Sorceress (Book 2)

Sorceress (Book 2) by Jim Bernheimer

Book: Sorceress (Book 2) by Jim Bernheimer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jim Bernheimer
shook her head slightly and mouthed, “Not now.”
    None of the girls moved and the guardsman cleared his throat. Orsa looked up from his maps and scowled. “Why are you still here?”
    “We need to get to Salif. General Hawthorne’s headquarters is there. What good is holding a city if no relief force is coming?”
    Her words seemed to get through to him.
    “You’re right,” he said. “Pick one. She can go. The rest of you are staying. Your general is more likely to send assistance if there’s a reason for her to come here.”
    He scrawled something on a piece of parchment and pushed it across the table to Laurel. “You’ll need this to get your rider through the gate.”
    Laurel snatched it from him and motioned for the rest to leave with her. Once outside, they looked at each other until Amanda said, “This is a fine mess!”
    Kayleigh agreed with Amanda’s assessment.
    “So,” Tamera said after a minute of awkward silence. “I guess I’ll be the one to ask it. Which one of us gets to ride out of this place?”
    “It won’t be me,” Laurel said. “I’m the one who led us here. I can’t ride out of here and leave the rest of you. Whoever goes will be on her own and we’ll be counting on her to get to General Hawthorne and bring help. Marcia is the fastest rider, Tamera is the strongest physically, and Kayleigh is the most magically talented. From my perspective it should be one of those three.”
    Kayleigh was moved by her friend’s words. “I’m not going either. I’m blooded, and I won’t leave the rest of you. Not when I can make a difference.”
    Tamera spoke. “If you want me to go I’ll do it, but you might need me to do that same thing here that we did at Mon Alder.”
    The earth maiden was intentionally being vague because of the presence of the guardsman.
    Frowning, Kayleigh remembered the three earth maidens working in conjunction to open a hole in the wall that allowed them to escape. Breaking the defenses of this city would endanger all the people counting on the walls for protection.
    Coming to a decision, Kayleigh said, “If this is a vote, I say Marcia.”
    “Are you just trying to get rid of me?”
    It was tempting to throttle the girl, but Kayleigh took a deep breath and found restraint. “I’m using common sense, Marcia. You’re fast and tough enough to fight anything you can’t outrun.”
    Nodding, Laurel agreed and handed the document to Marcia. “I vote Marcia as well. From what the travelers in the caravan were saying, it’s a hard five days of riding from here. I am willing to bet you can make it in four.”
    The blonde air maiden nodded and forced a smile before saying, “Four won’t be a problem.”
    Only a few minutes were spent on goodbyes as each rider offered up some of their supplies for Marcia and her unicorn. Kayleigh gave her the remainder of her dried fruit and refilled Marcia’s canteens using her water summoning.
    “Thank you,” Marcia said. Though her words seemed more forced than the smile from moments ago.
    “Safe journey,” Kayleigh said, trying to be diplomatic.
    “What do you want me to tell General Hawthorne about you?”
    Frowning, Kayleigh thought it over and replied, “Tell her whatever you think will get her here the quickest.”
    They found Smythe at the docks...or what was left of the docks. Only two of the ten piers were in usable condition, barely. The rest had been put to the torch. The guardsman addressed the man as “Taskmaster.” Smythe wore no uniform, but carried himself with an air of authority.
    “Baby Battle Maidens, eh?” the man said in a deep, thickly accented baritone. He was a hulking brute, covered with body hair. “Better than nothing I suppose.”
    Looking around, Kayleigh saw that the work crew was close to being an angry mob. Their ire was directed at a few people in fine traveling cloaks, under heavy guard, who were boarding a ship.
    Typical. Even with the city locked up, the nobles still find a way

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