Sorceress (Book 2)

Sorceress (Book 2) by Jim Bernheimer Page B

Book: Sorceress (Book 2) by Jim Bernheimer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jim Bernheimer
Talcosa, the High-King’s seat of power, had been overwhelming and she’d been lost in the moment. Now, she had a chance to really see the crowds from the saddle of her unicorn. Eyes looked upon them, some with jealousy or envy, some filled with hope, but many with anger. Around her, she felt as if the other riders were pulling closer to each other, reacting to the multitude of emotions surrounding them.
    A few voices grumbled. Several rose above the collective muttering.
    “About time you showed up!”
    “Where are the rest of you?”
    “Is the enemy here?”
    “Do you have news? I have family in Kintalla!”
    “Make way!” Smythe shouted from the saddle of his draft horse. It took a large and powerful horse to carry him. Kayleigh could see that many in the crowd recognized him and tried to step aside, but to the mass of refugees, he was just a big man on a bigger horse. His men attempted to push forward, but the now shouting crowd refused to move.
    Smythe repeated his demand. When it had no real effect, he leaned back, turned his head over his right shoulder and addressed Laurel. “Perhaps a show of strength is what is needed here.”
    The air maiden didn’t look pleased, but Kayleigh saw acceptance on her face.
    “Kayleigh,” Laurel said. “Help him.”
    She nudged Rheysurrah forward and thrust her fist in the air. Pulling at the magic inside of the unicorn, she encased her hand in flame and made it grow skyward until the fire was as long as her arm. Scrunching her face in concentration, Kayleigh changed the color to a deep green. Fire maidens were often used in large scale battles in place of flags as signals to the unit commanders. Green was the color of movement.
    Recalling Meghan Lynch’s forceful attitude when she led Kayleigh and the rest of the recruits through Talcosa, the young sorceress raised her voice. “Make way! Make way!”
    Much to her surprise, the crowd slowly yielded. Smythe nodded to her and moved his horse slightly to the side, allowing her to the front. She kept feeding the flame and cycled through the color spectrum as Smythe’s deep voice alternated with hers to keep the mass of human bodies in motion. Several times, he leaned closer to tell her which way to turn.
    Her throat was raw and she was beginning to lose her voice by the time they arrived at the thick doors to Smythe’s compound. The route seemed as if it had been ten times longer than it actually was and the relief Kayleigh felt when she could finally douse her signal flame was measurable. Smythe’s residence was a small castle in its own right with crossbowmen manning the walls. The ornate doors parted and a heavy, metal portcullis was raised, allowing them access to the courtyard.
    Despite the bright sunny day and the fact that she’d just been producing a constant flame from her hand for several minutes, Kayleigh shivered now that she was free of the sheer mass of people around her. It was a sharp contrast from her ride through the desert where she’d hoped to see someone, anyone every time she crested a dune.
    Smythe ordered food and water be brought for the unicorns and invited the riders into the main house for the first meal they’d had since before the group had left the island.
    “Pace yourself,” Tamera cautioned Kayleigh, who until that moment, hadn’t considered that she was attacking the food on her plate like a starving animal. She’d never been as hungry in her life.
    Amanda chuckled as Kayleigh looked embarrassed. “That is not proper etiquette for a young lady,” the water maiden said, mimicking the tone of their instructor.
    With her cheeks flaming red, Kayleigh laughed and replied, “I must have missed the class where we covered being prisoners in a city about to be attacked.”
    Amanda said, “Oh, we’ll definitely have to ask her about that when we get back.”
    Kayleigh had to give them credit. They were resilient and their spirit was improving. She still wasn’t sure how this would play

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