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.Sometimes he tried to make sense of the world for her.You are wading through water, not flying.Sometimes the water lifts you almost off your feet, but this is not flying.Your wings are too weak to fly.Sometimes he encouraged her.The others are almost out of sight.You have to try to move faster.You can do it.Move to your left, where the water is shallower.See? It’s easier to walk now, isn’t it? That’s a girl.Keep going.I know you’re hungry.Watch for fish.Maybe you could catch a fish and eat it.Sometimes he felt vaguely proud of himself for being kind to her.But at other times, he felt his life had become an eternity of caring for a rather stupid child.By dint of effort he could sometimes block most of his awareness of her.But if she felt pain or her hunger grew too strong or if she were frightened, her dim thoughts burst through into his.Even when he could avoid sharing her dull mental processes, he could not escape her constant weariness and hunger.Her desolate Why? echoed through every moment of his day.It did not help that he shared that same question about his own fate.Worse was when she tried to make sense of his thoughts.She did not understand that sometimes he was asleep and dreaming.She broke into his dreams, offering to kill Hest or trying to comfort him with her company.It was all too strange.He was weary, doubly exhausted from his interrupted sleep and by his sharing of her dismal endless struggle.Life aboard the barge had become very strange for him.He kept to his compartment as much as he could.Yet there was no solitude for him.Even when the dragon was not intruding into his thoughts, he had too much company.Alise was racked with guilt and could not seem to leave him alone.Every morning, every afternoon, and every evening before she retired, she came to call on him.Her visits were brief and uncomfortable.He didn’t want to hear her chatter enthusiastically about her day, and there was nothing that he dared share with her, yet there was no graceful way to shut her up and send her out of his room.The boy was the second worst.Sedric could not understand Davvie’s fascination with him.Why couldn’t he just bring his meal tray and then leave? Instead, the boy watched him avidly, eager to perform the most menial service, even offering to wash his shirts and socks, an offer that made him cringe.Twice he’d been rude to the boy, not because he enjoyed it, but because it was the only way to get the lad to leave.Each time, Davvie had been so obviously crushed by Sedric’s rejection that Sedric had felt like a beast.He turned the vial of dragon blood that he held, watching again how it swirled and gleamed even in the dim cabin.Even when the vial was still in his hand, the red liquid inside it shifted in a slow dance.It held its own light, and red on red, the threads of crimson inside the glass twined and twirled about each other.Temptation or obsession? he asked himself, and had no answer.The blood drew him.He held a king’s ransom in his hand, if he could but get it to Chalced.Yet the possessing of it seemed very important to him now.Did he want to taste it again? He wasn’t sure.He didn’t think he wanted to experience that again.He feared that if he gave in to his reluctant compulsion, he would find himself even more tightly joined to the dragon.Or dragons.In late afternoon, when he’d ventured out on the deck for a short breath of cool air, he had heard Mercor calling to the other dragons.He called two of them by name.“Sestican.Ranculos.Stop your quarreling.Save your strength to battle the river.Tomorrow is another day’s journey.” He’d stood there, the dragon’s words shimmering through his mind.He’d heard the words, as clear as could be.He tried to remember if he’d heard the dragon’s trumpeting or whuffling that carried the thought, but he couldn’t.The dragons spoke to one another, reasoned with one another, just as men did.He’d felt a whirl of vertigo that combined with his guilt.Heartsick and dizzy, he’d staggered back to his cabin and shut the door tight.“I can’t go on like this.I can’t,” he’d said aloud to his tiny space.And almost immediately, he’d felt a worried query from the copper dragon.She sensed his agitation.And was concerned for him.No, I’m fine.Go away.Leave me alone! He’d pushed at her and she’d retreated, saddened by his harshness.“I can’t go on like this,” he’d repeated, and longed for a day when he had known that no one else shared his thoughts.He tipped the vial of blood again.If he drank it all, would it kill him?If he killed the dragon, would his mind be his own private territory again?There was a heavy knock at his door [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]