The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница

"You have the support of the Lady your mother."

"And have you an army, mother?"

The Lady smiled gently. "I have no army, no. But I am a Power of Majipoor, which is not a small thing. I have the strength of righteousness and love, Valentine. I also have this."

She touched the silver circlet at her brow.

"Through which you make your sendings?" Valentine asked.

"Yes. Through which I can reach the minds of all Majipoor. I lack the ability of the Barjazids to control and direct, which their devices are capable of doing. But I can communicate, I The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница can guide, I can influence. You will have one of these circlets before you leave the Isle."

"And I’ll go quietly through Alhanroel, beaming messages of love to the citizens, until Dominin Barjazid descends from the Mount and gives me back the throne?"

The Lady’s eyes flashed with the kind of anger Valentine had seen in them when she was sending the hierarchs from the room.

"What sort of talk is that?" she snapped.

"Mother—"

"Oh, they have changed you! The Valentine I bore and reared accepted no thought of defeat."

"Nor do I, mother. But it The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница all seems so immense, and I’m so weary. And to make war against citizens of Majipoor — even against a usurper — Mother, there’s been no war on Majipoor since earliest times. Am I the one to break the peace?"

Her eyes were merciless. "The peace is already broken, Valentine. It falls to you to restore the order of the realm. A false Coronal has reigned nearly a year now. Cruel and foolish laws are proclaimed daily. The innocent are punished, the guilty flourish. Balances constructed thousands of years ago are being destroyed. When our people came here from Old The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница Earth, fourteen thousand years past, many mistakes were made, much suffering was endured, before we found our way of government, but since the time of the first Pontifex we have lived without major upheaval, and since the time of Lord Stiamot there has been peace on this world. Now there has been a rupture of that peace, and it falls to you to put things to rights."

"And if I accept what Dominin Barjazid has done? If I decline to embroil Majipoor in civil war? Would the consequences be so evil?"

"You know the answers to those questions The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница already."

"I would hear them from you, because my resolve wavers."

"It shames me to hear you speak those words."

"Mother, I have undergone strange things on this journey and they have taken much of my strength. Am I not allowed a moment of fatigue?"

"You are a king, Valentine."

"I was, perhaps, and perhaps will be again. But much of my kingliness was stolen from me in Til-omon. I am an ordinary man now. And not even kings are immune to weariness and discouragement, mother."

In a tone more gentle than the one she had been The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница using, the Lady said, "The Barjazid does not yet rule as an absolute tyrant, for that might turn the people against him, and he is still insecure in his power — while you live. But he rules for himself and for his family, not for Majipoor. He lacks a sense of right, and does only what seems useful and expedient. As his confidence grows, so too will his crimes, until Majipoor groans under the whip of a monster."

Valentine nodded. "When I am not so weary, I see that, yes."

"Think, too, of what will happen when the Pontifex Tyeveras dies, which The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница must sooner or later happen, and more probably sooner than later."

"Barjazid goes to the Labyrinth then, and becomes a powerless recluse. Is that what you mean?"

"The Pontifex is not powerless, and he does not need to be a recluse. In your lifetime there has been only Tyeveras, growing older and older and steadily more strange. But a Pontifex in full vigor is a very different entity. What if Barjazid is Pontifex five years from now? Do you think he’ll be content to sit in that underground hole the way Tyeveras now does? He’ll rule with The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница force, Valentine." She looked at him intently. "And who do you think will become Coronal?" Valentine shook his head.



She said, "The King of Dreams has three sons. Minax is the oldest, who will have the throne in Suvrael one of these days. Dominin is now Coronal and will be Pontifex, if you choose to let him. Whom will he select as new Coronal but his younger brother, Cristoph?"

"But it goes against all nature for a Pontifex to give Castle Mount to his own brother!"

"It goes against all nature for a son of the King of Dreams The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница to overthrow a rightful Coronal, too," said the Lady. Once more her eyes flashed. "Consider this, also: when there is a change in Coronals, there is a change in the Lady of the Isle! I go to live out my days in the palace for retired Ladies in the Terrace of Shadows, and who comes to Inner Temple? The mother of the Barjazids! Do you see, Valentine, they will have everything, they will control all of Majipoor!"

"This must not be," Valentine said.

"This will not be."

"What shall I do?"

"You will take ship from my port The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница of Numinor to Alhanroel, with all your people and others I will provide for you. You will land in the Stoienzar, and journey to the Labyrinth for the blessing of Tyeveras."

"But if Tyeveras is a madman—"

"Not entirely mad. He lives in a perpetual dream, and a strange one, but I have touched his spirit lately, and the old Tyeveras still exists somewhere within. He has been Pontifex forty years, Valentine, and was Coronal a long while before that, and he knows the way our realm was meant to be governed. If you can reach him, if you The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница can demonstrate to him that you are the true Lord Valentine, he will give you aid. Then you must march on Castle Mount. Do you shrink from that task?"

"I shrink only from bringing chaos upon Majipoor."

"The chaos is already at hand. What you bring is order and justice." She moved close to him, so that all the frightening power of her personality was exposed to him, and touched his hand, and said in a low, vehement tone, "I bore two sons, and from the moment one looked at them in their cradles, one knew they were meant to The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница be kings. The first was Voriax — do you remember him? I suppose not, not yet — and he was magnificent, a splendid man, a hero, a demigod, and even in his childhood they said of him on Castle Mount, This is the one, this will be Coronal when Lord Malibor becomes Pontifex. Voriax was a marvel, but there was a second son, Valentine, as strong and as splendid as Voriax, not so much given to sport and exploits as he, but a warmer soul, and a wiser one, one who understood without being told what was right and The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница what was wrong, one who had no cruelty in his spirit whatever, one who was of even and balanced and sunny temperament, so that everyone loved him and respected him, and it was said of Valentine that he would be an even finer king than Voriax, but of course Voriax was older and would be chosen, with Valentine fated to be nothing more than a high minister. And Malibor did not become Pontifex, but died before his time hunting dragons, and emissaries of Tyeveras came to Voriax and said, You are Coronal of Majipoor, and the first to fall before him The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница and make the starburst was his brother Valentine. And so Lord Voriax ruled on Castle Mount, and ruled well, and I came to the Isle of Sleep as I had always known I would, and for eight years all was well on Majipoor. And then what happened was something no one could have foretold, that Lord Voriax would perish before his time as Lord Malibor had, hunting in the forest and struck down by a stray bolt. Yet there still was Valentine, and though it was rare for the brother of a Coronal to become Coronal after him The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница, there was little debate, for everyone recognized his high qualifications. Thus Lord Valentine came to and I who was mother to two kings remained at Inner Temple, satisfied with the sons I had given to Majipoor and confident that the reign of Lord Valentine would be one of Majipoor’s glories. Do you think I can allow Barjazids to sit for long where my sons once sat? Do you think I can endure the sight of Lord Valentine’s face masking the Barjazid’s shabby soul? Oh, Valentine, Valentine, you are only half what you once were, less than half, but The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница you will be yourself again, and Castle Mount will be yours and the destinies of Majipoor will not be altered to something evil, and talk no more of shrinking from bringing chaos into the world. The chaos is upon us. You are the deliverer. Do you understand?"

"I understand, mother."

"Then come with me, and I will make you whole."

—12—

SHE LED HIM FROM THE octagonal chamber, down one of the spokes of Inner Temple, past rigid guards and a group of frowning, bewildered hierarchs, into a small bright room bedecked with brilliant flowers of a dozen The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница colors. Here was a desk fashioned of a single slab of gleaming darbelion, and a low couch, and a few small pieces of furniture; this was the Lady’s study, it seemed. She beckoned Valentine to a seat and took from the desk two small ornate flasks. "Drink this wine in a single draught," she told him, handing him one flask.

"Wine, mother? On the Isle?"

"You and I are not pilgrims here. Drink it."

He uncorked the flask and put it to his lips. The flavor was familiar to him, dark and spicy and sweet, but it The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница was a moment before he could identify it: the wine dream-speakers used, that contained the drug that made minds open to minds. The Lady downed the contents of the second flask.

Valentine said, "Are we then to do a speaking?"

"No. This must be done while awake. I have thought long about how to manage this." From her desk she withdrew a shimmering silver circlet, identical to her own, and gave it to him. "Let it rest on your brow," she said. "From this time until you ascend Castle Mount, wear it constantly, for it will be the center The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница of your power."

Cautiously he slipped the circlet over his head. It fit snugly at his temples, a strange close sensation, not entirely to his liking, although the metal band was so fine he was surprised to notice it at all. The Lady drew near him and smoothed his thick long hair over it.

"Golden hair," she said lightly. "I never thought to have a son with golden hair! What do you feel, with the circlet on you?"

"The tightness of it."

"Nothing else?"

"Nothing else, mother."

"The tightness will soon cease to matter, as you get used to it. Do The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница you feel the drug yet?"

"A slight cloudiness in my mind, only. I think I could sleep, if I were allowed."

"Sleep will soon be the last thing you crave," said the Lady. She extended both her hands to him. "Are you a good juggler, my son?" she asked unexpectedly.

He grinned. "So they tell me."

"Good. Tomorrow you must show me some of your skills. I would find that amusing. But now give me your hands. Both. Here."

She held her fine-boned strong-looking hands over his for an instant. Then she interlaced her The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница fingers with his in a quick, decisive gesture.

It was as though a switch had been thrown, a circuit had been closed. Valentine staggered with shock. He stumbled, almost fell, and felt the Lady grasping him tightly, steadying him as he lurched about the room. There was a sensation in his mind as of a spike being driven through the base of his skull. The universe reeled about him; he was unable to control his eyes or to focus them, and he saw only fragmentary blurred images: the face of his mother, the shining surface of the desk, the blazing The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница hues of the flowers, everything pulsing and throbbing and whirling.

His heart pounded. His throat was dry. His lungs felt empty. This was more terrifying than being drawn into the vortex of the sea-dragon and disappearing into the deep waters. Now his legs betrayed him entirely, and, unable any longer to stand, he sagged to the floor, kneeling there, somehow aware of the Lady kneeling before him, her face close to him, her fingers still locked between his, the terrible searing contact of their souls unbroken. Memories flooded him.

He saw the vast gigantic splendor that was Castle Mount and The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница the sprawling unthinkable enormity of the Coronal’s Castle at its impossible summit. His mind roved with lightning speed through rooms of state with gilded walls and soaring arched ceilings, through banquet halls and council-chambers, through corridors wide as plazas. Brilliant lights flashed and sparkled and dazed him. He sensed a male presence beside him, tall, powerful, confident, strong, holding one of his hands, and a woman equally strong and self-assured holding the other, and knew them to be his father and mother, and saw a boy just ahead who was his brother Voriax.

— What is The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница this room, father?

— The Confalume throne-room, it is called.

— And that man with the long red hair? Sitting on the big chair?

— He is the Coronal Lord Malibor.

— What does that mean?

— Silly Valentine! He doesn’t know what the Coronal is!

— Quiet, Voriax. The Coronal is the king, Valentine, one of the two kings, the younger one. The other is the Pontifex, who once was Coronal himself.

— Which one is he?

— The tall thin one, with the very dark beard.

— His name is Pontifex?

— His name is Tyeveras. Pontifex is what he is called as our The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница king. He lives near the Stoienzar, but he is here today because Lord Malibor the Coronal is going to be married.

— And will Lord Malibor’s children be Coronals too, mother?

— No, Valentine.

— Who will be Coronal next?

— No one knows that yet, son.

— Will I? Will Voriax?

— It could happen, if you grow up wise and strong.

— Oh, I will, father, I will, I will!

The room dissolved. Valentine saw himself in another room, similarly magnificent but not quite as large, and he was older now, not a boy but a young man, and there was Voriax with The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница the starburst crown on his head, looking somewhat befuddled by it.

— Voriax! Lord Voriax!

Valentine dropped to his knees and raised his hands, spreading his fingers wide. And Voriax smiled and gestured at him.

— Get up, brother, get up. It is not fitting that you crawl like this in front of me.

— You will be the most splendid Coronal in the history of Majipoor, Lord Voriax.

— Call me brother, Valentine. I am Coronal, but I am still your brother.

— Long life to you, brother! Long life to the Coronal! And others were shouting it about him:

— Long life to the The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница Coronal! Long life to the Coronal!

But something had changed, though the room was the same, for Lord Voriax was nowhere in view, and it was Valentine who wore the strange crown now, and the others who were shouting to him, and kneeling before him, and waving their fingers in the air, crying his name. He looked at them in wonder.

— Long life to Lord Valentine!

— I thank you, my friends. I will try to be worthy of my brother’s memory.

— Long life to Lord Valentine!

"Long life to Lord Valentine," said the Lady softly.

Valentine blinked and The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница gaped. For a moment he was entirely disoriented, wondering why he was kneeling like this, and what room he was in, and who this woman was with her face so close to his. Then the shadows cleared from his mind.

He rose to his feet.

He felt altogether transformed. Through his mind coursed turbulent memories: the years on Castle Mount, the studies, all that dry history, the roster of the Coronals, the list of the Pontifexes, the volumes of constitutional lore, the economic surveys of the provinces of Majipoor, the long sessions with his tutors, with his The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница constantly probing father, with his mother — and the other, less dedicated moments: the games, the river-journeys, the tournaments, his friends, Elidath and Stasilaine and Tunigorn, the free-flowing wine, the hunts, the good times with Voriax, the two of them the center of all eyes, the princes of princes. And the terrible moment of the death of Lord Malibor at sea, and Voriax’ look of fright and joy at being named Coronal, and then the time eight years later when the delegation of high princes came to Valentine to offer him his brother’s crown—

He remembered.

He The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница remembered everything, up to a night in Til-omon, when all recollection ceased. And after that he knew only the sunshine of Pidruid, pebbles tumbling past him from a ridge, the boy Shanamir standing above him with his mounts. He looked at himself in his mind and it seemed to him that he cast a double shadow, one bright and one dark; and he looked through the insubstantial haze of false memories that they had given him in Til-omon, looked back over an impenetrable gap of darkness to the time when he was Coronal. He knew that his mind now The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница was as whole as it was ever likely to be.

Again the Lady said, "Long life to Lord Valentine."

"Yes," he said in wonder. "Yes, I am Lord Valentine, and will be again. Mother, give me ships. The Barjazid has already had too much time on the throne."

"Ships are waiting in Numinor, and people loyal to me who will enter your service."

"Good. There are people here who must be gathered, I don’t know from which terraces, but they’ll have to be found swiftly. A little Vroon, some Skandars, a Hjort, a blue-skinned The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница stranger from another world, and several humans. I’ll give you the names."

"We will find them," said the Lady.

Valentine said, "And I thank you, mother, for returning me to myself."

"Thanks? Why thanks? I gave you to yourself originally. No thanks were required for that. Now you are brought forth again, Valentine, and if needs be I’ll do it a third time. But let needs not be. Your fortunes now resume their upward path." Her eyes were bright with merriment. "Will I see you juggle this evening, Valentine? How many balls can you keep in the air The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница at once?"

"Twelve," he said.

"And blaves can dance. Speak the truth!"

"Less than twelve," he admitted. "But more than two. I’ll stage a performance after we dine. And — mother?"

"Yes?"

"When I regain Castle Mount I’ll hold a grand festival, and you’ll come from the Isle, and you’ll see me juggle again, from the steps of the Confalume Throne. I promise you that, mother. From the steps of the throne."

IV

The Book of the Labyrinth

—1—

FROM NUMINOR PORT the ships of the Lady departed, seven of them, with broad sails and high splendid prows, under the command The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница of the Hjort Asenhart, chief of the Lady’s admirals, and bearing as passengers Lord Valentine the Coronal, his chief minister Autifon Deliamber the Vroon, his aides-de-camp Carabella of Til-omon and Sleet of Narabal, his military adjutant Lisamon Hultin, his ministers-at-large Zalzan Kavol the Skandar and Shanamir of Falkynkip, and various others. The fleet’s destination was Stoien at the tip of Alhanroel’s Stoienzar Peninsula, at the far side of the Inner Sea. Already the ships had been at sea for weeks, scudding ahead of the brisk westerlies that blew in late The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница spring in these waters, but there was no sign yet of land, nor would there be for many days.

Valentine found the long journey comforting. He was not at all fearful of the tasks ahead, but neither was he impatient to begin them; rather, he needed a time to sort through his newly regained mind, and discover who he had been and what he had hoped to become. Where better than on the great bosom of the ocean, where nothing altered from day to day except the patterns of the clouds, and time seemed to stand still? And so The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница he stood for hours at a time at the rail of his flagship, the Lady Thiin, apart from his friends, visiting with himself.

The person who he had been pleased him: stronger and more forceful of character than Valentine the juggler, but with no uglinesses of soul as sometimes are found among persons of power. To Valentine his former self seemed reasonable, judicious, calm, and moderate, a man of serious demeanor but not without playfulness, one who understood the nature of responsibility and obligation. He was well educated, as might be supposed of one whose entire life had The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница been spent in training for high office, with a thorough grounding in history, the law, government, and economics, somewhat less thorough in literature and philosophy, and, so far as Valentine could tell, only the merest smattering of mathematics and the physical sciences, which were much in eclipse on Majipoor.

The gift of his former self was like the finding of a treasure trove. Valentine was still not fully united to that other self, and tended to think of "him" and "me," or of "us," instead of viewing himself as a single integrated personality; but the split grew less The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница apparent every day. There had been enough damage to the Coronal’s mind in the overthrow at Til-omon that a cleavage now marked the discontinuity between Lord Valentine the Coronal and Valentine the juggler, and perhaps there would always be scar tissue along that cleft, the Lady’s ministrations notwithstanding. But Valentine could cross the place of discontinuity at will, could travel to any point along his previous time-line, into his childhood or young manhood or his brief period of rule, and wherever he looked was such a wealth of knowledge, of experience, of maturity, as in his simple wandering The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница days he had never hoped to master. If at the moment he must enter those memories as one might enter an encyclopedia, or a library, so be it; he was sure that a fuller joining of self and self would occur in time.

In the ninth week of the voyage a thin green line of land appeared at the horizon.

"Stoienzar," said Admiral Asenhart. "See, there, to the side, that darker place? Stoien harbor."

Through his double vision Valentine studied the shore of the approaching continent. As Valentine he knew next to nothing of Alhanroel, only that The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница it was the largest of Majipoor’s continents and the first to be settled by humans, a place of enormous population and tremendous natural wonders, and the seat of the planetary government, home to Coronal and Pontifex both. But out of Lord Valentine’s memory came much more. To him Alhanroel meant Castle Mount, almost a world in itself, on whose vast slopes one could spend one’s entire life among the Fifty Cities and not exhaust their marvels. Alhanroel was Lord Malibor’s Castle crowning the Mount — for so he had called it through all his boyhood, and the habit The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница had persisted even into his own reign. He saw the Castle now in the eye of his mind, enfolding the summit of the Mount like some many-armed creature spreading over crags and peaks and alpine meadows, and down into the great terminal valleys and folds, a single structure of so many thousands of rooms that it was impossible to count them, a building that seemingly had a life of its own, and added annexes and outbuildings at the far perimeters of itself by authority of itself alone. And Alhanroel was, also, the great hump mounded up over The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница the Labyrinth of the Pontifex, and the subterranean Labyrinth itself, reverse counterpart of the Lady’s Isle, for where the Lady dwelled at Inner Temple on a sun-splashed wind-washed height surrounded by ring upon ring of open terraces, the Pontifex laired like a mole deep underground, at the lowest place of his realm, surrounded by the coils of his Labyrinth. Valentine had been to the Labyrinth only once, on a mission from Lord Voriax, years ago, but the memory of those winding caverns still glowed darkly in him.

Alhanroel, too, meant the Six Rivers that spilled down The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница from the slopes of Castle Mount, and the creature-plants of the Stoienzar that he soon would see again, and the tree-houses of Treymone, and the stone ruins of Velalisier Plain, said to be older than the advent of humankind on Majipoor. Looking eastward at that faint line, growing larger but still barely perceptible, Valentine sensed all the vastness of Alhanroel unrolling like a titanic scroll before him, and the tranquillity that had governed his frame of mind during the voyage melted at once. He was eager to be ashore, to commence his march to the Labyrinth.

To The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница Asenhart he said, "When will we reach land?"

"Tomorrow evening, my lord."

"We’ll have feasting and games tonight, then. The best wines broken out, all hands to share. And afterward a performance deckside, a small jubilee."

Asenhart regarded him gravely. The admiral was an aristocrat among Hjorts, more slender than most of his kind, though with the coarse and pebbled skin that was their mark, and he had an odd sobriety of manner that Valentine found a bit offputting. The Lady held him in the highest regard.

"A performance, my lord?"

"A little jugglery," said Valentine. "My friends feel The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница a nostalgic need to practice their art again, and what better moment than to celebrate the safe conclusion of our long voyage?"

"Of course," said Asenhart with a formal nod. But obviously the admiral disapproved of such goings-on aboard his flagship.

Zalzan Kavol had suggested it. The Skandar was plainly restless aboard ship; he could often be seen moving his four arms rhythmically in the gestures of juggling, though no objects were in his hands. More than anyone he had had to adapt to circumstances in this trek across the face of Majipoor. A year ago The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница Zalzan Kavol had been a prince of his profession, master among masters of the juggling art, traveling in splendor from city to city in his wondrous wagon. Now all that was gone from him. The wagon was ashes somewhere in the forests of Piurifayne; two of his five brothers lay dead there too, and a third at the bottom of the sea; no longer did he growl orders to his employees and have them leap to obey; and instead of performing nightly before wonder-struck audiences that filled his pouch with crowns, he wandered now from place to place The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница in Valentine’s wake, a mere subsidiary. Unused strengths and drives were accumulating in Zalzan Kavol. His face and demeanor showed it, for in the old days his temper had been churlish and he vented it freely, but now he seemed repressed, almost meek, and Valentine knew that must be a sign of severe inner distress. The agents of the Lady had found Zalzan Kavol still at the Terrace of Assessment at the outer rim of the Isle, at work at his menial pilgrim-tasks in a shambling, sleepwalking way, as if he had resigned himself to spending the rest of The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница his life pulling weeds and pointing masonry.

"Can you do the routine with torches and knives?" Valentine asked him.

Zalzan Kavol brightened instantly. "Of course. And do you see those pins there?" He pointed to some huge wooden clubs, nearly four feet long, stowed in a rack near the mast. "Last night Erfon and I practiced with those, when everyone slept. If your admiral has no objections, we’ll use them tonight."

"Those? How can you juggle anything so long?"

"Get me the admiral’s permission, my lord, and tonight I’ll show you!"

All afternoon The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница the troupe rehearsed in a large vacant chamber down in the hold. It was the first time they had done such a thing since Ilirivoyne, what seemed like half a lifetime ago. But, using the improvised array of objects that the Skandars had quietly gathered, they fell swiftly into the rhythm of it.

Valentine, watching, felt a warm glow at the sight of them — Sleet and Carabella furiously passing clubs back and forth, Zalzan Kavol and Rovorn and Erfon devising intricate new patterns of interchange to replace those that had been destroyed with the death of their three brothers. For a moment The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница it was like the innocent old times in Falkynkip or Dulorn, when nothing mattered except getting hired on at the festival or the circus, and the only challenge life offered was the one of keeping hand and eye coordinated. There was no going back to those days. Now that they had been swept up into high intrigue, the making and unmaking of Powers, none of them would ever be as they had been before. These five had dined with the Lady, had shared lodgings with the Coronal, were sailing onward toward a rendezvous with the Pontifex; they The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница were already a part of history, even if Valentine’s campaign came to nothing. Yet here they were juggling again as though juggling were all there was in life.

It had taken many days to bring his people together at Inner Temple. Valentine had imagined that the Lady or her hierarchs had merely to close their eyes and they could reach any mind on Majipoor, but it was not that simple; communication was imprecise and limited. They had located the Skandars first, in the outermost terrace. Shanamir had reached Second Cliff and in his youthful guileless way was advancing The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница swiftly inward; Sleet, neither youthful nor guileless, had likewise wangled advancement to Second Cliff, and so had Vinorkis; Carabella was just behind them, at the Terrace of Mirrors, but through an error she was sought elsewhere at first; finding Khun and Lisamon Hultin had been no great task, since they were so much unlike all other pilgrims in appearance, but Gorzval’s three former crewmen, Pandelon, Cordeine, and Thesme, had vanished into the population of the island as though they were invisible, so that Valentine would have had to abandon them had they not turned up at the last moment. Hardest The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница of all to track down was Autifon Deliamber. The Isle had many Vroons, some of them as diminutive as the little wizard, and all efforts at tracing him led to mistakes of identity. With the fleet ready to sail, Deliamber had still been unfound, but on the eve of departure, Valentine desperately torn between the need to move onward and the unwillingness to part from his most useful counselor, the Vroon appeared at Numinor, offering no explanations of where he had been or how he had crossed the Isle undetected. So all were united, those who had survived the The Book of the King of Dreams 25 страница long trek from Pidruid.

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