Well, talk about having fun with a chapter - I had waited quite a while to write this one - The Shadowling having understood and accepted his "new mission" in life - pays a visit to Junia - the secret betrayer - she, of course, has just sealed the deal with Nibel - trading her soul - if you will - for more of his precious serum - now one doesn't really have to dig too deep to understand the first part of what has transpired with Junia - as to its relevance in our lives - who among us has not traded something in our lives - something "good" for something not so good - well Junia does that of course - to the max.
Before the Shadowling arrives, the reader "sees" the ritual that Junia and other Old Friends - go through each night to remove their youthful persona from their bodies - they sleep - of course - in their 2000 year old form -
here are the two paragraphs that explain that process:
She pulled up a chair and positioned it next to the bed. She then folded back the covers, fluffed up the pillow and sat down on the comfy bed. Then carefully and methodically, she did something that most would scarcely believe even if they witnessed it with their own eyes. She took off, so to speak, her youthful, outer persona and placed it in the chair in a sitting position. The process took some time and needed to be performed in a delicate manner. When she was finished, the ghostly figure sat lifeless and pale as if suspended by some unseen force. What was left of Junia, of course, was her two thousand year old Old Friend, persona.
From the tip of her head to the tips of her toes, she was now old and brittle. In every way, she looked more dead than alive. The night shirt that she had changed into hung from her wrinkled and worn out body as if it were hanging on a long forgotten hook in a closet abandoned by time. Her hair was thin and white. Her face was sunken in and her eyes were hollow and lifeless. After all, her Old Friend persona, the real Junia, would be two thousand years old on the Fall Equinox.