The drive was long and silent.

Henry read a book on applied theory of transsubstantiative magecraft to pass the time.

He didn't learn anything new from it.

Basically all the literature he'd encountered had said the same thing; that what had happened to him was impossible.

A few hours in, Aislin stopped to rest.

He was drinking water from his flask.

" I know what you are," Henry said.

The man choked on his drink, spluttering, and lowered it from his face, wiping his lips with his sleeve.

" S-sorry? Come again?" he asked politely, as though in a state of disbelief.

" You're a demon," Henry said.

" Whaa-!" He set his flash down, and ruffled his hands through his hair, upset. " My horns haven't come in yet! My- Wait, forget I said that, I- Ah, what am I supposed to say- No one's ever noticed before-"

It was very unbecoming of him.

" Quit messing around like that," Henry said.

" Well- I just- It's a secret, no one's supposed to know!" Aislin protested.

" Does Ornstein know?" Henry asked.

" Eh? Well of course he does, he's my grandfather!" Aislin exclaimed.


No. That was impossible.

Ornstein was human! He'd always been human! And the necromancer had come after him! And he couldn't use magic! And he didn't have horns!

" Ah, I said something I shouldn't have said again..." He trailed off, covering his face out of shame. " But, I guess, I suppose it's because he told you, isn't it?"

He looked up a little bit, his face red.

" Yes," Henry lied stiffly. " But not much else."

" Keep it a secret, please," Aislin asked. " Please."

He bowed his head.

" I'm a noble... I'm in exile because my older brother has been trying to assassinate me since I was an infant. And in Almira, demons aren't allowed to take up jobs with the church..."

" So you've been masquerading as human?" Henry asked flatly.

" For now, it's all I can do..." Aislin said awkwardly, trailing off. " ...Please don't think less of me because of my heritage. I am... completely dedicated to my post. Please don't... ask me about this anymore. Please, do your best to... tolerate me."

" I will," Henry lied.