"Bring Reimin to me!" Michail roared, his fist clenched at his side. Trembling with anger, he paced his room. The cold stone of the palace usually gave him some comfort in times of frustration, the long shadows cast by the impossibly high mountains that made his home sheltered him. But none of that mattered now, as things spiraled out of control. First he was told the Great Flame was dead, a minor nuisance, but nothing he couldn't handle. Then he was to learn that this was not true, and all his Wizards had no way of detecting where he was. One very brave young wizard was the only one who had the guts to tell him this, and in his anger he had reacted foolishly.

A day or two had passed since then, but enough had happened that it would have seemed longer to someone less capable of keeping all of it straight. He knew that his latest group of Erutluva was on their way to the Great Flames home, and they would return with whatever they could find, but it was not soon enough. And now one of his best GlassMakers had fallen into a crazed comatose state. Only screams and unearthly sounds came from him, the only sign he was even still alive. And no one knew why. Michail wanted to know what had happened, and he wanted to know now.

Hearing the door to his room open slowly, he stopped his pacing, but kept his back to his guest. He did not want anyone to have any idea as to how flustered these occurances had made him, control was key.

Reimin stood, waiting very nervously just inside the walls of Michail's room, too terrified to enter further, even though he knew no distance would make him safe. Eyes closed his voice echoed in his head as he said a worthless prayer to no one in particular that he would still be alive, sane, and healthy at the end of the day. His black hair became matted to the back of his head as he began to sweat profusely. He didn't know how long he stood there waiting for Michail to speak, but his legs soon began to turn to jelly. Deciding to move his legs just a little to relieve the pressure, he lifted first one leg then the other. Feeling his head spin suddenly with the rush of blood that assaulted his brain, he desperalty attempted not to pass out. Finally, he spoke.

"Please, tell me again why you believe the Great Flame is not dead? Do not hesitate to speak to me in any way you feel necessary to get your point across. I am not a stupid man, I am merely having great difficulty accepting your conclusion. I wish to make sure no point is overlooked and that we are not mistaken in this assumption. Speak freely and without fear, I personally guarantee that no actions will be taken against you today."

Sighing with relief at the silence finally be broken, Reimin settled into a slightly more relaxed stance. Speaking as carefully as possible, he again told Michail why he believed the Wizard to not be dead.

"Sir, as I said earlier, if the Wizard was dead, the flow of magic would have greatly increased, then remained at the level it spiked to, like a plateau. Also, the time in which we believe the Great wizard to have supposedly died, they was only a minute increase in our favor. However, several hours later, and unbelievable jolt of subtractive magic occurred."

"What do you mean by jolt? How is this different than what would have happened if say the Great Flame actually died then, and not when we believe?"

"Well, two reasons really. The jolt we sensed was exactly that. A jolt, a very large explosion if you will, like a bomb or earthquake. We almost felt it, more than sensed it, like a vibration through our bones. I am sure, had you been aware of it, and searching in the way we were, you too would have felt it Sir."

"So what? Why is this so special? I need information here. Obviously you are the only one competent enough to tell me the truth, so I am depending on you for that Reimin."

By now, both Michail and Reimin had begun pacing the room, almost in a fighters stance, circling around one another, always keeping the other in view, never exposing their backs to either one; their stance opposing and tight. Michail's baldhead keeping time with Reimin's sweating and matted one. Blue eyes flashed against mahogonay, as Reimin held his stare as best he could. Both testing one another, though Reimin knew better than to even attempt to scan Michail with magic, he kept his guard high.

Michail was hoping he could appeal to Reimin's sense of need, coax him into being more open with him. He did respect him to a higher degree, as slight as it may be, than the rest of those who served under him. For so long, his leadership had caused everyone who served him to be a "yesman". They told him anything that would make him happy, and keep his wrath away. Throughout the years Michail realized this had caused many things to go unchecked and he was determined to turn it around. He really didn't want to hurt Reimin, he wanted to gain his trust, he needed someone he could trust, an internal spy. Someone within his own walls to keep their eyes and ears open. Smelth had proved to be useful in the past, but too many no longer trusted him, and his resourcefulness was fading.

Reimin wasn't sure if he trusted Michail, too often had he seen him angry. He ruled the Ash'atan with an iron fist, holding tighter than his father had. Reimin had been born into the Ash'atan, his father being a strong leader next to the previous Michall. He found it a confusing and strange tradition to name every leader of the Ash'atan some variation of Michael. He believed this was a way of continuing their legacy to those outside their circle. Confusing the common folk and make them believe that the same man had been ruling for nearly three hundred years.

Too many times had he seen his father come home with a black eye, or other such injury. Too many times those teaching him the ways of the Ash'atan had beaten him. He knew he shouldn't, but he felt himself questioning the ways and passion of the Ash'atan. This made him hesitate to be giving Michail so much information. Michail was not a stupid man, as he himself had said, so he must have some ulterior motive as to why he had him here explaining this in such detail.

For hours Michail grilled him to the details, trying to tire him, all the while searching him with his magic, hoping to catch him lying. Although he repeatedly sensed Reimin's suspicion of him, he never felt any untruths. He simply refused to waiver or crack under the pressure, and Michail was sure Reimin knew what was going on. Frustrated and tired, he finally ended their conversation, making sure to place Reimin higher in the ranks. Though he trusted him more than any other wizard after their long conversation, he still wanted to keep a close eye on him. As the door closed behind him, Michail settled himself down to sleep, praying that the enemy would leave him be for the night, and he could sleep peacefully. As futile as he knew his prayer to be, he repeated in until he fell into a fitful sleep.