if he can't see it himself. I can't turn my back on him." Corlo pulled her from his chest and looked at her. "Can you turn your back on me?"

"I'm not-"

"Once you're enshrined at Tuwain, you are not allowed to marry, not allowed the company
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