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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 6)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(6) by Anne Bishop
  • "Not breezes or puffs of air." Lucivar ground his teeth. "The Winds. The Webs. The psychic roads in the Darkness."

    Jaenelle perked up. "Is that what they are?"

    He managed to stop in mid-curse.

    Jaenelle leaned forward. "Are you always this prickly?"

    "Most people think I'm a prick, yes."

    "What's that mean?"

    "Never mind." He chose a sharp stone and drew a circle on the ground between them. "This is the Realm of Terreille." He placed a round stone in the circle. "This is the Black Mountain, Ebon Askavi, where the Winds meet." He drew straight lines from the round stone to the circumference of the circle. "These are tether lines." He drew smaller circles within the circle. "These are radial lines. The Winds are like a spider web. You can travel on the tether or the radial lines, changing direction where they intersect. There's a Web for each rank of the Blood Jewels. The darker the Web, the more tether and radial lines there are and the faster the Wind is. You can ride a Web that's your rank or lighter. You can't ride a Web darker than your Jewel rank unless you're traveling inside a Coach being driven by someone strong enough to ride that Web or you're being shielded by someone who can ride that Web. If you try, you probably won't survive. Understand?"

    Jaenelle chewed on her lower lip and pointed to a space between the strands. "What if I want to go there?"

    Lucivar shook his head. "You'd have to drop from the Web back into the Realm at the nearest point and travel some other way."

    "That's not how I got here," she protested.

    Lucivar shuddered. There wasn't a strand of any Web around Zuultah's compound. Her court was deliberately in one of those blank spaces. The only way to get here directly from the Winds was by leaving the Web and gliding blind through the Darkness, which, even for the strongest and the best, was a chancy thing to do. Unless . . .

    "Come here, Cat," he said gently. When she dropped in front of him, he rested his hands on her thin shoulders. "Do you often go wandering?"

    Jaenelle nodded slowly. "People call me. Like you did."

    Like he did. Mother Night! "Cat, listen to me. Children are vulnerable to many dangers."

    There was a strange expression in her eyes. "Yes, I know."

    "Sometimes an enemy can wear the mask of a friend until it's too late to escape."

    "Yes," she whispered.

    Lucivar shook her gently, forcing her to look at him. "Terreille is a dangerous place for little cats. Please, go home and don't go wandering anymore. Don't . . . don't answer the people who call you."

    "But then I won't see you anymore."

    Lucivar closed his gold eyes. A knife in the heart would hurt less. "I know. But we'll always be friends. And it's not forever. When you're grown up, I'll come find you or you'll come find me."

    Jaenelle nibbled her lip. "How old is grown up?"

    Yesterday. Tomorrow. "Let's say seventeen. It sounds like forever, I know, but it's really not that long." Even Sadi couldn't have spun a better lie than that. "Will you promise not to go wandering?"

    Jaenelle sighed. "I promise not to go wandering in Terreille."

    Lucivar hauled her to her feet and spun her around. "There's one thing I want to teach you before you go. This will work if a man ever tries to grab you from behind."

    When they'd gone through the demonstration enough times that he was sure she knew what to do, Lucivar kissed her forehead and stepped back. "Get out of here. The guards will be making the rounds any minute now. And remember—a Queen never breaks a promise made to a Warlord Prince."

    "I'll remember." She hesitated. "Lucivar? I won't look the same when I'm grown up. How will you know me?"

    Lucivar smiled. Ten years or a hundred, it would make no difference. He'd always recognize those extraordinary sapphire eyes. "I'll know. Good-bye, Cat. May the Darkness embrace you."

    She smiled at him and vanished.

    Lucivar stared at that empty space. Was that a foolish thing to say to her? Probably.

    A gate rattling caught his attention. He swiftly rubbed out the drawing of the Winds and slipped from shadow to shadow until he reached the stables. He passed through the outside wall and had just settled into his cell when the guard opened the barred window in the door.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire