The Seer And The Sword

The Seer And The Sword by Victoria Hanley

Book: The Seer And The Sword by Victoria Hanley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Victoria Hanley
Vesputo.
    ‘Sorry they were rough with you, darling.’ He held up a menacing finger. ‘I’m going to cut your gag now. Since you never learned to keep your silence, I must be your teacher. From this hour, any word you speak against me will send someone dear to you to the grave. Take care.’
    He sliced through the gag with his dagger. The quiet in the room seemed very loud.
    ‘Grieving the death of your grandmother and yourfather, you are completely unable to hold festivities. I’ve taken the liberty of sending your guests away.’
    ‘Too late,’ she mourned. ‘I was too late.’
    ‘Never mind, darling. We all make mistakes.’
    She shivered under his cold eyes.
    ‘You.’ Her voice dripped with loathing. ‘You killed your king.’
    ‘Not I, dear Torina. An assassin. The Bellandran orphan, regrettably left alive all these years.’
    ‘What new lie is this?’ Her stomach churned with fear and aversion. ‘You hope to blame your crime on – Landen? Don’t pretend with me, Vesputo! I saw what I saw!’
    ‘You saw through the lens of madness. I hope you’ll recover soon.’
    ‘Madness? Yes. I was mad. To think I once loved you!’
    ‘Once loved me. Will love me.’
    ‘I suppose you mean to kill me. It doesn’t matter. Go ahead with it.’
    ‘No, no, sweet princess. Quite the contrary. When your wild mourning period has passed, we will marry. Archeld needs a new king.’
    He slung a chair in front of her, his face inches from hers. She shrank from him, wishing he would untie her hands. She wanted to see if the crystal was still there in a pocket of her dress.
    ‘The kingdom won’t ever be yours through me,’ she answered, trembling. ‘If you want it, you’ll have to take it by force.’
    He pursed his lips as if annoyed by a petty irritant.‘The loss of life would be dreadful. No, Torina. Everyone knows we love each other. You love me so dearly, I’m the only one you’ll agree to see. You refuse even your mother.’
    She gasped. ‘You’re not the king! You can’t keep us apart!’
    ‘Certainly I can. Everyone knows your penchant for dramatics. Overcome by grief, your mind is disordered. You insist on shutting yourself away. I know you love our dear queen too much to want to risk her life.’
    ‘You wouldn’t kill Dreea! She’s never hurt anyone!’
    ‘Ah! Please, my dear, don’t weary me with your naivety.’
    Torina paused. Vesputo’s calm, handsome face made her mind stagger. This was the man she had kissed!
    ‘Very well,’ she said, panting with dread. ‘I won’t see her. I’ll send her away if she asks to speak to me.’
    ‘Good! You learn quickly, my love, when you have a worthy teacher.’ He reached into his shirt, pulling out a fist.
    Opening his hand, he extended the crystal, so that it rested in front of her eyes. Torina wanted to snatch it from him, feeling its purity would be contaminated by such a conscienceless man. But she was tied. Her heart thumped in powerless rebellion.
    ‘Now, Torina,’ he said. ‘I have questions. You shouldn’t have secrets from me, my love. Why didn’t you tell me about this lovely stone?’
    Tears fought their way into her eyes. ‘I haven’t told anyone about it, except my grandmother.’
    ‘No one else?’
    ‘No one,’ she lied.
    ‘Why keep it such a secret?’
    ‘I don’t know.’
    ‘Ah. Don’t you? Where did you get it?’
    ‘My father gave it to me.’
    ‘And where did he get it?’
    ‘You should have left him alive, so you could ask him.’
    ‘How long have you had it?’
    ‘Since I was a child.’
    ‘And it shows you the future?’
    ‘Sometimes. Please! Untie me, Vesputo. There’s nowhere to go; I’m sure you’ve seen to that.’
    Now that Vesputo knew her powers, what if he tried to force her to tell him about her visions?
    He freed her hands. She wiped her streaming eyes.
    ‘Better?’ Vesputo asked, holding up the crystal again. ‘Now tell me, how do you get this stone to tell the future?’
    A tiny door of

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