Hunted (Book 3)

Hunted (Book 3) by Brian Fuller Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Hunted (Book 3) by Brian Fuller Read Free Book Online
Authors: Brian Fuller
his shoulder to throw her an odd, pained look. While her mother would not reveal the details of her conversation with Athan outside the building near Elde Luri Mora, the Padra was obviously deeply offended or troubled by what she said. For her part, Mirelle remained as poised and calm as ever.
    As the Chalaine did twenty times a day, she slipped her hand inside her cloak and into the pocket where she kept Gen’s animon , the stone the Millim Eri had given her. Its warmth provided comforting testimony that her Protector still lived. Her mother had disclosed to her earlier that day that she thought Gen had very likely escaped, though she would not give her reasons for this hope.
    Beside her rode Fenna, face cast in an unrelenting scowl. Geoff rode behind his wife as if dragged by a chain, the feather that had once seemed so indomitable now drooping unceremoniously off to the side. Fenna wouldn’t look at him, speak to him, or acknowledge the many little kindnesses he extended to her during the day. Of all the caravan, Geoff was the only person the Chalaine pitied more than herself.
    While she knew she should think more kindly of Fenna, the Chalaine wanted to slap her every time she bemoaned her forced marriage to Geoff. Geoff doted on her, and before their wedding Fenna had preferred the bard’s company over any other, including Gen’s, though she would never admit to it. The Chalaine considered her former handmaiden’s treatment of Geoff as undeservedly punitive and hoped Fenna would mend her ways before the bard went mad.
    The Chalaine sighed, ducking a low branch as they wound through the thick trunks of tall trees. The forest floor was clear of detritus and rolled gently around small rills. The leaves had just started to turn, edges hinting at yellows and reds to come. The thick canopy of high branches admitted spotty light to pepper the ground, and the Chalaine judged the place pleasant enough, though the gloom in her heart stripped her of any enjoyment of the scene.
    Maewen, who ran as often as she rode, strode to her side. “How is your wrist, Lady Khairn?” she asked.
    “Please call me Chalaine, if you will. The wrist is quite fine. I hardly feel it anymore.”
    “I am surprised,” Maewen returned. “It should have taken far longer to heal. Perhaps I misjudged the damage done.”
    “Perhaps. At least it is one piece of good fortune.” While the quick healing of her wound was unexpected, the Chalaine also felt unusually fit. While those around her groaned or slumped with weariness, she awoke each day stronger and more alert than the one before.
    “Maewen?” the Chalaine asked, noticing the half-elf preparing to run ahead.
    “Yes, Chalaine?”
    “Can I ask you a question?”
    “Certainly.”
    “Have you ever heard of someone named Samian?”
    Maewen’s head snapped around, eyes wide.
    “Yes. Where have you heard this name?”
    “Since I’ve worn the stone necklaces Gen had you give me, I see this man every night. He is in some magnificent Cathedral. Gen taught me enough of the old tongue that I know that he is speaking it. But besides exchanging names, we have understood little of each other. It is strange. It is a dream, but it is far too lucid and real to be just something from my own head. What do you know of him?”
    Maewen turned her head away, but the Chalaine thought she caught some tender emotion on her face before the half-elf could hide it. “He was a human leader during the First Mikkikian War. He lived among the elves, took one to wife, and had a child by her.”
    “Here, let’s try something,” the Chalaine suggested, removing the necklaces. “Wear them tonight and see if he comes to you when you sleep. Maybe you can figure out what he is saying. He seems quite urgent about something, and I think he’s even said your name a couple of times.”
    The Chalaine expected protest to her offer but got none, Maewen grabbing the stones and donning them immediately. “Thank you, Chalaine. I

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