End of Year 6 of the Addergoole School.
And now to bed.
He didn’t release her so much as he graduated.
Cynara didn’t need to pack, and she had no interest in watching Dysmas get his Name. “I’ll make dinner,” she’d told him, as if she thought he would be coming back to her, to things the way they had been. It was not a lie, but he had never ordered her to not dissemble. And she was cy’Drake.
She finished dinner and packed it up, stacking it tidily on top of her chests. Her father had made those chests. Dysmas had either never cared enough to look in them, or he’d never bothered to look past the first layer. It was unlikely he would have let her keep the weapons, if he’d really looked. He might have noticed how murderous she sometimes got.
She felt the bond break as she finished packing up dinner. She caught her breath, just for a moment. Professor Drake had said it would feel unpleasant. “Rather like falling of a ten-story building,” he’d said. She thought he’d underestimated the impact.
She lifted her chin. She was no longer oro’Dysmas. The collar was locked but it was easy enough to Work. Tempero was her best Word, after all, even if Unutu was not by far a favorite. She took it with her; it had been a gift, after all, and with a little bit of effort, it might make a suitable memento.
There was pain. There was a lot of pain. But it was unimportant. It was something that had happened to Cynara oro’Dysmas. She didn’t have to be that anymore. She walked, slowly, as if under a huge weight, carrying behind her the two trunks that carried all her possessions. And supper.
It seemed to take her a long time to get to the room that had once been hers. It didn’t matter. There was nobody else in the halls. And as she went, her back grew straighter and her chin rose. She was Cya, Cya cy’Drake, and she didn’t have to cry about the prince that had turned out to be a toad. Because, after all, she’d never been the sort of girl to be squeamish about slimy things.
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