The Darkling Tide

The Darkling Tide by Travis Simmons Page A

Book: The Darkling Tide by Travis Simmons Read Free Book Online
Authors: Travis Simmons
Something in her eyes registered that she knew they were telling the truth.
    “Is there any way to protect against it?” Leona asked.
    “Protect us from a forest fire?” Daniken asked. “Not likely. That’s something you just can’t guard from with wyrd.”
    “Is there any way you can put it out?” Rorick asked.
    Daniken looked to Daphne, and something passed between the fay folk.
    “Daphne says it’s too large for one elf to handle,” Daniken said. “Hurry, pack your things.”
    Camp was packed in record time, and Leona was picking up the skewered rabbits as if they would be able to eat them at some point.
    They set out at a run down the trail. Once out of the clearing there was no snow on the trail, but the tangle of roots was hard to maneuver.
    “Maybe it will go out?” Leona said.
    “Maybe,” Daniken said. She looked above them at the canopy. “There might be enough snow to put it out. We have a bigger issue, however.” Daniken said.
    “What’s that?” Rorick asked.
    “What caused the fire,” Daniken wondered.

    “Stay toward the front,” Daniken said, setting her things down close to the entrance of the cave. “I don’t know how far back this goes, and I don’t know if all of it is protected by the warding. Or what might be lurking in the depths.”
    The cave had come up almost at the perfect time. They’d been running so long they could barely move when it came into view. The back of the cave was dark, and Daphne posted herself just a few feet back from the entrance. Abagail imagined that’s where the warding of Singer’s Trail ended.
    “Don’t go farther back than where Daphne is,” Abagail said. “I think that’s where the protection of the ward ends.”
    Abagail eased down the bedding and rolled her shoulders. Checking her short sword in its sheath, she moved back toward the entrance. Daniken peered outside and Leona sat against the wall.
    Abagail joined Rorick back on the trail, peering back down where they’d come from.
    “Any sign of the fire?” Abagail asked.
    “No,” he said, shaking his head.
    It was deep night now. Without the light of the moon scepter, they wouldn’t have been able to find their way. Abagail wasn’t sure what stage the moon was in, but it didn’t matter, the canopy in this part of the Fay Forest didn’t allow for light to break through.
    She couldn’t see any glow along the path behind them, nor could she smell any fire.
    “Maybe it stopped?” Abagail said.
    “Maybe,” Rorick said. He didn’t sound hopeful.
    Abagail heard noise in the front of the cave, and she turned back in time to see Daniken using her scepter to light a pile of the wood Rorick had been carrying.
    “The wood is nearly gone,” Rorick told Abagail. “We need to get out of here soon. We won’t survive without fire.”
    “You broach the topic this time,” Abagail told him.
    Rorick smirked. “Right, we don’t want you two dissolving into a fight again. You would likely storm right off into the fire this time.”
    Smiling, Abagail entered the cave again, going as far back as she could, which wasn’t far. She didn’t want to be close to Daniken just then, but she was cold and still needed the heat from the crackling fire the elf had just conjured.
    “We are running low on supplies,” Rorick said.
    Daniken nodded. “I know.”
    “We only have enough wood for another night or two.”
    Daniken nodded.
    “When are we going to reach the harbingers?” Rorick pressed.
    He was much harder with Daniken than Abagail thought he’d be.
    “The path is . . . strange,” Daniken told him, looking out at the trail.
    “Strange how?” Leona asked, setting the rabbits over the fire.
    “It seems to be lengthening . . . somehow,” the elf said. “I don’t recognize this section.”
    “So what do we do?” Rorick wondered. “We are still on the trail, right?”
    “Yes, the trail is still protecting us, but I just don’t know this area. It feels like we are going into

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