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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Invisible Ring (Chapter 150)      Page
  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(150) by Anne Bishop
  • Chapter Thirty-one

    “We’re going to build a psychic web,” Lia said in a voice that had all emotion washed out of it.

    Jared glanced at the other men crowded into the tavern’s back room. Blank faces. Confused eyes. Talon rubbed the back of his neck and frowned at the chalk circle Lia had drawn on the table. Blaed looked at the ceiling, his eyes filled with wry humor.

    Since Garth was the only one nodding as if that statement made sense, Jared wondered if he’d feel less confused if he banged his head against the table a few times.

    Then he looked at Lia, and the trickle of amusement faded.

    The Queen and the Black Widow who sat across from each other were suddenly strangers to him, filled with a wild unknown. There was something dangerous about the way they sat so still, so quiet.

    “Jared, since you wear the darkest Jewel, you’re going to be the web’s focal point,” Lia said.

    Great. Wonderful.Mother Night .

    Jared shifted uneasily. “What’s it supposed to do?”

    “It will give the weakest of you the protection of the strongest,” Thera said in that voice that made all the men shiver. “Through the strands of the web, all of you will be connected. A strike against any one of you will be absorbed by all of you. The Red Jewel will feed the web and keep it strong.”

    “It sounds fine as a defense,” Talon said, “but Jared won’t be able to hold it long if they start unleashing their own Jewels.”

    “They want Lia alive,” Thera said, staring at the circle drawn on the table. “They won’t risk a full attack until they have her.”

    “Even if they do nothing, he still can’t hold it forever,” Talon argued. “And they’re not going to get bored and just go home.”

    “Ten minutes,” Lia said. “Once the signal’s given, he only has to hold it for ten minutes.”

    Only.

    Jared wanted to laugh, but he was very afraid it would come out sounding hysterical. Didn’t they realize how many Hayllians were surrounding Ranon’s Wood?

    Thera slashed a look in his direction—as if she’d heard the laughter. “You held Red shields against the marauders for that long.”

    “There weren’t as many of them,” Jared said testily.

    Thera shrugged. “They were fighting, always draining the shields. The Hayllians won’t be attacking with any strength. Alive, Lia is a valuable hostage. If they’d wanted her destroyed, the village and everyone in it would be gone by now.”

    “When the Hayllians start to advance, everyone wearing the Jewels will provide a token resistance, gradually retreating toward the Coaches,” Lia said. “Jared will remain here in the tavern, where he can watch the road.”

    “I can—” Jared began.

    “Your task is to defend,” Lia said sharply.

    “I don’t like it,” Randolf said, shaking his head. “We’re not going to achieve anything. Gaining a few more minutes won’t change the outcome of the battle.”

    Thera’s eyes were ice with a hint of green. “You don’t have to like it, Warlord. You just have to obey.”

    After silencing Randolf with a searing look, Talon fixed his gaze on Lia. “With respect, Lady, I say again—this web you and Lady Thera devised is an admirable protection, but it won’t get us out of here.”

    Lia raised her chin. “Yes, it will.”

    Frustrated, Jared raked his fingers through his hair. “How?”

    They said nothing.

    Seeing his own hurt mirrored in Blaed’s eyes, Jared pushed aside bruised feelings.

    Blind trust. In the end, it always came down to blind trust because it was the ultimate test of the bond between a Queen and the males who serve her.

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire