Chapter 25 – How the mightY fall

The story was told by dawn.

The details had been fuzzy; Arthur had banished all memories and thoughts and fears to the deepest crevices of his brain, never to see the light of day again. But Janah had been relentless in his questions and had unearthed details even Arthur didn’t know he had.

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Chapter 24 – No eXits

The continued delicacy with which Arthur Uriel Banes, formerly Arthur Chubs, formerly Mr. Chubs, was handled by the guards – plural, several more had joined the first one – left him reeling in shock and suspicion. Was he going to be executed? He barked a laugh at the thought. It would serve him right.

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Chapter 23 – We are gods

It begins with a story.

It is a story of a queen who is poisoned by her son because he’s tired of waiting for her to die. He has been waiting for seven years and finally decides to kill her so he can get control of the throne. It’s laughably easy and he’s not incompetent. He sets up the stage so it never gets back to him nor is he even in the castle when she drinks the poisoned wine and dies three days later. It’s a slow acting poison with symptoms imitating a run of the mill cough. By the time the physician suspects foul play, she’s already gone.

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Chapter 22 – Victory dance

The road took Arthur Chubs inexorably towards Forbearn. There were numerous places to stop in-between and he made use of them liberally. And yet it took him an embarrassingly long time to realize the road he was on would lead him home if he so chose. He chalked away the delay to not having travelled these roads in more than a decade. The roads had changed, grown, much like a child would if left to its own devices.

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Chapter 20 – The talking painting

He didn’t leave once Selma told him the guards had left the village, onto the next one no doubt. It was logic that stayed him. Here was as good a place as any to hide. Now that he knew they were ahead of him, the chances of them catching up with him were poor. He didn’t have to tell Selma that he couldn’t leave the one person he could be himself with. She understood. So he let himself be selfish.

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Chapter 19 – Strength is found among friends

Meeting Selma unlocked something in me. The memories of the time I had spent with Reifire, first as his friend, then as his advisor and finally as his paramour, could no longer be denied. But there was a distinct change in the…flavour as it were…of the recollections. Before I thought of them from a distance, like they weren’t something that had happened to me but someone I had known.

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Chapter 18 – A time of rest and reconnection

Arthur spent the next one year travelling in a circle around Forbearn, the one place he wanted to be, but the one place he couldn’t bring himself to visit. So, he kept it just out of his reach, tormenting himself with the thought of home, Reifire, everything they had done, everything he had had to do, and all his secrets he couldn’t afford to tell even the pages where he was writing down his own story.

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