Ah Vetch, what use is loyalty to you? Where are you when I have
need? This thing should cut both ways. I *must* trap this assassin...the
attacks grow worse. This last both pains and disgusts me. Coughing this
filth from my lungs leads me to retching at the thought of such a device.
What manner of assassins are these beasts of Chaos?
Effective ones, alas. But now I am armed against them. Where
does this knowledge reside? At times, I despair that I will ever know
what I must to survive! Pattern swords, Takaran blades, these things
which one must have to fight shapeshifters, would be of more use did one
know they existed. I cannot blame Eric, or anyone. It seems that you
must be 400 years old and reared in Amber to absorb such information, and
then, it is merely part of the way things are and not worth sharing.
I would know who has sent this demon to hunt me. I cannot live in
the Pattern room. To walk it even once more may be beyond me. It grows
no easier. And the side effects...I should have let Eric arrange his
infertility in Gaele. I grow more and more convinced that he should trust
no one here - Ariana, Vetch, or any shapeshifter! Ariana dances to tunes
no other can hear, and as for Vetch... Shapeshifters. They are a foul
breed. Weres are more natural.
Lucretia, is this assassin your doing? How strange it is that
Eric's lover and his wife shelter together! One small incendiary device
and I could be rid of two problems at once. It is worth considering. I
prefer the subtler approach, however. But there seems to be no way to get
close to the woman. Soon it will be too late for the drug to take effect.
I must find some way. Viktoria confirms my fears. And yet, does she? If
Leto is held against her will, perhaps she will barter the child for safe
passage and that will be the extent of her plotting. But the child will
still exist, and that I do not choose to allow. If I have choices, and I
think I do.
I will arrange my fate. My life will not be reft from me, my
child will not be displaced. This much I will assure. I will replace all
that I destroy of his.
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