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cast no spells since receiving the tech. He told himself he had no need, but the truth was he felt reluctant to rouse it.

Oddly, Elric had not pushed him to use the tech or to return to the convocation. If Galen didn't know better, he would think Elric had given up on teaching him. Galen had been afraid-after his attack on Elizar-that his relationship with Elric had been ruined. Although the Circle had given him another chance, Galen knew he had disappointed Elric deeply. He hadn't known whether Elric might still find him worthy of teaching, or worthy of care.

Yet Elric had overseen his recovery as if nothing had changed. Late each night, after satisfying the demands of the convocation, Elric drove him relentlessly through hours of mind-focusing exercises designed to sharpen his mental discipline and control.

During the day, Elric surprised him with tests, checking his ability to control his impulses in various disconcerting ways, such as by throwing objects at him-some illusory, some not-and seeing how he would react. The rigorous training brought Galen a great sense of reassurance. Elric still wanted to teach him. Elric was giving him another chance. Galen was determined not to disappoint him again.

To prove himself worthy of this second chance, he must never use the spell of destruction again. After conjuring it in the training hall, Galen had never imagined that he would. He had thought common sense would prevent him from doing anything so foolish. Yet common sense didn't operate in a fraction of a second. Only instinct.

Galen had thought the spell was unrelated to him, that it had been derived through objective logic. Yet what Kell had said was true, and Galen could not hide from it, much as he might want. His thoughts ran in narrow, regimented pathways.
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