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An Exchange of Burdens

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The great iron portcullis closed heavily behind them as they walked into the Templar Hall. Knight Captain Cullen beside her, his stride measured and purposeful. 

It was done.

Templars paused in their training, watching as they approached the inner keep, but Cullen ignored them so Bethany did too. She lifted her chin and kept her gaze focused on the end of the long gallery and the door waiting there.

Cullen had said nothing since they had left Gamlen’s apartment. Not a word of encouragement but neither one of warning. Was that a concern or a comfort?

It was the right decision regardless.

They reached the end. The square tower loomed above her, its weighty presence seeming to block out the sky. Two Templars were guarding the door.

“I’ll leave you here,” Cullen said. “You will be taken to temporary quarters and given time to prepare for your Harrowing.”

Bethany nodded. It was only as she had expected.

“All care is to be taken with Mistress Bethany,” Cullen addressed the guards. “She voluntarily surrendered to the Order.”

One of the Templars saluted and gestured for Bethany to follow.

I’m sorry, Mother.

With one last glance back, she walked into the Gallows.