“You do not trust,” M’nor said. Disappointment shaded her voice. “You must either trust or abandon the quest. The choice is yours, but time is short.”
“What will happen?” Fynda asked. She inclined her head toward Garan. “He can’t swim, you know.”
“You either trust or you do not,” M’nor stated. “There is no halfway in between.”
“I trust,” Garan shouted. He pulled his hands free. Again, we began to sink. Water lapped at our shins as we aimed for the light. The stones hissed then fizzed as they hit water and disappeared. It seemed we were destined to follow them. Water splashed around our knees, our thighs, our waist. Fynda and Yhoshi clutched at my hands. I shook them off.
“No,” I said. “What will be will be.” I was no longer afraid. Warm and womb-like, the water massaged me and I relaxed into it, even as it rose up my chest, past my neck, mouth, ears, eyes... I held my breath until I could hold it no longer. And then something solid beneath my feet pushed me back up. When it broke the water’s surface, I saw that we stood on a black marble disc veined with red: the Kol Kolai, the Table of Prophecy. In the center sat The Nayr, aglow with the same fiery light I had seen at Castle Rose. Brighter and brighter it blazed until it engulfed us in a blinding white brilliance.
When the light faded, M’nor and the night were gone. We stood on pink sand, in a circle around the cup. On one side of the narrow beach, Mir M’nor glistened into infinity. On the other, ugly billows of smoke shrouded the sky over Pre Vilda’aa.
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