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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Twilight's Dawn (Chapter 96)      Page
  • Twilight's Dawn(Black Jewels,Book 9)(96) by Anne Bishop
  • Falonar didn’t look at any of them, said nothing to any of them. He hesitated a moment, then followed Lucivar.

    *Sadi?* Surreal called.

    No answer. Sometime during the past few moments he had quietly broken the link between them. She had a sick, shivery feeling it was because he didn’t want anyone to know what he was thinking.

    Lucivar waited in the front room of Falonar’s eyrie. He just stared at the other Warlord Prince, saying nothing.

    “They’re all dead?” Falonar finally asked, keeping his mind blank of all thoughts—and disappointment.

    “While I was going over that field, making sure I finished the kill on every one of those bastards, I kept thinking about how you used to benefit from schemes you had no part of—at least on the surface,” Lucivar said.

    “You finished the kill on all of them? Why? Were you afraid they would make the transition to demon-dead and remain a threat?”

    “You fool. I was afraid of what would happen to the rest of the Eyriens if one of those bastards made the transition and ended up having a chat with my father,” Lucivar snapped. “I’m not interested in any explanation or justification for why they were on that field, standing against me. They told me the Blood’s code of honor doesn’t apply to a half-breed bastard, and that’s all I needed to know. But my father might see things differently, and I don’t want him to have a reason to start thinking about a purge.”

    For a moment, Falonar couldn’t breathe. “He would do that?”

    “You stupid son of a whoring bitch,” Lucivar roared. “What did you think you’d gain by this maneuver? A title? Think again. The Keep decides who rules in this valley. You would have been allowed to stand as the ruler of the Eyriens, but you wouldn’t have been given control of Ebon Rih. You and the people you ruled would have to make a living out of what you could grow and hunt on the mountains.”

    “No,” Falonar said. “That’s not the way it is.”

    “That is the way it is! Your little scheme killed off most of the Eyriens in Ebon Rih today. Every man who would have served you is gone. But do you know what would have happened if they had succeeded in killing me? You wouldn’t have become the leader of the Eyriens, because there would be no Eyriens. When I was taken from him, my father told Prythian that when I died, the Eyrien race would die with me.The whole damn race, Falonar. Here and in Terreille. Everyone.”

    “It can’t be done!” Falonar said. “He couldn’t do it.”

    “It can—and he has.”

    Falonar staggered back until he could brace a hand against a wall.

    “The people from the Zuulaman Islands killed one of his sons,” Lucivar said. “An infant.”

    “There’s no such place as Zuulaman,” Falonar whispered.

    “Which is why Prythian knew it wasn’t a bluff—because there were a handful of the demon-dead who did remember Zuulaman and knew Saetan could—and would—do exactly what he said.”

    “But now . . .”

    Lucivar shook his head. “That death spell is still in place. He won’t revoke it—and after today, he’ll have more reason to reinforce it.”

    He didn’t tell Falonar about the spell he’d asked Jaenelle to add to Saetan’s. She had obliged him, up to a point.

    If Lucivar Yaslana died on a killing field, or by anyone’s hand, Saetan’s death spell would take the Eyrien race, sparing no one but Lucivar’s wife and children. But if Lucivar died of natural causes in the fullness of his years, Saetan’s spell would be absorbed by Jaenelle’s, and the Eyrien race would survive.

    “If you die, we all die? Then what were you doing on that killing field?” Falonar cried. “On any field?”

    “I’m not going to live in a cage for the benefit of a people who want nothing to do with me,” Lucivar said. “I’ll take my chances, and you’ll have to take them right along with me. But not in Ebon Rih. You’re confined to your eyrie until I can find a court that will take you.”

    “If you believe I was behind the attempt to kill you, why don’t you execute me?”

    The Warlord Prince of Ebon Rih studied him, then smiled a lazy, arrogant smile. “You’re not worth the effort.”

    Lucivar walked out—and an Ebon-gray shield locked around Falonar’s eyrie.

    Lucivar landed lightly on the edge of the courtyard in front of his eyrie. It was his home, and his family was inside, but until Daemon released the Black shield around the eyrie and eased back from the killing edge, he didn’t dare come any closer.

    The door opened, and Daemon stepped out. Those gold eyes, glazed and murderously sleepy, examined him from head to toe.

    “Hell’s fire, Prick,” Daemon said, moving closer. “You reek.” His gold eyes warmed and his expression changed to puzzlement as he watched blood and gore drip into the snow. “How did so much red rain penetrate your shields?”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire