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he would either learn to control it, or he would be flayed. He alone could master his impulses. Yet if there was any other way in which Galen could be aided, Elric would do all that could be done.

Across the chamber, Blaylock gave him a slight nod.



Chapter 6



Galen sat cross-legged on the mak within the small tent chamber, his hands on his knees. He breathed deeply, going through the mind-focusing techniques Elric had taught him. Visualize each letter of the alphabet appearing on a screen in sequence, and hold them all in your mind at once. Go through the prime numbers from one to one thousand. Create a mnemonic tree of one hundred objects and repeat them backward, forward, every third one, every prime one, every one containing the letter T, every one that matches with your heartbeat.

Still, he could not hide from the truth. He would soon be cast away.

Elizar returned from the next chamber, where the Circle met. The energy he'd shown earlier, during the inquiry, had vanished. His mouth hung open, and his good arm was crossed over his chest, holding his injured arm to his side. "I was rebuked," he said.

Galen stood. "I'm sorry. It was my fault."

Elizar's dark blue gaze fixed on him. "I have behaved erratically. I should not have spoken-as I did."

"I would like to understand. I would like to help."

"I know things, Galen, that I should not know and that I cannot share." Elizar glanced back at the tent flap. "If you knew what I know, if you had the opportunity I have, you would do the same as I."

"What are you doing?"

Elizar shrugged, looking away. "Trying to save us all."

The rune representing Galen's name appeared in fire over the tent flap. Galen went to it. "It's my turn. Whatever they decide, thank you for asking for leniency.
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