Chapter Fifty-Five

746 108 89

They had Talon and Mogra to thank for the food. Using her sharp-eyed bird form, the captain had spotted and caught several unwary fieldvoles, which Droom had cleaned, skinned and roasted. Mogra, who Guin was learning prided herself as an amateur botanist of sorts, had dug up loads of some kind of tuber from the soft soil on the bank of a nearby stream. Droom had roasted these as well, and they turned out to be surprisingly good.

Guin chewed one of the sweet little roots and watched Lorn across the crackling fire. He sat motionless, hunched into himself and staring into the flames. He'd eaten a few mouthfuls, but the rest of his meal now lay forgotten before him.

He looked hollowed out, like someone had scooped out his spirit and left behind nothing but a miserable husk. Guin thought there must be something she could do or say to alleviate that lost expression in his eyes, but she had no clue where to start.

Getting him to trudge all the way back to their campsite had been nearly impossible. More than once, Lorn had come to a full stop for no reason and just stood there, staring up at the stars. She'd needed to tug his sleeve and whisper encouragements in his ear before he could get moving again. And even when he was walking, he moved like his limbs were filled with lead

Guin looked away from Lorn, her gaze skimming the exhausted faces of the rest of the group before coming to rest on the pool of shadow where Thesul lay. He'd gone quiet and hadn't so much as twitched for hours, but Guin knew that he was in there, alert and listing--like a spider wrapped in his own web. He was plotting to kill them all, she didn't doubt that, and the knowledge sent cold fingers of dread creeping up her spine.

She'd spoken of making the wires tighten until Thesul was squashed like a slug under a boot--but then what? Would he heal from that, too? And was it even wise to kill the bastard now, when they had him trapped? Ther was at war--it might come in handy to have the enemy's big cheese as a captive. And besides, as tempting as it was to spend the night cooking up various ways to end Thesul's life, Guin felt that it wasn't really her decision to make. No matter what, this place wasn't her home. It wasn't up to her to decide its fate.

No, it wasn't her home--but it was Lorn's. And Lorn was, apparently, king now. King of a dying land slowly ripping itself apart with war. Lucky him.

And there was another problem--she still hadn't told them about the Fog affecting both Ther and Earth, her visions of Matta and Evelyn, or the fact that they now literally only had a few days to find the book.

Her main reason for hesitating was Lorn--Guin didn't know how it would impact his already fragile state to hear that she'd been chatting on and off with his now dead sister's astral body for the past two weeks. There was no way to tell them about the Fog without also telling them about Matta--both in Svard, and in the dungeons, wielding a blade of light. Had that been her ghost? She'd been alive in Svard, but Guin didn't know how soon afterward her death had taken place.

This is ridiculous. I should just tell them. But then she looked at Lorn again, the campfire's flames reflecting brokenly in his staring eyes, and though, In the morning. I'll tell them in the morning.

Guin shoved the rest of the tuber in her mouth, chewed, swallowed and stood up. She felt stronger, though compared to how she'd felt before, 'stronger' was basically a synonym for 'not dead'. Still, she thought she could at least conjure up some warm blankets and clothes for her companions. Despite the fire, it was getting cold.

As for her magic's speeding effect on the Fog, well--they were doomed anyway, and she didn't want to die wearing a sparky bit of clingwrap that smelled of dead fish.

Guin waved her hand as she crossed the campsite. A string of fwip-fwap sounds announced the arrival of several stacks of colorful patchwork quilts. A moment later, five neatly folded bundles of clothing dropped into the laps of each of her friends. Mogra made a small, delighted noise, Kip yelped, Zolga and Talon exchanged a glance and poor Droom almost choked on his roast vole.

The Myriad Chronicles | Book Three: Lost PagesRead this story for FREE!