she said calmly, with a brief nod. Sunestri had a propensity for
sudden, magical arrivals. Darma assumed that his purpose was as much to
intimidate as communicate, maintaining his status as the one person on
Mâton that everyone--from master mages to farmers to his only surviving
relative--feared. It was a fear Darma preferred not to show.
looked at him, steadily but politely. As usual, he wasn’t really there.
Darma could see the bushes through him. She wasn’t impressed. She had
learned to do the same at the age of seven.
“I saw what you did this morning,” Sunestri said. “Good work.”
Darma shook her head. “Master Durtani did it. I only helped a little.”
“Don’t be modest. How many specialties does that make now? Seven? Eight?”
magic was her twelfth specialty, but Darma chose, as always, to
minimize her accomplishments around Sunestri. “Something like that. Once
I truly master portal magic, that is. I don’t think I could do it on my
“Of course you could. Darsuma, it is time, past time, for your Robing.”
was what every other student wanted, but the prospect filled Darma with
panic. “But I’m not ready! There are six Masters here I haven’t studied
father laughed. “True, but you’ve worn out the other nineteen, and
fulfilled the advanced study requirements several times over. Most mages
only ever achieve two specialties. Even I have but five of them. Would
you stay in the nest seeking to gain them all? You are needed
didn’t sound good. Darma had always hoped that her first assignment as
an adept would be at the school, teaching under the supervision of one
of the Masters. “I’m needed elsewhere? Where?”
looked at her. His eyes were calculating, and there was something
almost feminine in the curve of his smile. “How would you like to be
Queen of Mâvarin?” he asked.