Deleted Scene

From Princess of Light, towards the end, when accompanied by the villagers of Rockor. The end of this book actually changed considerably from the original version, though I won’t say how. Well, not here, anyways.

“Do you really think the villagers are convinced she's not one of the monsters they tell stories about to frighten their children?” Avarielle asked as they left the villagers to grieve and set up their own small fire a bit away from them, just in case.

Shirina threw more wood onto the flame Avarielle was fanning to life. “You're just pleased that somewhere in the East of Graydon there are monster stories that don't involve the West,” Shirina replied cooly.

“And who spread those stories, Shirina?”

“The most important question here,” Cassara asked, cutting them both off, “is how am I supposed to successfully enter Massir with the two of you in tow, when one can easily be recognized as a Westerner, and the other probably recognized by someone as an Elite of the Circle? Not to mention the fact that you two can't let an hour go by without arguing at least once?”

Cassara let the questions hang over the air, having purposefully split herself from the other two by saying “I,” hoping to drive the point that she was the one who could enter Massir, and they needed her help. Of course, without their insight and protection she might just wound up dead, but she needed to find Jayden first. Jesimae had seen him, this she knew, and so the Circle must know where he is.

She had to find him.

“I suppose I can dye my hair,” Avarielle said with a grimace.

“Neither one of us will have to do much if we simply choose the right clothing,” Shirina said, pulling a dirty shirt from her bag and ripping it. She flipped her head down and wrapped it with the shirt, letting some of it dangle at the back, and brought her head back up. Cassara was taken aback by the transformation. The long raven hair was completely hidden under the cover. Her dark eyes were now her strongest feature, and they seemed paler without the reflection of the hair in them. And her cheeks and features, all proudly chiseled, were shadowed by the fire, making her seem like the beautiful marble version of the obsidian ones they had earlier fought.

“Then we keep our eyes down, which is something neither Elites nor Westerners do, we stay out of the way and say nothing, and we should remain unnoticed. Or we can hope, at least.”

“You expect me to wear one of your dirty shirts on my head?” Avarielle asked.

“No, I expect you to rip up your own dirty shirts.”

Cassara felt her confidence rising as Avarielle did the same, the dirt hiding her few freckles where makeup could later be applied, although her sun worn skin might not even need the makeup and prove to be disguise enough.

“If you two actually don't speak while we are at court,” Cassara said, smiling, “then I really do believe that we have a chance at success!”

“About your wardrobe, princess,” Avarielle began, looking skeptically at the ripped and dirty clothing Cassara donned, when a shout broke the night. “Riders! There are riders incoming!”