Moonstone, Magic That Binds (Book 1)

Moonstone, Magic That Binds (Book 1) by Guy Antibes

Book: Moonstone, Magic That Binds (Book 1) by Guy Antibes Read Free Book Online
Authors: Guy Antibes
bodyguard!  He was younger then.”
    “Eighteen years younger. Kenyr couldn’t return to Serytar and an acquaintance of your father helped him get established as a blade master in the city. He knew your parents and those were your father’s weapons. They traded both boots and weapons before he commanded Kenyr to leave to save you and the Moonstone from becoming the possession of Emperor Daryaku. I never understood why your father told Kenyr to toss the boots in the pond, but I know now. No one should have ever found it, but you were drawn to the stone. I’m convinced of it. Kenyr refused to join the king’s service, but I’ve enlisted his help on occasion.”
    “It’s too much of a coincidence that we met!” Suddenly it all seemed too convenient.
    “It is in a way. I had men observing you in the village from time to time, including Kenyr. Your transformation surprised us all. When your witch-friend and you bolted, I figured that you’d be heading to Beckondale where the Princess lived. I had you listed with the guard. When you came though the gate, I was immediately notified. You came in on a cart carrying fruit and I personally followed you from the market. If you hadn’t followed me to my shop, I would have turned around and sought you out. I truly did need a worker and that made bringing you into my clutches all the better. You’ve been a marvelous shop assistant, by the way. I say that in all honesty.” Mander laughed.
    Lotto snapped. “I’m in your clutches?” This attention had overcome him. “You are playing me like a string puppet. I’m a slave. Leashed like a dog. You’ve peeped on me like a pervert!”
    “Do you have any other metaphors?” The smile never left Mander’s face.
    Lotto grabbed his hair with frustration and rocked in his chair. “I don’t know what a metaphor is!”
    “Calm down. Listen Lotto, you can walk out that door with your swords and sell them to a proper armorer for enough to keep you fat and happy for a number of years in any small village in Valetan. Go ahead, I’ll not stop you. Or you can stay with me. I’ll employ you and teach you about the world. Fessano will make you into as much of a wizard as you desire to be and Kenyr will instruct you into becoming an accomplished swordsman. Leave at any time. No one will expect any pay. Kenyr’s instruction is freely given, even after I pleaded with him to pay for your training. He was a loyal bodyguard and held you in his arms when you were minutes old.”
    Lotto couldn’t combat Mander’s reasonableness. The man remained calm as Lotto seethed with emotion. To know men watched him while in his former state upset him… but then he never knew they observed his antics and the old Lotto wouldn’t have cared at all.
    “All right. I trust you. I certainly trust Kenyr. Fessano, not so much. I’ll continue and I do appreciate all that you have done for me. It’s easier being the village half-wit than facing all of what I’ve discovered.”
    Mander nodded. “Knowledge brings a certain responsibility for one’s actions. That is a burden, for sure, but a good one. Let’s close up shop. We’ll have to go to my place first to get us both presentable enough for Lady Anna.
    ~
    Restella lay back on her bed after her meal in the presence of the odious Louson. She didn’t trust the man at all and she couldn’t shake a feeling of something wrong.  She dressed and left the little room she had been given. She paced up the corridor, as restless as a nervous cat and noticed the faint flickering of candlelight under the Captain’s door.
    Could she bother the Captain? He had hardly spoken to her. She shook her head. If she came as an aide, then she would perform the proper role. She knocked.
    “Come.” The words came out clear and immediate. The Captain was awake but in a state of modest undress. He shrugged into his uniform jacket. “What has prompted my most junior lieutenant to bother me tonight?” The man didn’t expect

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