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A Wish for Hope
Chapter Twenty-Four

He nodded, then signaled for groups of people to move, but then turned back to me to ask, “Why?”

I dropped my pleasant attitude to calmly say, “Let me warn you that I am a divine representative. If you are looking for an answer, you might not like mine.”

“I fully understand that I am part of a duchy and not a viscounty. The preaching of the gods, especially Samayer, has been a constant part of my life. With that history behind me, I again ask, ‘Why?’”

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A Wish for Hope
Chapter Twenty-Three

“Their hearts, no. Their lives, if they cared about them they should not have come with you.”

“You did not summon any of your own champions.”

“Until now there was nothing to fight for. I could kill, slaughter, but there would just be more. You have renewed the hope for this land, and should you succeed to end the evil I will summon those to take up the battle here.” I saw the divine lady curtsey to me while saying, “I have none like you, Jelnaya.”

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A Wish for Hope
Chapter Twenty-Two

“Maybe she had a change of heart.”

“No. She was lying about being angry at Unnorry for killing our child. She was just angry. At everything. Speaking of the death of the child I believe was just something she felt others would get angry about as well.”

I noticed the men step close as Honored Duchess Jelnaya said, “Those are rather harsh words.”

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A Wish for Hope
Chapter Twenty-One

“No,” I answered, “although we still pray for her. Fergush might be watching over her, but we want our Goddess to let him know that others than him care for her.”

From elsewhere, I assumed another window to another room in the castle, we heard, “We of Davelda pray for her as well.”

Some of my group did ask about the one that spoke. Hearing the identification of one of the Navy people did not surprise me. What did, and caused my group to go silent, was hearing a pounding on the door to my room.

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A Wish for Hope
Chapter Twenty

The large lady said a pleasant greeting, but Honored Duchess Jelnaya said nothing. I expected her to attack, but she simply held her place. The men also stayed silent, although I suspected they were waiting for Honored Duchess Jelnaya to make the first move. The large lady finally ordered the naked ladies to step forward with refreshments, and it was then that Abreyon said something.

“Honored Duchess, what are we doing?”

It was Nerbink that answered, “She is waiting to see if she needs to kill us as well.”

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A Wish for Hope
Chapter Nineteen

Nerbink said, “We knew you were an instrument of Fergush, so knew a deadly fight would be before us. Whether it was you, or some other threat, we set ourselves to besting it.”

“Me?” I had to ask. “Why me? I am an instrument of Fergush, but he is not malicious. Samayer definitely is not malicious. The fact I had to do things should have troubled you as much as it troubled me doing them.”

“There are tales of those of Fergush who would not gain Samayer’s approval.”

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A Wish for Hope
Chapter Eighteen

“They’re still nothing but worms in my book, Princess.”

“Your opinion counts, Vulge, but right now we need to be about business. That means we act as professionals.”

Both began advancing further as Vulge said, “They don’t rate too highly there either, Princess.”

“There was a time you and I did not rate that highly either, Vulge. We had to prove ourselves, so we give the three the same hope others gave us.”

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A Wish for Hope
Chapter Seventeen

“What about the children?”

The volume of her voice barely carried up to me on the wall. What really hit me however was the tone. Something in her body language also disturbed me. I thus dropped the volume of my voice, but set my words with weight as I commanded the soldier to keep the lady with him.

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A Wish for Hope
Chapter Sixteen

As I stepped away, three men stepped up. I noticed they came from the city and not from a position around the church. Wondering about them, I stopped to allow the men to state their positions.

When all they did was kneel while presenting their weapons, I went ahead and allowed, “Come on.”

Now Vulge spoke, “Hold it, Duchess Jelnaya! Why are you allowing them?”

“Because they are stupid, Vulge. This however is a realm to Samayer, so if they manage to survive I’ll deal with them.”

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A Wish for Hope
Chapter Fifteen

“Have you been told what we found in what is now my castle?”

The man answered the question without any statement of her changing the topic. “No, Jelnaya.”

“Something really wrong happened, Shospeck. Cleaning the church might not be the best option.”

“It’s mostly stone, Jelnaya. Can’t burn it down.”