27th day of Harvest, Molash, Bechia

Curse Meramon! May a storm blast him and Sasha into the cold depths of the sea. I thought he was my friend, or at least a companion. A mentor. He’s just a traitor, a forsaker, a fiend.

I thought I saw Eliana in the marketplace, I was sure it was her… I ran up to her and reached out to touch her. It had to be her. But it was just her orange cloak, the cloak I had given her when we first started on our travels. Meramon was wearing it. I took my hand off his shoulder and stared at him. He stepped forward to embrace me, but I stood still. My heart hammered in my ears and throat. I swallowed.

Meramon spoke, said something, but I didn’t hear him. I couldn’t. My mind was searching for Eliana, listening for her and her alone.

It was then that he handed me the note. It was a simple, folded piece of parchment. I expected… well, I don’t know what I expected… anything but what it said. In neat, flowing handwriting, the note read: “Imalion, love, I hope Meramon finds you strong and safe. I was sorry to return to the inn and find that you had left, and even sorrier when I heard that you had boarded a ship while searching for me. I wish for us to be together again, but now something important gives me reason to remain here. My father, Talle – yes, I was shocked to learn that, but it is true – and I are trying to find a cure for Silencia’s magic. Something changed, and Father doesn’t know why. We will be back together again, but for now you need to be the great man I know you to be – bring the people of Silencia back together! Take your rightful place. Rule wisely. I love you!” The note was signed by Eliana.

Curses, no. No, no, no… What could she be thinking? I can’t do that, I’ve already chosen not to… These people don’t even want me.

Meramon says Eliana is in Acacia. And that she is well. I’m glad she is well, but I wish I was with her. I was trying to find her, trying to be with her – and now she is back there and I must stay?