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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > The Invisible Ring (Chapter 96)      Page
  • The Invisible Ring(Black Jewels,Book 4)(96) by Anne Bishop
  • Not only had they come down the road from both directions, the bastards were dropping down from the Winds!

    The next few minutes passed in lightning-fast images. The wagon exploded when blasts of power struck it from two sides. A ball of witchfire set what was left on fire. A horse screamed. A man roared. More and more marauders gathered a few feet behind the Red shields, unleashing their Jewels against it, forcing him to draw more and more of his own strength into maintaining and extending the shields as he continued to creep back toward the wagon.

    Suddenly, the Green Jewels unleashed farther up the road, one on each side.

    Jared heard men scream, felt something in the land die as it exploded and burned. He couldn’t extend his shields to surround their little group because he didn’t know where the others were, didn’t know where Lia was among all the shattering boulders. There was so much power sizzling around them, his efforts to contact the others through a psychic link yielded nothing.

    A blast of power coming from behind him hit the boulders above his head, knocking him down. Momentarily stunned, Jared felt the Red shield across the track break.

    He created another a few yards in front of him.

    “Give it up,” one of the marauders yelled when he reached the new shield. “You can’t win against us, slave. Give it up!”

    “When the sun shines in Hell,” Jared muttered, strengthening the shields. He darted among the boulders that had fallen into the track, constantly extending the shields as he continued to work his way to the burning wagon and the section of the road where he’d seen the others run for cover.

    Blast after blast rocked the shields. Jared continued to unleash short bursts of power to break through personal shields and inner barriers, but for every marauder who fell, two more took his place.

    Two bursts of power were unleashed on the road directly in front of him, and a thick cloud of dirt rose up, blinding him while he tried to regain his footing on the edge of the newly made pit. Choking, he rubbed his eyes to clear away the tears and dirt and didn’t see the man rushing out of the cloud.

    Strong hands grabbed him and hauled him behind some boulders.

    A Purple Dusk shield formed a dome around them and the boulders in front of them.

    “Hell’s fire, even the Black Widow knows how to fight better than you do,” Randolf growled, crouching beside Jared.

    Resisting the urge to ram a fist into Randolf’s face. Jared snapped. “‘I was never trained for this.”

    “Neither was she, but she knows enough not to be polite or dainty about it,” Randolf snapped back. “You’re wasting our best weapon.”

    Refusing to respond, Jared started to extend the shield on his side of the road and hit a Green shield that returned the contact with enough punch to make him feel like a baby bolt of lightning had run up his spine and scorched his lungs.

    Jared shook his head to clear it and tried to convince his chest to expand enough so that he could try to breathe.

    “Told you she fights better than you,” Randolf said.

    Marauders dashed among the boulders on the other side of the track. Collisions of psychic power caused the energy to veer off in all directions, striking wildly.

    A woman screamed in rage.

    A man roared a fierce battle cry.

    Somewhere among the boulders, a child screamed in terror.

    That scream chilled Jared. He turned to Randolf. “What’s our best weapon?”

    “Your Red Jewels,” Randolf said abruptly. Shoving Jared closer to the ground, he raised his right hand, which now wore a Purple Dusk ring, and unleashed fast arrow bolts of power.

    Pushing against Randolfs restraining left hand, Jared raised his head high enough to see a marauder trying to crawl back between the shattered boulders and the bottom of the Red shield. Blood gushed from the man’s severed leg.

    Randolf waited until the man’s body filled the gap. He unleashed the Purple Dusk again, severing the other leg just above the knee.

    Jared stared at the Warlord guard. Crouching comfortably, Randolf returned the stare with a steady gaze.

    “You did exactly what they counted on you doing,” Randolf said quietly. “You threw your strength into defending instead of fighting. If I were up there, I would have gambled that way.”

    “Why?”

    Randolf ignored the question. “They’ve thrown twice as many men against you as they’ve got pinning down the rest of us because they want to eliminate the Red.” He snorted. “I doubt they were expecting our Ladies to show so much teeth and temper. Once you’re gone, though, they’ve got the numbers to pull the rest of us down and take whatever they’ve come to take.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire