Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Page 1279

Emiliana found that rather difficult to believe but didn’t think being rude would prove useful, so as sincerely as she could manage, she simply asked, “Why?”

“Because, for one thing, as far as I have been able to tell, he always acts either defensively or with great precision,” said Germal. “Unlike many of his contemporaries, he rarely causes collateral damage. And for all their talk, many of the Vanguard’s strongest cannot truthfully make the same claim.”

That was hard to argue with, she supposed. All things considered, she didn’t really know as much about the Vanguard as perhaps she should have; but after hearing the Lady Stroud talk about what transpired at Rheinhal... Emiliana didn’t think she would be forgetting the names Sanko, Parson Miles, and Xavier Lawrence anytime soon.

“For another thing,” Germal went on, “Gohvis is not trying to annihilate humanity, as you have no doubt heard. On the contrary, he is trying to ensure its survival.”

Beyond all others thus far, Emiliana found that claim to be exceptionally dubious. She decided to keep her mouth shut, however, as she began to notice tall bookcases replacing the walls of the corridor. And indeed, they soon arrived at their destination. The hallway opened into an enormous chamber--much more enormous than she had been expecting, in fact.

It was a great stairwell, she saw, and each floor was filled with thousands of books. The wide pit in the middle of the room offered a view that went both above and below, and while she could see a distant ceiling, she couldn’t see a bottom floor.

Germal led her downward, and she tried to glimpse the titles of some of the nearest books, but they were in a language she didn’t recognize.

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