Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey
ATOM DOHERTY ASSOCIATES BOOK NEW YORK
V'kel Lyon Lord Kyndreth stood up, and loomed over the Council table and the Councilors seated there. Most of his fellow Elvenlords would not meet his eyes; those that did so shared a congratulatory glance with him. The Council Chamber was not a comfortable place today, and he had en-sured—with a few orders to the slaves who had prepared it— that it would remain so. Cold. Dim. The cushions on the seats pounded flat. And even the refreshments were ill-served—at a uniform temperature that could only be described as "tepid." All to keep everyone here wishing he was elsewhere, and less than pleased with the one—not Lord Kyndreth—who was nominally in charge.
Lord Kyndreth's star was in the ascendant once again, and this time he would see to it that it did not fall a second time.
"How is it," he asked, to empty air, "that a rebellious pack of children and former slaves have managed to hold off our al-legedly well-trained, well-led and well-supplied armies? And have done so for long enough that people are beginning to call this—temper tantrum—the Young Lords' Rebellion?"
"Lord Kyndreth—" ventured V'kel Anster Lord Rechan, scrambling mightily for the upper hand he had—if he had only known it—just lost, "this is, exactly as you say, no more than a temper tantrum. Inconsequential. No more than a handful of es-tates have been lost, our supplies continue to move without more than the occasional ambush, there is no more than a trickle of slaves escaping, and our lives continue as they always have. In balance, the threat—"
"A trickle here, a loss there, the complete inability of our so-called 'invincible' army to bring our own offspring to heel, and you say it's inconsequential?" Lord Kyndreth roared, and had
the satisfaction of seeing his chief opponent wince. "By the An-cestors, you fool, can't you see that a... [continues]
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