Chapter 1 – Zalafa
I’m probably the only one who’s aware of it, Zalin thought, inwardly amused at how typical it was. Always, every time, it was only him who noticed the unusual, the uncanny, and who could be counted on to stop it (or at least to point it out for the guards to take care of) before it was too late. That was the way it had always been, at his father’s coronation, his mother’s state funeral, and at every one of his twin sister’s extravagant parties. (From the parties, he had asked many times to be excluded, but since he shared her birthday, there was no getting out of it and he was forced to attend.)
Now, at his father’s Silver Jubilee, the same pattern was starting to show itself; and before long, Zalin knew that it would be time to act soon.
Not samurai or witches this time; goblins, he thought, striding across the grand audience hall, keeping close to the wall, in his calf-high leather boots. Most of Zalin&