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The end of the trail


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Closing the door behind her, Lillian surveyed the simple hut that she had been provided with.  In the poorer district of Caemlyn, it was really nothing more than a shack with a bed, a table and a couple of chairs.  None too clean, but she supposed that it served to play to the expectations of the one who would soon be visiting.  After all, after a week of effort on her part, she didn't saw anything wrong with rewarding herself by indulging a moment of drama, especially after what the last week had consisted of.


It had been a silly mistake to begin with, trying to do Halvie the favour she had.  Well, it had been the right thing, but it had been wrong to think that it would make a whit of difference after all the years that had passed.  You could lead a horse to water but you couldn't make them drink, and she shouldn't have made the mistake of keeping alive that particular dream.  It was a bottomless pit that simply drained her of time, energy, hope, and there while hope was a good, misguided hope served no one in the end.  It had been wasted, but she had taken time to see whether it would do any good anyway.


After Halvie ambushing her in the ruins of her old home, Lillian had learned exactly how little what she had done had meant.  A stupid mistake to reach out, there was nothing to take hold of or to meet her, and she'd left that place.  Returning to her inn within Caemlyn, she'd then been stabbed in the back by a mystery assailant and a wisdom had barely kept her hanging on.  Long enough for Halvie to appear while she was unconscious, heal her and then leave without a word.


That had been the clue, when Lillian had better recovered, that there was something askew.  Halvie would never have left, she would have waited until she awoke simply so she could grill Lillian for details about who might have been the attacker and why someone would have been motivated to do so.  Not out of personal concern, but because an Aes Sedai had been attacked and that was an attack against all Aes Sedai.  No, something had not been right in the way that Halvie had behaved, disappearing as suddenly as she had appeared.


It had only taken Lillian a day to realise that it would be a wasted effort trying to find Halvie.  False trails appeared and she had no choice but to follow them or let on that she had been fooled.  All the while she had made her on investigation into who had arranged for her stabbing.  She did not have the same years of experience that Halvie had, but she'd had other means that had more than bridged the gulf and within seven days, she had the man who had arranged it at swordpoint and the answers she had wanted.


Halvie had been behind it all along.  Halvie was the one who found the contact and hired the murderer, she was the one who had arranged to have a dagger planted in Lillian's back.  It had been little wonder she had fled the scene of the crime, she had been afraid because she was the one responsible for the attack to begin with.  Afraid that Lillian would find out, hence why she said nothing and avoided her.  But that would all change now.


Lillian had made the contact message Halvie to arrange this meeting.  Halvie would believe she was meeting the contact, or walking into an ambush of the contact's design.  Either way, she would not be prepared for the sight of her sitting in the hut waiting for her, the woman that her mentor had been avoiding all week.  There would be no excusing herself or running away at that point, and Lillian was going to have Halvie tell her everything.


But for now, she simply folded her hands in the lap of her rough dress of grey dyed wool and meditated.  It would be slightly satisfying to see the woman balk at her new appearance if nothing else, the skull cap hiding her hair and looking a good deal more feminine than she had in her guise as the flashy sellsword.


When she arrived.



Lillian Tremina

Sister of the White Ajah

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