Mart and Sela enjoy King Boranac’s hospitality. The chapter was longer than I remembered, so this will run five sections rather than four. I’ll post the last section of the chapter next Monday, barring incident.
Power’s Shadow – Part 4
“Seriously, now, what did you expect?” Marta asked.
“Something a bit less dungeon-like would have been nice,” Sela said. “Though I do suppose that was a foolish idea.”
It was true enough that their accommodations were not exactly luxurious by most standards, but other than the bars on the windows and the locked door, there was little to suggest an actual dungeon. For a start, there was no moldy straw, and so far as Marta had seen, no rats. The bed was hard but clean, and there was even a primitive but functional garderobe. She had no trouble imagining that most of Boranac’s “guests” didn’t fare so well.
“This is not a dungeon, and we’re not dead,” Marta pointed out, “And considering Boranac’s reputation, that’s almost surprising.”
“He knows who and what I am. And if he didn’t before, it’s a certainty that Callowyn told him. The fact that we’re here and not rotting on a pole or in an actual dungeon tells me something that I needed to know—Boranac wants something.”
“And what if he hadn’t?”
“Do I really need to answer that? Honestly, Sela…. Yes, I took a chance with both our lives. If you’re accompanying me because you think I’m infallible or even that I always know what I’m doing—“
“I’m accompanying you because I want my father’s swords back,” Sela said. “And, no offense, but I often get the impression you don’t know what you’re doing, though you put on a good show. If Boranac wants something, well, everyone does. Including especially you. What makes these ‘Laws of Power’ so important?”
“You’ve seen the craja,” Marta said softly.
“Yes, but what has – “
“Every craja I’ve ever encountered, and that number is in the hundreds, is a former witch of the Arrow Path.”
Sela didn’t say anything, and after a little while Marta continued, “If I don’t find all the Laws, and learn to use them….”
“You’re afraid you’re going to end up as a craja,” Sela said. “You think amassing power will prevent that from happening.”
“Yes,” Marta said. It felt a little strange to hear that single word, understanding what it meant, but knowing it for truth. Knowing that she was afraid. Continue reading