4: Joy and Curses

12.2K 760 77

"So how did you come to be a Seeker? You were always a rum archer and blade-woman. I thought you'd train for the guard." Rory's inquiry broke through Blayre's intense concentration. Familiar as she was with tuning out her Sense, it was an adjustment to actively use it for such a long period of time to detect danger. She felt more like the hunted than the hunter - a feeling both unwelcome and unusual.

    The trees whispered around them, a cool breeze rustling through the budding leaves. Blayre shivered, gripping doves reigns a little more tightly.

    Rolling the tension out of her shoulders she considered her answer. "The usual way, I suppose, though probably sooner than most. I broke my arm when I fell from a tree hiding from Seaver." Blayre smiled, thinking of her brother. "The local medic mage was useless and by the time I was of age for the twelve-year tests, I was basically impervious." Most Seekers had considerable resistance to magic, but the degree to which Blayre was unaffected by mage-power was unusual. "Sure I'm good with a knife and a bow, but those skills are still useful to me now." She adjusted her hands on Dove's reins.

    "Besides, not many can completely resist magic as I can." She threw a pointed glance toward Ripley. A challenge. You can't get me with your charms and spells.

    The Rogue mage's gaze fell on her for a brief moment, before he jerked away again.

    "I am flattered that you recall me from so many years ago." Blayre added.

    "I always admired you." Rory flashed a white smile. "Fierce determination and drive. Certainly traits to be desired in anyone serving the Crown."

    Blayre flushed slightly. She was slowly getting used to Rory's generous compliments. Very slowly.

    Before leaving she had repaired the small damages done between herself and Ainslee, who was still thoroughly convinced that Blayre had done more than offer innocent help to the duke those two nights prior at the Three Archers.

    Ainslee had always been an impossible romantic.

    Ripley squinted up at the sky through the dense trees that surrounded them. "I think a storm is brewing."

    Blayre followed his gaze skeptically. "The sky is blue as can be in all directions, so far as I can see." The wind wasn't more than a caressing breeze, nor could she smell the damp air that was a tell-tale sign of oncoming rain.

    "Not anytime soon, but by this evening I'm certain."

    Blayre shivered again despite herself.

    "Blumore the Fearless, afraid of storms?" Rory grinned wolfishly.

    "Yes sir." Blayre said. "They come about in the mountains quicker than a rabbit trailed by a fox. There's nothing worse than being caught in one."

    "Well lucky for us, Ripley is a skilled weather forecaster."

    Gee I wonder why? Blayre thought sardonically.

    "It will only be lucky for us if we can make it ahead of the storm," Ripley pointed out, ever the realist.

    Pshaw. A rogue mage who's impossibly realistic. What are the odds?

    It was only the three of them. Ripley and Lord Darach had decided Blayre would be sufficient protection against any magical attacks - and the least conspicuous way to travel. The larger the group, the more attention that would be drawn.

    Of course they would agree on that front. Both of them knew her secret to some degree.

    "You're scowling again, Blumore." Rory's husky voice interjected.

UNMARKEDWhere stories live. Discover now