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hair to obscure her face, he saw that her eyes were huge, the skin around them darkened as if with lack of sleep. She looked from Isabelle to Galen.

My condolences, her message read.

"Do you want her to take any of those other things?" Elizar asked.

Galen put the two shopping bags on top of the crate, but kept his staff. Razeel took the cart with the stasis crate and wheeled it away toward the promenade.

Elizar put his arm across Galen's shoulders. "Let us go in. Then we can talk at last."

Galen entered with Elizar, Isabelle following. The interior was decorated in dark stone and dim light, with tables on the right side and a bar along the left wall. A man stood behind the bar. "Sit where you like," he said.

They chose a table against the right wall. Galen leaned his staff against the wall, and the bartender approached. "Planning on eating or just drinking?"

"Since this is a restaurant, we were planning to eat," Elizar said. "Unless it's too much of an inconvenience."

The bartender frowned, handed them menus. They ordered quickly, and the bartender apparently committed their order to memory. "I'll go wake up the cook," he said, and disappeared into the back.

"How did you learn of the Shadows?" Isabelle asked Elizar.

"Kell knew that they were returning," Elizar said, speaking in a low voice. "Kell has known for some time. You were sent on a needless task. To discover what he already knew."

Elizar stopped, waiting for them to absorb the implications. If it were true, Galen thought, then Burell had died for nothing. He could see the same thought on Isabelle's face.

"Did Kell tell you this?" she asked, intent.

"No," Elizar said.

"Then what is your source?"

"About a year ago, Kell mentioned to me that Carvin had discovered Alwyn's
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