I awoke to the knock at my door. It was Claudio, and he told me
he was leaving, that he was not prepared to face his enemy, that he needed
more time and training in the sorcerous arts. I bid him a warrior's
farewell. Finding someone to replace the vigor and ability he brought to
the position of Captain of the Guard will be difficult for Archimedes.
I went to see Ulysses after breakfast this morning. I still find
it hard to hide my longing for him *from* him. I asked about his help in
creating the Trump of my mother, Aelle, but he was much too busy to help
on this day. I understand that the safety of Amber comes before me, but
I'm getting anxious. I suggested that I might walk the Pattern and, when
in the middle of it, have it transport me to my mother. Ulysses regaled
me with stores of being teleported into solid rock, and told me to talk to
Laughter about her experiences with looking for her parents.
I stopped to say hello to Sandr and his child before I left the
dining hall. It was, I believe, the first time Nadine had been to Amber.
My mind flashed over with images of her drawing all over the castle walls
with crayon. Ah, the impudence of children.
Later that afternoon, I was Trumped by Laughter. She looked
worried, so I prepared my weapons and told her I could help. Instead, I
was chosen to watch the babies. Normally, I'd be offended, but I know how
she feels about her children, and so I let the request slide, and watched
Not too long after that, I was Trumped by my father. Someone was
walking the Pattern. I left the children with a page and Trumped to him,
where we did indeed see someone moving along the spiral, holding the
Jewel. This was not good. My father began the chase. I chose to Trump
Fiona, and as she came through she told me that was the wrong Pattern, and
transported me to the Primal Pattern, where someone was in the middle of
walking *that* Pattern. I began the chase, hoping to catch this person at
a loop where I could strike. The person looked familiar to myself and my
father. He called me "cousin" and offered to share the throne with me if
I'd let him attune himself. I tried a fancy maneuver with Nevermiss to
string the Jewel from around his neck, but I cut the chain as well as
severing his hand. The bastard managed to catch the Jewel in his other
hand! I was then out of striking distance. I had only one maneuver left,
to throw my swords. Trueblade caught him right through the heart from the
backside, and he died, blotting the Pattern with his blood. I finished
walking the Pattern, gathering the Jewel, and entered the center, where
Benedict awaited me. We transported back to my room, and Fiona soon
followed. My father congratulated me on a job well done. I didn't feel
great about the death of another relative, but I did what I had to do.
Benedict Trumped us then to a Fairyworld, where the King and Queen
were being held. Ulysses was going nuts getting them free, and we
eventually made our way back to Amber. I ran to see if the kids were
okay, and brought them back to Archimedes.
I lie here in a bed in some Shadow. Next to me lies Sandr. The
sedatives have finally taken their effect on him, and he's in a deep
sleep. I wonder if he'll remember any of this. I fought and fought my
emotions, to keep myself from making the same mistake I made with Ulysses,
but in the end it was all for naught. That is not to say that I didn't
enjoy myself. I had wondered for so long if it would ever feel good to
me, after what had happened to me in Helene. He was so caring, so
gentle... I could lie here forever. But I fear the repercussions. It is
likely my father will become completely irate if he finds out. I fear
I've messed up Sandr's life, not only with his relations to Amber but his
marriage as well. But if he wants me again, I won't resist.
Until the morning, then.
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