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9. Minyas Up Close

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Chapter 9. Minyas Up Close

We’ve caught up with a portion of those who were kidnapped by the Lorkon and apparently were left behind. All of them were women, most of whom worked in the castle with Arien. Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, Arien was not among them. However, Kelson was much overjoyed to find his wife, Midian, among the survivors. She is injured and has been mostly unconscious since we found her. She recognizes no one. I’m afraid she won’t live much longer.

We are nearing a city where Kenji has several close friends. We will beg for help where our new group members are concerned. We are unable to continue carrying them with us. Kelson is still very much needed in our company, and though I offered to allow him to stay with his wife, I was glad when he chose to continue and trust her to one of Kenji’s friends for the time being. We will return for her and the others when this journey is over.

***

A sweet fragrance entered Jacob’s nose as he inhaled. He was on his back in a bed. He felt someone sitting next to him, holding his hand, comforting him.

“Mom?”

There wasn’t an answer. He opened his eyes. She was looking at someone on the other side of him. Turning his head, he saw that it was Brojan, the patriarch. They were conversing in hushed voices. He tried to open his mouth to say something, but the scene in front of him faded and blurred, and everything went black again.

***

Jacob opened his eyes. He couldn’t see anything. It took several seconds for him to realize he really was awake. Afraid to move, he concentrated as air rushed in and out of his lungs. No pain! He took a deep breath, and a sweet maple fragrance entered his nose.

After a moment, he decided he needed to test for broken bones. He started with his toes, flexing them, then moved to his fingers and hands, stretching and flexing them as well. He lifted his arms and legs one at a time and bent them, tightening the muscles. Still no pain. He stretched his arms over his head and pushed against the cushions that surrounded him.

Jacob touched his face and traced the outlines of his eyes, then checked his ears. Nothing was out of the ordinary. He stretched his hands, bumping them into the same soft fabric that covered the surface where he lay. Wiggling around, he found four corners and realized he was in a box of sorts.

“Oh my gosh, am I in a coffin?”

Trying not to panic, he pushed with his might against the surface in front of him. Light rushed into the box, momentarily blinding him, and he let the top fall shut again.

At least it wasn’t sealed. Jacob waited for a moment before trying to open the box again, this time much more slowly so his eyes could adjust. Finally, after several seconds of short movements, his eyes grew accustomed to the light, and he pushed the lid all the way open.

An extremely large Akeno stared down at him with a big grin on his face.

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