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him and realized that he was not like them, that he was something terribly different.

In the center of them sat Kell, his dark eyes studying Galen.



Chapter 4



Galen sat at the rough wood table in the main room of their house, his face pale, his hands in his lap. Elric observed him closely. Galen's respiration was only slightly above normal now, as was his heartbeat. Yet his eyes remained fixed on the middle distance, caught in a place where Elric could not follow. Elric knew he was shaken by the huge destructive force he had conjured.

Elric had brought him from the hall as quickly as possible, knowing that he would need time to recover from the disorientation of the override. It was always a difficult experience. And Galen's spell was something that had to be discussed privately.

Galen was nearly recovered from the override, but he seemed trapped within his thoughts, overwhelmed by them. When Galen was very upset, Elric had noticed, he always became still. In the days following his parents' funeral, he had sat on a stool by the fire with his hands folded, not moving for hours.

At that time, Elric had felt inadequate to the task of caring for Galen. He had long lived alone, and had accepted solitude as his natural condition. The roles of teacher and parent were foreign to him. He had no affinity for children, who struck him generally as irritating, unpredictable, and undisciplined. In his visits to Galen's parents on mage matters, Elric had come to find Galen somewhat less objectionable than other children. Yet he had felt uneasy in taking Galen on as his apprentice, afraid that he would be unequal to the task.

Elric had been surprised to find their natures quite suited to each other, and somehow, Galen had developed into a promising apprentice.
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