"Madam this is strange and hard for me to comprehend. You mean for me to believe my conception was through rape?"
Madame Polushka had only stared back at him as he had asked the question. "I can only interpret the card for you, giorgio. But know this, the omens of the Tarokka Deck are real, when read by one such as myself." It was at that moment that she had risen to fetch them tea...all the while, remaining silent on the matter.
Now, she was ready to continue, as was Lucien.
"In leaving Port-a-Museau, you are also scampering away, like a scared rat. An attempt on your life - a misconstrued tryst. A rape. At least, you might yet escape your family history, giorgio"
She became quiet and her raven cawed.
"But the darkness is not only behind you, hunting you. There is also darkness ahead. Thus far, your Tarokka reading is the darkest I have ever seen." Though she was unphased and relaxed, it made Lucien tense up even more so as her painted nails slipped toward the next card.
"The darkness that will be...soon..."
Madame Polushka overturned the next card. Again, it was reversed.
A wizard was struggling through a terrible wind storm along a narrow, arched bridge. In the distance, at the other end of the bridge a small hut sat, its open door sending a bright shaft of light along the path. In the sky, the clouds were breaking up and three stars shown through.
NEAR TERM FOE: THREE OF STARS, THE ENCHANTER, REVERSED
"Your foe - is not one made of blood and flesh. But if it is, it will come as three foes together. More likely, your foe, is your failure. You have been given a task by Jacqueline Renier, no? If you fail..."
The seer shrugged conspiratorially and ran a slow, sharp, painted fingernail across her own neck, mimicking a beheading.
"But you do have an ally of equal significance, if not power." Her eyes darted to the next unturned card. "Shall I proceed?"