The Richman and the Alchemist's Niece (Part Six)
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This statement, delivered so assuredly, stunned the Emperor and Soothsayer into silence.

    "And where does your niece live?" the Soothsayer managed at last.

    The Alchemist went over to the window. A thin cold light bathed the world beyond it.

    "She lives in the great forest beyond the abandoned village."

    The Emperor dismissed the Alchemist with an imperious wave of the hand. His heart was burning with sudden hope, a fiery exultation. His ears drummed with the rush of blood. And then somewhere close he heard a voice.

    "My Lord," the Soothsayer was saying. "I urge you to use the utmost caution, sire. This is not the answer I expected."

    There was a tap on the door. The Chanc...

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