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Chapter 7

When Ylith returned to the pilgrimage, she found all in a state of confusion. Sir Oliver had vanished suddenly during the night, leaving no trail. His valet, Morton Kornglow, was at a loss to explain his disappearance except through magic.

That was all Ylith needed. She waited until she was alone in Oliver's room, then quickly performed her own enchantment. She used ingredients she always carried in her witches' kit—a thing she had never abandoned, despite her conversion—and soon, taking on a vaporous form, she was off and away, passing through the great forest into which Oliver had disappeared.

Presently she came across the knight's trail and followed it to Alwyn's castle. Ylith knew Alwyn slightly from the old days. Alwyn was another witch, of the old, un- reformed kind, and Ylith knew she was probably doing a job for Azzie.

It was time to scry out the immediate future. She had gathered enough evidence to direct the scrying instruments; now she set them to motion.

The results were as she had hoped. Sir Oliver was currently going through an adventure with Alwyn.

Azzie had set it up as simple enough to get through fairly quickly; afterward, Sir Oliver would have a longish walk. Then he would be out of the forest and on his way to his goal, which lay on the southern slope of the Alps in Italian territory.

The logical place to interrupt him was somewhere before he emerged from the forest. She could intercept his path. But what then? She needed a way to stop him, but a way to do that without harming him.

"I've got it!" she said. She packed up her scrying equipment and conjured an afreet of her acquaintance.

The afreet soon appeared, large and black and with an ill-tempered look. Ylith explained briefly what was going on, and how Sir Oliver had to be stopped or delayed.

"He must be stopped," Ylith said to the afreet.

"I'll be happy to oblige," said the formerly evil being who had recently converted to the side of Good.

"Shall I strike him dead?"

Creatures like this still had a certain propensity toward violence, which was looked down upon in quieter times when a certain liberalism was allowed to reign in Heaven. But this was not a quiet time, and the feelings of the intellectuals in Heaven could no longer be worried about.

"No, that's going too far," Ylith said. "But do you know that roll of invisible fencing we took from Baal's magicians some years ago?"

"Yes, madam. It was declared an anomaly and stored in one of the warehouses."

"Find out which warehouse and get yourself a good- sized piece of it. Here is what I want you to do with it."


Chapter 6 | A Farce To Be Reckoned With | Chapter 8







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