Rihasi Gerogevet of Saraicana has a serious problem. She knows just who can help her solve it: Lord Aras Eren Samaura, the king’s most powerful scepter-holder. But Lord Aras is in Gaur, a long journey from Saraicana, and getting there safely isn’t going to be easy. Especially as a lot of people are determined to make sure she doesn’t get there at all.

Kior Voeret has a serious secret. The absolute last person he wants to face is Lord Aras Eren Samaura. But he can’t let a naïve, inexperienced young man get himself killed on the road. That’s all right: Kior doesn’t have to commit to going all the way to the scepter-holder’s doorstep himself. He can escort the young man to the border of Gaur, then walk away long before he gets close enough for Lord Aras to notice anything unfortunate.

It’ll be fine.