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Kidnapping the child prince had been easier than Ochriese anticipated. It of course helped considerably that he was going with her willingly. They were crouched under the highest eave of the library which had the advantage of being close both to the edge of the city and the shore. If the child prince’s powers were any indication, the city of Gulleen was likely to have other surprises in store, some of them nasty.

It does, but your instincts were right. Most of the cities defenses aim at the water and what might come from underneath. Anything airborne can be seen for miles,” he says.

Ochriese winces at the sound of his voice loud in her mind and wonders at the alchemy of transmuting voice to thought.

You have a plan I assume,” he says rather dryly for one so young.

Ochriese’s lips twitch. So, he cannot read my thoughts.

I can, but only as you have them. Digging through your mind for what you want hidden would require either your cooperation or a state of unconsciousness.”

Or a talented touch,” Ochriese replies.

I’m not that good yet. It has something to do with being young. We have to wait until our brains stop growing.”

How do you know this?

A Roatharian diplomat visited my parents. He was quite startled to find me here but taught me what he could. I’m an abomination,” he says sadly.

Or your parents aren’t your parents,” suggests Ochriese gently.

“My mother is definitely my mother, my birth was witnessed by many. She swears that my father is my father.”

“People lie,” she says.

“And Gods die but she wasn’t lying,”

“Which means…”

“…someone made me.”

That thought sets her soul atremble and she puts her arm around the child prince pulling him close.

“We abominations must stick together,” she whispers, pretending not to feel his tears soaking her chest.

Inspired by Trifecta’s word of the week:

ALCHEMY (noun)