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back, Blaylock had helped Alwyn to heal G'Leel, and so temporarily decreased the number of healing organelles in his own body. Galen didn't think they were replenishing themselves well. Perhaps Ing-Radi could help him.

Galen wished Blaylock would gather with the others. Blaylock had already questioned him about what had passed between him and Elizar. Galen had nothing more to say. He simply wanted to remain still and silent.

"There is Elric's ship," Blaylock said.

Galen looked skyward. A sleek black triangular shape marked with Elric's rune descended toward the landing area. Galen was shocked by the intensity of his relief.

Since waking from his long sleep on Alwyn's ship, he had felt little emotion. He had gone through the motions of retrieving his ship and flying it here like an automaton. He had forced himself to remain vigilant, so the power would not slip out of him, but except for that small piece he kept as watchman, he'd buried as much of himself as he could. And that was how he must remain.

While keeping his vigil for Elric, he'd thought the one emotion he would have to guard against would be anger. But as Elric's ship lowered itself toward the ground, anger remained a distant echo. For now he just wanted to see Elric. Elric was his only family, his only tie to the universe. Elric was his wall of strength, the one always standing beside him, the one who had brought order and meaning to his life. Whatever lies Elric had told, Galen didn't want to lose him.

And yet, as Elric's ship set down, its side marked with the rune for integrity, Galen realized he had lost Elric. The person he had thought Elric was, the man who never lied to him, no longer existed. The Elric who remained was a stranger. A liar. One who took from the Shadows. One who had helped
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