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Shadows, we must abandon the Code. If we fight the Shadows, then we are making ourselves into something we were never meant to be: soldiers. We carry a special blessing. We have a special destiny. We are not meant for war. That would be moving in the wrong direction. If we are to survive, I believe we must create a special place of hiding, where none can find us until we see fit."

Blaylock sat.

Herazade was staring at him with her mouth open, amazed at this grim piece of advice. Kell and Ing-Radi were less surprised, but still seemed unhappy with Blaylock's suggestion.

Kell pushed himself to his feet. "Your proposal, Blaylock, seems premature. Just as Elric's proposal to forge alliances and prepare to fight the Shadows seems premature. Isabelle has given us the promise of a weapon to use against the Shadows: the ability to hear their communications. What other weapons we may have against them, we do not know. And what weapons they may have against us, we do not know. Our illusions seem easily penetrated by them." He hesitated, looking down toward the well of the amphitheater. Kell never hesitated.

He was considering telling them, Elric realized, telling them the secret he'd been keeping, his knowledge of the Shadows. Kell lifted his gaze to scan the members of the Circle through squinting eyes, Herazade and Blaylock to his right, Ing-Radi and Elric to his left. Did he no longer trust them? Tilar had said the mages were divided. Morden had sought allies during his visit. Had he found any?

Kell cleared his throat and continued. "Now that we know the Shadows are abroad, I believe we may acquire more information shortly. We should at least question Galen and Isabelle personally, before we take any further actions."

Again he was delaying. But this time Kell
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