Handmaiden's Fury

Handmaiden's Fury by JM Guillen

Book: Handmaiden's Fury by JM Guillen Read Free Book Online
Authors: JM Guillen
sort this all there.”
    I smiled back. I truly had no other
option.
    I let them escort me the fifty steps
or so to the small guardhouse. The entire way, I loudly and obnoxiously made it
clear that I was supposed to be there.
    “What’s happening, Dorian?” One of
the other men came out, with another just behind him. He was a lean man with a
hawk’s face.
    “One of the Lord’s guests seems to be
mistaken about the time of her visit.”
    “I am not.” I brought every inch of
righteous indignation I could bear on him. “Orin was very clear about—”
    I didn’t even give the man time to
interrupt me. In my mind, I reached for the tightly coiled flame in the Doch sigil. The power within yearned for freedom, begged for release.
    I granted it.
    Silent thunder exploded around me the
moment I triggered the awakened sigil. I felt its power leap forth, like a
ravenous wolf. As it did, memory of my Sire, of what we had been doing when we
enchanted the sigil, washed over me.
    “Lay back, little pet. You are mine
to feast upon.” His tongue dipped inside me, and I shuddered as he began to
ravenously devour me, to drink secrets from my well.
    The men were knocked from their feet,
hurled backward by unseen power. I could see the look of rapture on the first
man’s face as Rydia’s power coursed through him, and he trembled and jerked
with Her pleasure. It tore through him again and again, an unceasing tide of
ecstasy.
    It would hold him long after we had
moved on.
    “Witch.” It was Dorian. Shakily, he
stood up, his hand on his sword. Around his neck, I saw the brilliant shine of
a grace, one of the holy charms of the Lady Myranda. Its light drank the power
of Rydia.
    “Stoppin’ is what you’ll be doin’.”
There was a deadly hiss as he pulled his sword from its sheath. “I’ll end you
here. Don’t think I won’t.”
    “You won’t.” Sire Mattias’ baritone
was sharp, cutting through the mist. He walked up behind me, his every step
graceful, deadly.
    His eyes glinted, hard like steel.
    Sire Mattias had come dressed for
battle. He wore his hobnail boots and thick leather pants. He brandished his
wood and leather flail in one hand and had his rod strapped to his back. He
wore his red silk shirt but draped the whole thing with a thick, hide greatcoat.
He walked toward the guard, the flail loose in his hand.
    “Not much use against a sword, chum.”
The guard stepped toward him. “Maybe you’d better take yer little trollop here
and move on.”
    Sire Mattias grinned. “Come then.
Let’s see who’s of use.”
    Dorian stepped in with a grace I
never would have expected from a man of his size. I worried that perhaps he
might be more than a simple worshipper of Myranda; he might be one of her
war-clergy, the Jyannza. If so, we might face some trouble.
    The Jyannza, monastic warriors,
followed ancient traditions of the Shoakali people. A few hundred years ago,
they converted to worship Myranda after the Shoaks’ Rebellion threw off the
yoke of slavery. They pursued combat like a high art and fought as skillfully
empty handed as they did with weaponry. Their blade masters were formidable,
lithe and quick, with narrow blades like giant needles that sliced and pricked
as the wielder dodged and spun, sliding out of the way as if their opponent was
fighting a water spirit.
    His stride and easy manner
accentuated my fears. He didn’t blindly swing at my Sire but moved with
caution, his blade held high. My Sire easily side-stepped his first quick
feints, but on the third, he struck Sire Mattias.
    My Sire stepped away and then closed
again. Like a snake, he struck, the flail whistling through the air.
    He did not swing at the man’s face or
body, as I expected. No, he brought the full force of the flails leather bite
against the man’s hand, where he clutched at his blade.
    “Most men believe they understand
pain, Handmaiden.” I
remembered when he had said the words. “ They think it’s something that can
be

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