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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Daughter of the Blood (Chapter 146)      Page
  • Daughter of the Blood(Black Jewels,Book 1)(146) by Anne Bishop
  • 2—Hell

    "You're going to help me," Saetan said, turning to face Draca.

    "To do what, High Lord?" Draca asked. Her unblinking reptilian eyes revealed nothing.

    "Penetrate the mist around Beldon Mor." His golden eyes locked with Draca's, willing her to yield.

    Draca studied him for a long time. "There iss danger?"

    "I believe so."

    "You break faith with her."

    "I'd rather have her hate me than have her lost to all of us," Saetan replied sharply.

    Draca considered this. "Even the Black iss not sso far-reaching. A leasst not the Black you wear, High Lord. The help I can offer will only let you know what iss beyond the misst, to ssee but not to act. To act, you would need to link with another, sspear to sspear."

    Saetan licked his lips, took a deep breath. "There is one there who may help, who may let me use him."

    "Come." Draca led him through the corridors of Ebon Askavi toward a large stairwell that descended into the heart of the mountain.

    As they reached the stairwell, hurrying footsteps made Saetan swing around in challenge.

    Geoffrey appeared around the corner, followed by Andulvar, Prothvar, and Mephis. Andulvar and Prothvar were dressed for battle. Mephis's anger blazed from his Gray Jewel.

    Saetan flicked a dagger glance at each of them before his eyes and his anger settled on Andulvar. "Why are you here, Yaslana?" Saetan asked in his soft, dangerous croon.

    Andulvar clenched his hands. "That web in your study."

    "Ah, so now you possess the ability to read the Hourglass's webs."

    "I could snap you like kindling!"

    "You'd have to reach me first."

    A slow grin bared Andulvar's teeth. Then the grin faded. "The waif's in trouble, isn't she? That's what the web warned you about."

    "It's not your concern."

    "She doesn't belong just to you, High Lord!" Andulvar roared.

    Saetan closed his eyes.Sweet Darkness, give me the strength. "No," he agreed, letting Andulvar see his pain, "she doesn't belong just to me. But I'm the only one strong enough to do what has to be done, and"—he raised a hand to stop their protests, his eyes never leaving Andulvar's face—"if someone has to stand responsible for what's going to happen, if someone is going to earn her hatred, let it be only one of us so the others can still cherish her—and serve her."

    "Saetan," Andulvar said, his voice husky. "Ah, Saetan. Is there nothing we can do?"

    Saetan blinked rapidly. "Wish me well."

    "Come," Draca said urgently. "The Darknesss . . . We musst hurry."

    Saetan followed her down the stairwell to the locked door at the bottom. Pulling a large key from her sleeve, Draca unlocked the door and pushed it open.

    Etched in the floor of the enormous cavern was a huge web lined with silver. In the center where all the tether lines met was an iridescent Jewel the size of Saetan's hand, a Jewel that blended the colors of all the other Jewels. At the end of each silver tether line was an iridescent Jewel chip the size of his thumbnail.

    As Saetan and Draca walked along the edge of the web, the Jewels began to glow. A low hum rose from the web, rising up and up until the cavern throbbed with the sound.

    "Draca, what is this place?" Saetan whispered.

    "It iss nowhere and everywhere." Draca pointed at his feet. "Your feet must be bare. Flessh musst touch the web." When Saetan had stripped off his shoes and socks, Draca pointed to a tether line. "Begin here. Walk sslowly to the center, letting the web draw you into itsself. When you reach the center, possition yoursself behind the Jewel sso you are facing the tether line closesst to Beldon Mor."

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire