““My father,” she said carefully, quietly, “seems to believe that I am to be protected at all costs. He believes that I am the only means of saving our people.” She opened her eyes and watched surprise cross Vulric’s face, before he closed it off again. “Do you believe that?” he asked quietly. She looked down at her clenched hands. Her knuckles were white. “How do I answer that?” she whispered. Her eyes found his again. They were back to dark silver. Compassion, she noted. “At all costs—no. I don’t believe that my life is worth sacrificing people for. I don’t believe that I am worth dying for.” Vulric studied her silently for a long moment, before her murmured quietly, “That is where you are wrong, Princess Aurelias.” His eyes changed to cold steel. “If the king believes that you are the means of saving our people, then your life is of infinite worth. A life worth protecting. I for one, am sick of war and bloodshed.””
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