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to wake from Circe's sleeping potion. See to them."

Gowen bowed his head once again over Circe, apparently giving the organelles some final instruction. Then he withdrew his crystal, climbed to his feet. "Galen has questioned her." He looked again to Galen, his lips turned in dismay.

"Then I will discuss it with Galen. You are needed elsewhere."

Gowen bowed, departed.

Blaylock's sharp gaze turned to Galen.

He stood, carefully maintaining the three mind-focusing exercises. His body felt strange, disconnected. He quickly summarized what Circe had told him. "When she spoke of the mages' connection to the Shadows, I tried to silence her, but she would not stop. I'm not sure how much Gowen heard."

"I will speak with him." Blaylock's eyes shifted to take in something across the room, and despite his stern, dour expression, Galen sensed he was shaken. "We have sustained a grievous loss. Elric was truly the wisest of us all."

Galen would not think of him now. "Do you need help with her confederates?"

Blaylock's voice regained its certainty. "We have dealt with them. You may go. I will question Circe in private."

But Galen would not be dismissed. "Morden must be killed, so others do not succumb to the temptations he offered."

"There will be time to discuss what action, if any, must be taken."

Galen fixed Blaylock with his gaze. "When you are finished with her, you will meet with Herazade, and you will agree to release me to kill Morden, Elizar, and Razeel. You will implant within me a device that can sense my mage energy. If ever that energy ceases, if ever my tech is turned off by the Shadows, the device will kill me and any nearby. The manner I leave to you. It should be simple enough to build. That should satisfy your objections."

For once,
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