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."The Council wants to send those boys to Evensun," Queen Lissa didn't preface her statement with any words that might soften the blow."I thought you'd have the final say," Tory spoke up.Garde put an arm around his son."Honey, this is a capital offense—that means that someone almost died over this.And I'll be honest—that boy would have died if Connegar and Karzac hadn't gone to tend him right away.His internal injuries were too severe.The Council passes judgment in cases like this, not I.The only one who can circumvent this decision is Kifirin, and he agrees with them.""What about their parents?" Uncle Winkler asked."They will give me a decision in the morning," Lissa said.She sounded tired to Ry.Tory was thinking the same thing—he spared a swift glance at his brother."How did the vote go?" Uncle Drake asked."Ninety-four to send them to Harifa Edus, two hundred sixteen for Evensun.With two abstentions." Ry looked over at Tory.The Council had overridden their mother's suggestion by a very large margin."When will they be taken?" Ry asked."Tomorrow afternoon.Drake, Drew and Gavin will drop them off." The Queen breathed a troubled sigh.This was likely a death sentence—everyone knew Evensun was populated with criminals and unsavory characters.And once you were placed there, you were never allowed to leave.The planet was heavily shielded."My love, the child almost died." Lissa looked up in surprise at Roff's words.His wings rustled after he spoke—he normally didn't involve himself in the politics of Le-Ath Veronis.Not to this extent, anyway."I know, honey.Now two other children are likely to die as a result.Yes, I know they did this, but I'm not convinced we have all the ones involved in the crime." Tory stole another look at Ry.They knew the truth of that statement, but saying anything now would only get them in trouble.Ry found himself hoping that Nissa's protection jewel would keep Toff safe from further attacks.* * *"Son, what did you do?" Toff itched all over and blinked in agony at Corent's question.He couldn't stop scratching, and a red rash completely covered his face, hands and arms.Corent quickly pulled Toff's tunic over his head and found the rash spreading to Toff's neck and chest."Father, I scooped the poison weed out of the way before I dug for the clay underneath." Toff was still scratching."No," Corent whispered before shouting for Redbird.* * *Tiearan and Rain had come, bringing Mother Rose, the Fae's best healer, with them.Toff had been soaked head to heels in an oatmeal bath, even as Mother Rose used power to neutralize the poison from the roots of the plant.Toff was beginning to feel halfway normal when he overheard a conversation between Tiearan and Corent outside the bathing room."I eradicated the poison weed myself—there shouldn't be any of it inside the perimeter," Tiearan insisted."He can't go outside the perimeter—not without one of us with him," Corent replied angrily."Someone holding power placed that plant, unless your power is fading!""My power is not fading and I used crystal to assist in the eradication," Tiearan shot back."There shouldn't be any of it inside our boundary.We will go and see this for ourselves.Bring crystal and come.""Lie back and let the oatmeal do its work," Mother Rose pushed Toff gently back in the tub.Toff settled in with a sigh.* * *"Here are the plants." Corent used power to lift some of the withered, poisonous leaves Toff had dug up that afternoon.It was still light outside, but the natural wobble of the planet had it tilted slightly away, giving off a dimmer light than the morning sun."There is so much of it," Tiearan breathed."How did this happen?""You're the one in charge; I expect you to find answers to this," Corent grumbled."If Mother Rose hadn't come, we would have faced a more serious problem.I don't think the Queen would be happy to see this so soon after the attack.""Then I am thankful this was a problem we could deal with ourselves," Tiearan sighed and focused his power on the crystal globe he held.It took nearly half an hour to get rid of the poison weed, roots and all.Corent and Tiearan then went to visit Mother Fern and used even more power to eliminate any signs of the plant from the shovel and the clay Toff had brought to her [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]