~ The Singing ~ pg 7

The man in the middle, presumably the leader lifted his hand with a closed fist and his men lowered their crossbows to comfortable angles. Alex heard Borris breathe a sigh of relief that echoed his silent one. The leader gave a polite nod. “I am Commander Garvis of our Wisdom’s third division,” He introduced himself. We are here because we seek a woman.”

“Don’t we all?” Alex laughed. The few men who dared to laugh with him received a stern stare from their commander and quickly held in their mirth. 

“We seek a specific woman,” he clarified, “by the name of Fiora Sae Grue.” 

Alex raised an eyebrow in curiosity. Had they been harboring a fugitive after all? Not that it really mattered to him what Kavaccetian laws she might have broken, but to come between a Promise Keeper and his quarry was risky. No more risky, though, than telling them the truth. “You have found her,” he swept an arm in Fiora’s direction who visibly stiffened while a breeze stirred the air. 

Garvis smiled in triumph and dismounted, quickly coming towards her. Alex took a step back to show deference to the man but Borris hovered just behind Fiora; close enough to intervene if the man proved hostile. Surprisingly, the commander knelt down to one knee before her and bowed his head in respect. “Lady Fiora, Knowledge of the Air, it is an honor to be in your presence.” 

Alex couldn’t help himself. He snorted and then laughed out loud. “This girl?” he scoffed, “The Knowledge?” Alex ignored the sharp glare Garvis gave him. “I’m afraid you are mistaken commander. She is no more than a common wind witch, and a dishonest one at that.”

“Alex!” Borris chided but he paid him no heed.

He was too focused on Garvis, who stood in a visible rage. “I should cut the tongue out of your throat for such blasphemous speech!” he snarled. 

Uh, oh… A shiver of fear rippled through his spine at the sounds of weapons rising around him. Alex lifted his sword at the man’s advance well aware that every crossbow bolt was now trained on him. Perhaps he should cut his own tongue out, he mused in consideration – if he survived this encounter, that is.

The wind stirred again as Fiora caught the man’s arm. “Commander, please, he is correct. I have not been honest with him.” He turned back to her, the harsh set of his jaw easing. “Why are you here, Lord Garvis?” she asked.

The man visibly puffed up at her given title and the crossbows all lowered without any further direction. He returned to his knelt position in front of her catching her hand in his.  “My Lady, we have been searching for you for these three days. Our Lady Darya, The Wisdom of the Water, sends urgent requests that you return to Kavaccet at once.”

“Back to Kavaccet?” she asked in confusion. “I am sorry, Commander, I cannot go with you. My path lies to the north.”

The End

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