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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Invisible Ring (Chapter 79)      Page
  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(79) by Anne Bishop
  • Jared shook his head. He called in the silver marks and handed them to Blaed. “Go to the tavern and see if you can buy a few bottles of brandy and whiskey. That should be enough. I’ll get the meat.”

    *Is it a good idea to dull our wits?* Blaed asked.

    *It’s always a good idea to dull pain.*

    Jared followed the old woman to the butcher’s. There were a few men on the street now. Silent. Watching. Including a man in a bloodstained apron.

    The old woman raised a hand in greeting. “This Lord would like to buy some meat.”

    The butcher eyed Jared warily. “The Blood are good and kind.”

    Smiling, the old woman reached up and patted Jared’s cheek. “Some of them truly are.”

    Jared turned back to the man in time to see his startled expression shift to a more businesslike one.

    “You’re traveling, Lord?” the butcher asked once they’d entered the shop and the small glass-enclosed counter was between them.

    “Yes.”

    “Got some beef that would cook up just fine over a fire.”

    “That’s fine.”

    “Got some fresh sausages, too. Quick and easy in a skillet.”

    “Fine.” Jared watched the butcher efficiently select and wrap up the meat.

    The butcher glanced at Jared, then at the packages. When Jared said nothing, he cut and wrapped more meat.

    “I don’t think you want more than this, Lord. It would only go bad before you could eat it, even with magic.”

    Jared called in the gold marks and handed two of them to the butcher.

    “That’s too much, Lord.”

    “It doesn’t matter.”

    Jared vanished the rest of the gold marks and the packages of meat.

    The butcher fingered the gold marks thoughtfully. “A gang of men—Blood—came through here two days ago. They were looking for a pedlar’s wagon and a group of travelers. A vicious witch, they said. Dangerous. Thought she might be running to Shalador for some reason. Asked about a Shalador Warlord who might be with her.”

    Jared finally focused his attention. “And what did you tell them?”

    “What could I tell them? No one like that had come through here, had they?”

    His attention sharpened. “And now?”

    “Now?” The butcher shrugged. “What could I tell them now that’s any different? Haven’t seen a wagon or a witch. Two Lords rode in to buy supplies. Who can tell what Territory they came from? Was busy with my shop, wasn’t I? Didn’t see what direction they came from ... or what direction they took when they rode out.”

    “Thank you,” Jared said quietly.

    The butcher hesitated, scratched his jaw. “Even in a tucked-away village like this, we hear things. You know?”

    Jared nodded.

    “If you aren’t heading someplace in particular, I’ve heard some talk that going west is the best choice. The Tamanara Mountains are still some distance away, and they’re full of rogues—vicious bastards who’ll gut you faster than you can spit—-but if you can slip past them ...”

    “I’ve heard that, too. About the rogues,” Jared said, opening the shop door. “Might be better to head south.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire