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Evangeline and Elane have been living in Ascendant, in the home of Premier Davidson, for over a month. There is increasing pressure to find a job for both of them, because they need to start pulling their own weight.
Meanwhile, King Ptolemus of the Rift is abdicating his throne, leaving the ancestral lands of House Samos to the Nortan States. This is a move directly opposed by the old Silver nobility, his own house included. For it to have meaning, his sister the Queen Evangeline must abdicate alongside him. She does not want to, not because she is power-hungry, but because she does not want to return to Norta. There are too many ghosts there for her, especially after the death of King Volo of the Rift.
Evangeline has been dreading this abdication and return to Norta for a while. Elane, Carmadon, and Ptolemus all attempt to sway her into going back. Carmadon finds her in his gardens, so she storms back to her rooms, where Elane is waiting. Both having failed to persuade Evangeline, Ptolemus finds her in Davidson's training grounds. They spar for a long time, Ptolemus eventually winning out. Evangeline eventually decides to return to Norta and abdicate alongside her brother.
After her abdication, which is broadcast live to the entire continent, she finds Larentia Viper in the statuary garden of the Ridge House. Larentia disowns both her and Tolly, saying that they are dead to her. Evangeline finds the strength to turn away from her, knowing that she will never see her mother again. She returns to Ascendant with Elane.
Chapters 22 - 27 2Hrs 11Min 7Sec