Thirty years. He had counted the days on the wall of his cell. Thirty years since he had seen the dawn break on the hills of home. A lifetime since he had last breathed the night air. Only his mind had soared above his solitude.
They would never set him free.
It had been an accident, a by-product of his experiments. He had tossed the glittering nugget to a blind beggar outside the tavern. The baker had told of how the beggar had used it to buy bread and the tale had spread like wildfire. The story of the alchemist who could turn lead into gold reached the ears of the king… and tyranny feeds on wealth.
At least the gold had fed the beggar.
The king had given him everything he needed to fill the royal coffers in exchange for his life. He was treated well enough, if compulsion…
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