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the Circle. I know you couldn't tell me the truth. What I did was my fault alone. You taught me to be a good mage. You treated me far better than I deserved. But I- I have not lived up to your example."

He struggled for voice control. "You were the best teacher I could have had... and more than that. I appreciate... all you have given..." He knew what he wanted to say, but the words stuck inside him.

He could not leave Elric as he had left her, with the truth unspoken. If he had the chance to bring Elric any pleasure, he must force the words out.

"I love you. I love you more than I ever loved my own father."

Elric's face was slack, unresponsive.

He was too late. He had not told Elric when there was still time. He released Elric, straightened.

Elric's eyes opened. "I too have something I must say." His mouth did not move, but somehow his rich voice vibrated out of the mak, out of the stones around them.

He was still alive. His was the life Galen had sensed in the vibrant green moss. With a hard swallow, Galen nodded.

"I have another secret. It is a secret only you and I know; I have told no one else. But you have forgotten it." Elric's eyes stared into his. "I cannot tell you this secret; you must remember it on your own. It is a piece of yourself you have long hidden away. I had hoped that you would remember by now, so I would be there to help you. Yet you have not remembered, and I have come to fear that you never will. I tell you because I do not believe you can become a complete person until you reclaim this piece of yourself."

Galen didn't know what he was talking about, didn't care. Only one thing was of any importance. Elric was dying, and Galen couldn't stop it. He would say, though, whatever Elric needed. "I will not hate you, no matter
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