Mythborn: Rise of the Adepts

Mythborn: Rise of the Adepts by V. Lakshman Read Free Book Online

Book: Mythborn: Rise of the Adepts by V. Lakshman Read Free Book Online
Authors: V. Lakshman
desperately to avoid another beating. The girl cringed with her entire body and spirit, looking far younger than her twelve summers would indicate.
    The king’s mark stepped forward and stooped so her eyes were level with the girl’s own. She noted the prisoner still wore the torc around her neck. As she neared, the girl stepped back but Alion held up a hand, “Steady now, Galadine. You know your job, yes?”
    The girl looked as if she were about to cry, but nodded vigorously.
    “Do as I say and you may have your father’s love again.” Alion lied without a second thought. This vermin, along with the rest, would be food for worms long before the king forgave her sins. Alion did not care. Using these magelings had become a necessary evil. How else would they be able to find others like her?
    The Talent ran strong in the Galadine line, their curse to bear for being faithful stewards of the land, and the king’s willingness to sacrifice his own blood spoke to his character and nobility. Still, the need to consort with this
thing
filled her with disgust. She could only imagine the royal family’s shame that they should be so afflicted.
    Despite these thoughts, her revulsion, along with the deepest desire to thrust her blade into the heart of the creature, never reached her eyes. She said the words with utter sincerity, allowing the briefest hint of a smile to play across her features, reassurance that everything would be all right.
    She stood and motioned to Kearn. “Take the torc off.”
    As the lieutenant obeyed, she looked back at the girl and said, “Kalissa, you know what happens if you run?”
    * * * * *
    Kalissa Galadine nodded again, not saying a word. The instant the lieutenant touched the torc, it unlatched with a small
click
and the metal collar opened.
    Power flooded through Kalissa’s senses, reawakening her connection to the Way. It sang into her heart, healing minor injuries, succoring her weariness, and cleansing her soul. The pain fell as if washed away like her mud stains. She felt reborn, but knew this was only temporary. If she did not obey, her father would keep her here. Nothing she did, no connection to the Way, would ease the pain of what she had to do next.
    She opened her eyes and Saw, then pointed and stammered, “Th-through the trees. There are two you want.”
    Alion looked at the girl for a moment then asked, “Just two? Are you sure?”
    She nodded.
    Alion looked up, her eyes calculating. “You stay near me for this.” She handed the reins of her warhorse to a nearby soldier who secured it to the cart, which would remain behind.
    Kalissa came forward, standing woodenly next to the king’s mark. She never took her eyes off the glowing folk she could see, amongst the less bright signs of the people in the village around them. They stood not more than two hundred paces away, beacons of Talent marking them for death.
    Next to them, she saw a third, brighter than they were, someone with the potential for true power. Her eyes flicked once to the knight standing next to her, then back to the village. This third one was young, a girl not more than five or six summers old. Kalissa did not know who she was, only that if the girl were discovered, it would likely mean her own death.
    Why would the king’s mark need her Talent if another, younger child were found to do her bidding? The shame of the decision to let this girl be put to the sword along with the rest of her village would have caused her anguish in the past, but now it barely registered. If her own father could give her away to someone like Malioch, why should she be any more merciful?
    Adults with Talent were killed, but children were harvested and put to work, just as she had been. She would not take the chance these men would choose this new child of power over herself, and she did not care anymore about the consequence to her own soul. She would live and that was all that mattered. It was not the first time she had chosen her own

Similar Books

Black Star Nairobi

Mukoma Wa Ngugi

Marked For Magic

Daisy Banks

The Rope Walk

Carrie Brown

RecipeforSubmission

Sindra van Yssel

Sins of the Heart

Sarah Hoss

Reclamation

Sarah Zettel