Destiny's Rift (Broken Well Trilogy)

Destiny's Rift (Broken Well Trilogy) by Sam Bowring

Book: Destiny's Rift (Broken Well Trilogy) by Sam Bowring Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sam Bowring
shut the door on the guards behind him. A petty gesture, he supposed, but he had never asked for them and was more capable than they would be at fending off an attack. As he glanced around his quarters, Fahren wondered when he would move to the Throne’s rooms in the Open Castle. He could stay here, maybe – as the Throne, he could pretty much do anything he liked. But since he was no longer High Mage, another would shortly be appointed to the role, and it was only fair that they reside in these traditional quarters. Varta was his first choice, although if he promoted her then High Overseer would simply become another role that needed filling. Already he felt resentful of the mantle of rule, felt his freedom disappearing and his responsibilities building.
    No wonder Bel had avoided it.
    For the moment he simply wanted to rest and collect his thoughts in familiar surrounds, before the feast that evening in celebration of his ascension. He entered his study on the way to the bedroom, and paused as an unexpected sight met his eyes.
    A golden bird chirped softly and scratched at the tabletop, a tiny message tied to its leg.
    ‘Hello, my dear,’ said Fahren. ‘How long have you been waiting?’
    The sundart chirped again and hopped towards him. Not one of his, he realised – probably it carried a message of congratulations from someone or other who had not been able to attend the ceremony. He reached out and the sundart allowed itself to be stroked as he unclasped the message from its leg. Uncurling the small roll of parchment, he discovered it was no mere obsequious nicety, nor did the sender even know that he was now Throne. Of course not, he chastised himself. No one had known what Bel, he and Brahl had planned, and there had been little time for news to spread. Woolly thinking in his old age. This was a message to the High Mage from one of his subordinates, and it made for interesting reading indeed.
    Fahren went back to the door and opened it. ‘Fetch Bel Corinas,’ he ordered. One of his guards nodded and quickly departed.
    Maybe they had their uses after all.
    •
    From the other side of the court, Jaya watched Bel. He had not extricated himself from the proceedings as swiftly as Fahren had, nor did he seem inclined to. Nobles were lining up to speak with him, keen to curry favour with the man of power – some more zealously than others. Meanwhile she was left alone, apparently forgotten, though she didn’t really mind. She had other things to occupy her – such as nimbly relieving a noble or two of their valuables. It was the perfect hunting ground, actually, for none of these colourful courtiers expected a common thief to be moving amongst them. She supposed she should try to restrain herself, but the risk, she estimated, was minuscule. Everyone was jostling to get closer to Bel so they didn’t notice her brushing by, agile fingers darting in and out of pockets, or quickly untying purse strings from belts. These idiots had so much money, they probably wouldn’t even notice that they’d been robbed.
    Soon, Jaya realised she had secreted more booty about herself than was easy to hide, and with some regret she slipped a bundle of coins back into the coat of the man she had taken them from . Wondering what on earth life had come to, she moved nearer to the dais, to get a better view of her odd lover.
    It had been a strange thing when he’d told her who he really was. He’d done it after he’d come to fetch her from Kadass jail, where she’d been imprisoned for vandalising the property of the fat noble Assicon Cydus. Throne Naphur had promised Bel that the charges against Jaya would be dismissed, and even in the uproarious aftermath of Baygis’s murder, Bel had gone to the jail to make sure the promise was kept. In truth, the Throne probably had not cared one way or the other by that stage.
    The two of them had gone immediately to The Wayward Dog where, in the afterglow of lovemaking, he had told her that he

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