Web of Deceit

Web of Deceit by Richard S. Tuttle Read Free Book Online

Book: Web of Deceit by Richard S. Tuttle Read Free Book Online
Authors: Richard S. Tuttle
Tags: Fantasy, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult
barren dirt, but he could not see either end of the wall they had ridden through. He was awed by the immenseness of it all. He had thought of the bandits as small groups of riders as that was all he had ever seen visit the village, but this fortress clearly showed that the bandits were very numerous.
    It was the greens who came to his village each year and he looked around to see if he could recognize anyone, but he could not. There were just too many faces there.
    Brakas waved the other riders off as he ordered Rejji to dismount in front of the large hut. As Brakas landed on the ground, the other riders turned and headed for the stable area.
    “Inside,” Brakas ordered brusquely as he tied his horse to the rail. “And don’t speak unless spoken to.”
    Rejji nodded and mounted the steps and opened the door. He heard the heavy footsteps of Brakas behind him as he entered the large room. The room was the full width of the large hut, but not very deep. There were chairs to the right and a big desk to the left with a surly looking man sitting behind it. Brakas pushed past Rejji and approached the desk.
    “Is he here?” Brakas asked the man.
    “In the meeting room,” nodded the man. “He is alone though.”
    Brakas nodded and shoved Rejji down a hallway leading towards the rear of the building. There were six doors off the hallway, three on each side, but the destination Brakas had in mind was obviously the doorway at the end of the hall. The smell of smoke hit Rejji before he even entered the room, so he was not surprised to see a fire smoldering in a pit in the center of the large room. The room was huge and must have occupied the whole back half of the building. There were wooden benches attached to each wall and a big circular piece of wood that Rejji figured was for covering the fire pit when they needed floor space. There were no windows in the walls and the only door was the one Rejji had just come thru. A lean man sat on one of the benches running a stone over his sword. He stood when Rejji entered the room. Brakas entered right behind Rejji and his big hand reached and grabbed Rejji’s shoulder as soon he entered the room, forcing Rejji to halt.
    “What have you here, Brakas?” the lean man asked.
    “Found him along the river, Wyant,” Brakas responded. “Claims he was coming to join us.”
    “How did he make it to the river?” frowned Wyant. “Why didn’t our sentries spot him?”
    “He says he came across the badlands,” scraggly beard replied. “Klavin thinks he is a spy.”
    “Klavin thinks you are a spy, Brakas,” sighed Wyant as he approached Rejji. “He thinks everyone is a spy.”
    Wyant reached out and grasped Rejji biceps. He ran his hands down Rejji’s arms and twisted his wrists so he could inspect Rejji’s hands. Rejji was still wearing the fingerless gloves he was so fond of, and Wyant frowned.
    “Remove the gloves,” Wyant ordered.
    Rejji removed his gloves and stuck them in his belt. He offered his hands back to Wyant and the Zaldoni leader examined his palms.
    “You appear muscular enough,” Wyant stated, “but I doubt you have the makings of a warrior. A good swordsman is more than just muscle. It takes coordination and intelligence and practice. Mostly practice. What is that scar on your hand?”
    Rejji gazed at the discolored crescent centered in his right palm. “I don’t know,” the boy admitted. “I have always had it. Some kind of birthmark my grandfather said.”
    “Well at least it is not from an act of stupidity then,” smiled Wyant. “You can put the gloves back on if you wish. Have you ever handled a sword?”
    Rejji donned his gloves once more and looked up at the leader. “No, I haven’t,” answered Rejji. “Nobody in the village owned a sword.”
    “Then what are you doing here pretending that you want to be a Zaldoni?” questioned Wyant.
    “He said he wanted to avenge his village,” offered Brakas. “He said it was wiped out by the

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