“We must tell the council.”
Timur’s tremulous voice had lost its tremble and had gained a thin confidence, like the words had been stretched tighter across his vocal chords.
“Over a misheard word spoken by a confused child?”
Jhyipp tried to sound more sure of it than she was.
“None of us misheard the word, and she clearly meant what she said. She might not remember the details, but she is from Origin. It explains everything odd about her and her sudden appearance. And so the Council must know.”
“You cannot tell them. They will kill her straight out.”
“As well they should! A person from Origin, Jhyipp! A woman from Origin!”
They were standing outside the Healer’s Hall, speaking in conversational, if agitated, voices. Jhyipp had always found that, at times of disconcertment, there is a certain comfort to be had in casual tones. The Summer Doctor hadn’t said anything. He was staring past them, his eyes closed. He was listening, of that Jhyipp had no doubt, but whatever thoughts were forming in his head he was keeping hidden behind those eyelids.
“If she is from Origin, she could have knowledge that could benefit us,” Jhyipp said carefully.
“Nothing good can come from that dead city. Its machines shut down long ago. Winter has engulfed it and the way there has long been forgotten, thank the gods. That a girl of her age even survived speaks of some occult art and devious purpose. She didn’t come here by accident, I would warrant. Ou’katanas is right, she carries a curse into Illeadd.”
Ou’katanas had to be the name of the Summer Doctor. Jhyipp wished he would speak. She needed to know if he was an ally. She was walking dangerous ground, had been ever since the girl had uttered the name of what was known as the first city, the Origin city.
“We know Origin was connected to the breaking of the world,” Jhyipp said. “It is possible that the solution to fixing it could lie there.”
Timur was shaking his head before she even finished.
“We don’t know anything about Origin. Your mentor suspects, is what you mean. Those are Tyrenis’ words coming from you. I’ve read his papers and I have every respect for the man, but there is little fact to support his theories. This is real. This is dangerous. You know the saying, ‘where the people of Winter walk, the Tall Men follow?’”
“What did you say earlier? Superstitious claptrap.”
“The wisdom of old wives, perhaps, but the ruling of the Council holds. Anything from Winter is to be brought immediately to the Council to be safely disposed of. And that includes people. If you will not bring it forward, then I shall. At once. But it would look much better coming from you, and rather suspicious if it doesn’t. I hear whispers even at my level of the Order. Tyrenis may have spoken for you and ensured your safety here, but there are many who question what business a Beast Creature could possibly have amongst the Sages.”