The Iron Ring

The Iron Ring by Auston Habershaw Read Free Book Online

Book: The Iron Ring by Auston Habershaw Read Free Book Online
Authors: Auston Habershaw
eyes. “This is ridiculous.”
    Tyvian tried to move his head so he could see down. “Look on the floor—­maybe it was jostled free when you hit me with the restraining spell.”
    â€œYou know something, Reldamar,” Alafarr sneered, and leaned close enough to Tyvian that he could smell her atrociously floral perfume. “I am really going to enjoy watching you turned to stone and placed in a penitentiary garden.”
    â€œNobody move!” The voice was shrill and tremulous, but Tyvian recognized it at once—­Artus.
    The boy was standing with his feet spread apart and his hands wrapped around the sinister black form of a deathcaster. He was pointing it at Alafarr primarily, but the business end of the thing wavered between her and the other Defender. Alafarr put her hands up, but still had her staff. “Boy, don’t do anything foolish, now. Put down the weapon.”
    â€œShut up!” Artus snapped. “Drop the staff!”
    â€œBoy—­” Alafarr began.
    Alafarr dropped it, and Tyvian was released from the spell in the same instant. He immediately checked his own pockets, just to make sure, and then leveled an accusing finger at his savior. “You picked my pocket, you little bastard!”
    As Tyvian took a step forward, Artus pointed the deathcaster at him, too. “Stay back!”
    Tyvian stopped short, putting his hands up. “Artus? Maybe you don’t understand how saving somebody works, but you’re supposed to—­”
    Artus blinked. “I’m not saving you . I’m saving my own skin!”
    â€œAh, well—­that makes much more sense. I apologize. There’s one problem, though.”
    Artus was slowly backing up. “What’s that?”
    Tyvian pointed. “There’s a Defender behind you.”
    Artus’s expression was incredulous for the split second before the Defender behind him—­having completed his message to Galaspin Tower—­jumped on his back. Tyvian, Alafarr, and the first Defender all sprung into action. Alafarr crouched to retrieve her staff, while Tyvian threw a heel back into the groin of the first Defender, interrupting his attempts to draw his sword.
    Spinning around, Tyvian caught Alafarr’s staff by one end even as the mage was standing up with it. As Alafarr attempted to yank it free from his grasp, Tyvian went with the pull and drove the mage against the wall. A brief wrestling match ensued, with Tyvian trying to press the staff against the mage’s throat. He was getting the better of it until Alafarr slammed a mageglass-­tipped boot into the smuggler’s shin, causing Tyvian to drop to one knee. Grimacing with pain, he rolled to one side before the back end of Alafarr’s staff could be brought into contact with his skull, but this left him on his back, staring up at the recently groin-­kicked Defender, who had managed to draw his sword after all. He looked quite angry.
    Before Tyvian could be run through, however, the tumbling brawl between Artus and the other Defender over the deathcaster resulted in the magical device being discharged. A wild, blazing bolt of green lightning cut an arc across the cargo car, splintering crates, cutting support beams, and causing the Defender standing over Tyvian to throw himself on top of the smuggler to avoid being seared into halves.
    The Defender had about thirty pounds and four inches on Tyvian, and his bulk was sufficient to block out all light and sound for a moment as Tyvian struggled to throw him off. In the midst of their grappling, Tyvian’s fingers came across the crystal spheres that had just been taken from his pockets. He managed to snag three of them in one hand before kicking the man off him. Then Tyvian rolled to his feet . . .
    . . . and found himself face-­to-­face with Alafarr and the two Defenders, all with their weapons in hand. Artus, Tyvian

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