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Aside from disappointing the god, I was glad to be free of those classes. I was still allowed to stay at the temple, and from there my real career began.

Of course, I am digressing—I meant to talk about the sabotage.

Indeed, I believed the scale of the vandalism on the rail system was too great to be the work of idle peasants; as I received the message that the bridge over the Coudn had exploded, I knew my suspicions were being confirmed.

I had a fairly clear idea of who would have an interest in sabotaging the rails. There was no discontent among our own people, the people of the Ellad, or of any land in between; all had felt the benefit of the divine transportation. Nor indeed would there be any protest from the Eastern countries; treaties had already been drawn up by all, from Armenie to the country of the Tins, to build the rails, and all saw it to be in their interest.

The only sensible perpetrators would be the nations of the west—Liboue and Iberie, the kingdoms of Karkedon.

While the war between Karkedon and the Ellad has abated and there are no longer any generals in the field, the peace was shallow, and the terms of trade between us and the Ellad precluded any rail construction over northern Liboue to link Karkedon with the developing world.

Clearly they were beginning to chafe under this state of affairs. Why did they have to take it out on my expensive railroads? Why couldn’t they just invade Sikelie again?