A mightier man would perhaps have brandished his sword, and a lesser man would have fled back up the stair, but Farin spoke with the Minotaur, old words that no living man has any skill to craft, or remember. It is said that the Minotaur demanded seven pounds of flesh, or else seven cups of blood, or else that Farin should suffer seven strokes of his mighty pike, and forfeit both. Farin crossed himself.

He began to sing.

The song was High-Fairy melody. He had learned it from his nurse, who gleaned it from the Wizard, who kept the cup of life. The song was of the lover Lilith.

Lilith descended from heaven in the form of a white moth. At her coming, the Minotaur’s heart failed him, and he died.

Lilith’s moth alighted in Farin’s hands, and washed the callouses from them.

Farin passed under the stone arch into the Underworld’s first plain.

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