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wanted to be a healer. That desire had remained with him all the way to age eighteen, the time of the last convocation. At that gathering, he'd entered chrysalis stage and taken the name of Galen, an ancient Greek physician and philosopher.

But in the three years since then, he'd realized he had no aptitude for healing. His work as a healer was ineffective at worst, incompetent at best.

He now felt the answer to Elric's question might lay in the work of the ancients, which fascinated him, but he didn't know how he could contribute to that great work. His conjury had simply paid tribute to the accomplishments of Wierden, without showing how his own work would relate to them. He had failed to create something original. He stared at the floor. "I'm not sure," he answered finally.

Elric headed for the door. "Good technique and precision on that," he said quickly.

Galen jerked his head up. Elric had sworn always to speak truth to him, and in the eleven years Elric had trained him, Galen had received praise only twice before.

Elric paused beside the door. "Have you considered the question I posed yesterday?" His voice had returned to its deep, measured tones.

The question-Why are you a techno-mage?-was one that all chrysalis-stage apprentices would have to answer as part of the initiation ceremonies. The response often helped to define a mage's work. If he could answer that question, then all his conjuring would have a direction.

"I've thought of little else," Galen said.

"And have you thought of an answer?"

"To study the work of the ancients, to further their work where I can."

"To further their work."

"It seems so much more worthy than any work I can think of."

"It is worthy. But you must make it your own." He grasped the door latch, said
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