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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 90)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(90) by Anne Bishop
  • He had no doubt in his mind that he could—and would—take care of this. He just hoped he could convince Merry of that sufficiently to delay her sounding the alarm. He didn’t want anyone standing with him. Not today. Today he wanted to know with absolute certainty the faces of his enemies.

    That much decided, he quickly prepared for the coming fight.

    First he created the Ebon-gray shields he usually put around his anklebones to give them extra support. Next, he shaped an Ebon-gray shield over his ribs. Then he called in the Ring of Honor that Jaenelle had given every male in her First Circle. She no longer wore Ebony Jewels, but the Ebony power she had put into those Rings to fuel the shields in them was still as potent as ever.

    He slipped the gold Ring over his c**k and used Craft to adjust the size to a comfortably snug fit. Engaging the Ring, he created a skintight Ebony shield around himself, then layered an Ebon-gray shield over that, and finally a double Red shield.

    Would any of the men he was about to meet look beyond that second Red shield for what lay underneath? Especially when the Eyriens who, supposedly, were going to fight alongside him told their comrades that Lucivar Yaslana was already too injured to wear the Ebon-gray?

    He vanished the pendant that held his Birthright Red Jewel, called in the pendant that held the Ebon-gray, then put a sight shield over it. He held out his right hand and carefully triggered the spell in his Red ring—a spell he’d never shared with anyone except his uncle Andulvar and cousin Prothvar. Seven thin psychic “wires” spun out from the Red Jewel in the ring, stopping when they were a handspan in length. When fully extended, those wires could slice through lighter-Jeweled shields as easily as flesh, and he could slaughter dozens of men with a single sweep of his arm. Drawing the wires back into the ring, he ended the spell.

    After fastening his trousers, he took another minute to call in and check all his weapons.

    He walked out of the water closet and found Merry blocking the end of the hallway. He didn’t have time to negotiate, so he locked his hands around her upper arms, lifted her, and set her back down out of his way.

    The shields around his ribs were working just fine. He’d hurt tomorrow, but the sore ribs and bruises weren’t going to interfere with anything he had to do today.

    “Lucivar! This isn’t right. It has to be a trap!”

    Which just proved she was a smart, observant woman.

    “I know,” he said.

    “Then you need help.”

    “No, I don’t. Merry . . .”

    “Don’t you ‘Merry’ me,” she snapped. “There could be thousands of them out there waiting for you!”

    “There aren’t thousands of Eyriens in the whole of Askavi Kaeleer, let alone in Ebon Rih.”

    “Well, there are still lots of them and one of you.”

    “Merry . . .” Did any of them understand what his wearing Ebon-gray Jewels meant? Did the Eyriens really know what kind of power was about to meet them on a killing field?

    He kissed her forehead. “If I get hurt, you can yell at me all you want. I’ll be back in time for that bowl of stew. Until then, rest easy.”

    Releasing the Red lock on the front door, Lucivar walked out of The Tavern, caught the Ebon-gray Winds, and headed north.

    The moment Rainier returned from his walk, Briggs gave him a “need you” tip of the head.

    “Merry is in the kitchen,” Briggs said. “Something happened this morning while I was out getting supplies. She says she’s not supposed to say anything yet, but maybe she’ll talk to you, since you work for Prince Sadi.”

    “Why would that make a difference?” Rainier asked as he took off his coat and vanished it.

    “Because I think it has something to do with Lucivar.”

    He’d worked his damaged leg right up to its limit today, so he moved with care to the kitchen. He paused in the doorway, watched Merry pull a baking sheet of biscuits out of the oven, and wondered if the woman realized they were burned past edible.

    “Merry?” he asked quietly, taking a step into the kitchen. “Is there something you need to tell me about Lucivar?”

    She piled the biscuits on the cooling racks into cloth-lined baskets, then slid the ones on the baking sheet to the cooling racks.

    “I don’t know. He said not to worry, but how am I not supposed to worry? It felt wrong. It all felt wrong. But I don’t think I’m supposed to say anything yet, and that feels wrong too.”

    Rainier wrapped a soothing spell around his voice. He didn’t want to diminish her feelings; he just wanted her to calm down enough to give him information instead of jumbled words. “What happened this morning?”

    A torrent of words spilled from her. Then she finished with, “I don’t like any of this because I think this is a trap, but Lucivar was being too stubborn to listen. Here. Take this basket out.”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire