If there existed some kind of fate in the world, a force that drove and shaped things, well, it really didn't want Leithan to assist to Shay's lecture this week.
Because of the elder, he'd missed most of it on Monday evening. On Wednesday, he was otherwise occupied, with ten thousand feet of mountain to climb.
Now, Friday afternoon, Leithan was comfortably seated in the front row with his fellow chosen – Ander, Peyton and Quin – listening to Shay's third and final lecture of the week.
Shaylan was just getting to the impact Kinali had had on Veya, as a student in Veya's morals and ethics class, when the security guard snuck up behind Leithan and lightly tapped his shoulder, startling him.
"Could you follow me outside, please?" he whispered, clearly feeling awkward. Many people in the seats surrounding them were staring.
It was the youngest, newest temple guard, Hemmel. Black Fortress guard Jasper's little brother.
Leithan got up and stalked after Hemmel's uniformed figure, out of the lecture hall, not wanting to cause any more of a commotion. He could feel the other chosen's curious gazes on his back.
On the stage, Shay carried on. "Kinali developed a bit of a rivalry with this other student, Viko Blackstone – many of you will recognize the name. He later became a famous writer . . ."
As they strode across large marble floor tiles, Hemmel looked at Leithan under the brim of his black hat.
"I was wondering, why did your lectures get cancelled this week?" Hemmel asked on a gossipy tone.
Leithan said, "I, um, I said 'Veya's tits and balls' in front of the elder. Turns out you can't do that."
His effort to be funny was ignored.
"I heard this rumor," Hemmel said excitedly, as they walked, "that you're planning on giving your Sunday night lecture anyway. That you're planning something epic."
That made Leithan stop. They were nearly outside, standing beside the row of ornate urns and jugs. The sound of pouring rain drifted through the closed wooden doors.
"Who told you that?" Leithan asked.
The young man shrugged. "I don't know. A friend. Lots of people are talking about it."
Leithan frowned, his thoughts racing. What in Seelai's Hell is going on?
"Did your friend say who he heard it from?" Leithan asked, without much hope.
But Hemmel actually had an answer, "Oh, I think he said it was the New Ri Press girl. Writer girl. The one who always wears a beret."
Leithan felt a smile tugging at his lips. Frista Latesky.
What's she playing at now?
Then, Hemmel glanced to the side, at the dark wood door. "Crap, I almost forgot! Let's go. Captain of the City Watch wants to talk to you."
Leithan frowned again as he let Hemmel whisk him outside.
Hanna Slyfox is here to see me? Why? What did I do now?
Rami's mother stood under the pale stone roof that projected outward, supported by columns, shielding her from the downpour. Tall and athletic, she wore a slim dark gray coat that was buttoned in silver at the waist and flared out at the hips, reaching knee-length and ending at the back in two long triangular coattails.
The garment, other than looking very bad ass, let you glimpse the utility belt at her hips, where the brown handle of her revolver jutted out of its holster. In one gloved hand, she held her folded umbrella, and it dripped steadily on the stone tile beside her boots.
YOU ARE READING
Son of No CityFantasy
Two factions. One island. Because of his mixed blood, Leithan Blackfeather doesn't truly belong to either side. When tensions rise between the two communities and war seems imminent, Leithan is caught in the middle. But he finds an unexpected ally...