How long do you intend to stay? Alma’s question was a rough whisper, no louder than the fire.
Silver Threads. Screams of the damned. The mountain bat crashed down.Aeduan was zooming into the lead. Yet this time, as his fingers dug tight into Iseult’s forearm, Iseult realized the mountain bat was hanging back. Rather than darting high for another hard dive, it was hovering above.
The river! Iseult shouted, and instantly, Aeduan’s course changed. They dove out from behind the pillars, and the Amonra greeted them. Its white chop had turned red; corpses floated downstream.Here, a battle waged. Arrows fell; fire-pots erupted; blades endlessly clanged. It was chaos, and neither side cared whom they killed. Violent, lusting Threads saturated Iseult’s vision. Blood saturated the soil.Habim had told Iseult once, War is senseless. She’d always thought he’d meant it figuratively. Now she knew he’d meant it exactly as he’d said. War was senseless, overwhelming her sight, her touch, her hearing. Even her witchery. Every piece of Iseult was crushed. Crumbled. Shattered to shreds.
Ahead, at the base of the falls, Owl waited. Her panicked, jittering Threads shone through the fog off the river.A snap! shook through the air. Instantly, the sky turned black as arrows pelted down, a great swarm from the cliff.
Aeduan cut right, yanking Iseult behind the stones. Just in time, for the arrows hit their marks. Soldiers and steeds, Red Sails and Baedyeds—all fell like wheat to the scythe.
No stopping, though. Only running onward through the weak rain. Men charged with blades, but swords were so easy for Iseult to evade with Aeduan at her side. Together, they arced, they lunged, they ducked, they rolled. A fluid combination of steps built on blood and Threads.Safi followed his finger. Sure enough, she found the tall blond man with his attention on a figure flying this way.
But Safi’s Threadsister was limp. As Safi bolted for the first mate, she roared for a healer or surgeon or someone to help.The first mate eased Iseult onto the quarterdeck with his magic, and Safi was instantly beside her. She tugged Iseult’s head onto her lap and pressed fingers to her throat, praying for a pulse … Yes, yes. Faint, but there.
Although, in the glaring moonlight, there was no missing the growing smear of red on Iseult’s arm or the dead Painstone around her neck.Movement flickered in the corners of Safi’s vision. The prince, the first mate, other sailors closing in. Then came a flash of white and a woman’s voice. Get my kit!