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his hand around it. "Rather than accept uncertainty, people will discount the input of their own senses." He raised his eyebrows. "Would you like some water in that?"

Galen looked down at his mug. It was empty.

After gulping down some water, Galen prepared to face his greatest weakness. "Originality," Galen said, as Elric resumed his hold on the chrysalis.

Galen had been struggling with this issue for months. Each mage cultivated his own distinctive style, specific types of spells that he cast and characteristic flourishes that appeared in those spells. Elric had taught him that a mage's conjuries should reveal, express, and complete him.

Yet Galen had thus far failed to develop his own style, his own set of flourishes. He much preferred to reproduce the spells of others rather than create his own. He wasn't terribly good at inventing his own spells, and when he did manage to think of one, he often discovered it had been conjured before. It wasn't original. The few times that he had thought of something new, he'd discarded it, having decided the spell was unworthy and foolish compared to those of the greats. And although that was accurate, it was not the whole truth. Something else made him hesitant to develop his own spells. The idea of displaying something that had come from within him, something original to him, made Galen very uncomfortable. He found he did not want to reveal himself.

He had searched for some solution that would satisfy Elric and help lead him toward his own style. At last he had settled on a tribute to Wierden.

So he closed his eyes a moment, clearing his thoughts, and again visualized a blank screen on which he might write equations. Then he opened his eyes, determined to give a better presentation.

He extended an arm. From his
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