TITLE: Voice of Asheva
The rogue prince who supports the rebellion of Asheva has been imprisoned, and now no one in the rebellion knows what to do. Enter Evyn Stonecry, a young female magician, who asks the council of Asheva to get permission to rescue the prince.
There was a brief silence. To the surprise of no one, it was broken by Oryin. "A girl?" Some of the council reluctantly took their gaze off of her and turned to him; he looked incredulous. "How can a girl help? Can she win a war for us?"
Evyn stood, revealing two curved daggers at her waist. Dark, fringed bangs fell over her strange eyes, eyes like the edge of a summer sunset, and she rested a hand on her hip. Her gaze was cool as it fixed on Oryin. "I donâ't mean to win a war for you, councilman."
As she stepped away from the table, the room fell further into silence. The calls of merchants and street vendors drifted in from the Tala outside as she crossed the room, past the stone pillars that held up the ceiling, past the tapestry depicting the injustices of Stoyrian royalty. Her voice was soft as she drew closer to Liae's end of the table and said, "But I can give you gift worth more than a thousand fighting men, even magic wielders."
"And what is that?" Fayo asked, not harshly.
"I can give you your prince."
As one, the council twisted in their seats to look at Toreph, confused. Even Oryin's face abandoned its normal sarcastic expression. But it was the councilwoman from Rivertown who spoke first. "What in Asheva's name does the girl mean, Toreph?"
He didn't answer, just switched his blue eyes back to Evyn and nodded at her.
"I mean," Evyn answered, her eyes sharing none of Toreph's amusement, "that I can go to Gaeon, sneak into the dungeons, and rescue Prince Theyrn from the city without any of the royal guard even knowing I was there -- until too late."
Oryin laughed, but he was the only one. The other council members were frowning at Evyn as if they'd never seen a girl before. Liae didn't laugh either, noting the determination in Evyn's face. Knowing the look, she felt a small surge of hope; the casual confidence -- that confidence that lacked arrogance -- was nearly as reassuring as Asheva's prophecy had been.