I left before sunrise the next morning, taking a horse from the stables and leading it to the city walls.  Genevieve had gone to bed exhausted, the exertions of battle drawing her down into the realms of sleep and dreams.  Gwendolyn and Zoë had gone to bed tired as well, worn out by the stress of worrying all day and crying after I announced my impending departure.  I did not wish to add to that strain with a tearful goodbye, and so I rode out before either one awoke.

            I exited the fortress through one of the holes in the wall, mounting the steed I had chosen.  All around me was the dim predawn light, and the still quiet of early morning.  I could hear the horse’s hooves crunching on the snow as we rode from the city.  The air felt cold and crisp as I breathed it in, but it was refreshing after the dryness of the hot desert.

            The Citadel army had withdrawn from the fortress walls, though I did not doubt but that they would attack again that day.  I was more concerned with the location of their leaders, however, who had escaped the field entirely, leaving their men to fight their battle for them.  I rode west in search of my doppelganger and his cohorts with the rising sun at my back.

            I rode with grim resolve, intent on finding Donovan Reza and ending his unlikely existence.  I felt responsible for his actions, considering the fact that he was born of my rage and my sins.  He walked the earth while wearing my visage, gained access to my friends and ended their lives through that connection.  They were dead because of me, whether it was my hand that murdered them or not.  I could not let him get away with that.  I had resolved that I would hunt him until I had brought him to justice. 

            The best-laid plans often come to naught, however, as I found my path drastically altered.  One moment I was riding west on horseback through the snow, the next I was falling to the ground, and picking myself up out of the hot sand beneath me.

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