“You know he could be our child?” Gajus hiss was laden with anger, by all standards of the imperial society it was forbidden to locate one’s offspring. Both Phyllis as well as Ghanus were in danger to be exiled, imprisoned or worse, executed. “I know!” she hissed equally infuriated, careful as to not arouse any suspicion. “But he would’ve ended up in my care sooner or later, they gave me Crysallis, and he is at least twice as talented as she is.” Phyllis felt guilty for taking in the young man as her apprentice, but she felt entitled, and completely right about her reasoning.

“Besides, son or not, he hears the whispering as well.”

Gajus stared at her in disbelief. His glance switched to the young man sitting at the table in the booth that Phyllis used as study for herself and her apprentices, then back to Phyllis. “Have you considered that it might be insanity that runs in your blood?” he pulled her further away from the booth. Phyllis too glanced to Ghanus. “I have considered that it might be a streak of insanity, yes.” It was her turn to whisper, instead of the ominous voice in her dreams. “But it correlates between real life events and the events in my dreams. And his.” Again Gajus stared back at the young man eating his pie.

“Fine.” He grunted, eyeing Ghanus carefully, “I will remain silent, for now.” The determination in his eyes told Phyllis that he would be watching carefully over her and her apprentice.


Tiredly she returned to the table, keeping an eye out for Gajus and his ever watchful glances. “You must be a bit calmer.”

“That man,” Ghanus wiped his mouth pointing in Gajus direction, “I distrust him.” The expression Phyllis wore on her face was filled with disbelief, she knew Gajus for all her life. She once loved him. “Why?”

“I don’t know, it is a feeling.” again Phyllis glanced over to the man she once loved. “Trust no one.” She whispered silently enough for Ghanus not to understand. The paranoia induced by her former apprentice was hard to overcome but Phyllis shook the feeling off turning back, she wanted to see what he had learned, if he had learned anything at all. For such purpose she waved him to follow her to the exercise room far below the bowels of the citadel.


“Well my dear friends,” the two Florals stared at the Fungal before them with anxiety and fear. In their position they had come to expect always a new form of psychological torture, or even physical one. “what would you say if I were to take you to some other place? The great outdoors?” Phyllis studied the reactions coming from her flowers, as she called the two. “Not now, but in the future. But I’d probably just take one of you, I can’t carry you both around, now can I?” she checked the nutritious water the feet of the two Florals soaked in. There had been no word from the military administration or the magistrates of the conjurer citadel about he inquiries at the registration office. Crysallis had not written in weeks, nor had she checked in with Phyllis.

Part of her was relieved at that.

Although she like her former apprentice, the paranoia she had caused with her last letter had been hard to overcome. A new message would’ve probably again been laden with paranoid messages. “Master?” Ghanus came from the doors to the rooftop garden. Surprised how he had overcome the locks on the doors she watched him approach. On his lips he wore a smirk, a boy’s smirk, that told of tales that neither a mother, nor a teacher, wanted to hear. Silently he handed her a scroll, Phyllis felt that she had been relieved too soon even before she saw the seal on the scroll. “This was in our study booth.” He let the smirk disappear that Phyllis didn’t inquire over.