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While Arryk rounds up allies locally, Gwynneth decides to visit an old friend who might be able to help as well. Natalya is the top religious official in the neighboring country of Galladium, as well as mistress and top adviser to King Gauvain, who’s been friends with Kendryk since they were children. Gwynneth hopes Galladium can get its powerful army involved in her cause to defeat Teodora and free Kendryk. Unfortunately, Galladium is having problems with a belligerent neighbor and can’t intervene right now. Creatively punctuated.
“I will help,” the king said. “I swear it; it will just take time before I can use the military. But I don’t wish to leave Kendryk imprisoned any longer, so Natalya has conceived a plan that might secure his release.”
Gwynneth’s heart leapt in unexpected hope, but once Natalya explained what they would offer Teodora, it sank again. “I hope it works. But if it does, she will insist on exile,” Gwynneth said. “There’s no way she’ll release Kendryk just to allow him back into the field against her.”
“No, she will not.” Natalya’s eyes were full of sympathy. “But exile is not the end of the world, and it would mean an end to this dreadful war, before anyone else gets involved.”
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