The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon

The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon

Author:Amy Harmon [Harmon, Amy]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Amazon: B01FIT5ITU
Published: 2016-05-09T23:00:00+00:00


We remained camped near Kilmorda for two weeks, and we sought out the Volgar, pushing deeper into Kilmorda every day. I called to them, sitting in front of Tiras on Shindoh’s back, wooing them, coaxing them to me in small groups, only to watch them take the lure and be slain. When I grieved for the beasts, Tiras would take me to a field strewn with bones or a village where only rats, fat from human remains, resided.

“They will kill if they are not destroyed,” he would remind me, and I believed him, even as I suffered pangs of remorse for using my gift to lure them to their deaths.

Day after day we cleared the Volgar from the hills and valleys of Jeru’s northernmost parts, though there were stretches, sometimes only hours, sometimes two days at a time, when Tiras disappeared into the sky.

Boojohni remarked on his absence in the second week as I rode on Shindoh, following Kjell as he circled the valley on a patrol of the areas already cleared. Boojohni trotted beside me, always the diligent servant, without ever seeming to tire.

“Where does he go, Bird?”

Who?

“The king, Goose! You know who I’m talking about. The man ye are always watchin’ for, the man ye love,” he growled, as if he had no patience for protestations.

I don’t love him.

“Ye do.”

He wants to make me queen.

Boojohni tripped over his own feet, surprise making him clumsy. Then he began to hoot and clap, drawing the attention of the warriors around us. Shindoh whinnied in irritation, and I reined him in, halting as Boojohni celebrated my announcement.

“The king is clearly a man of great wisdom,” Boojohni chortled, and he did a little jig, making Shindoh toss his head.

I am of use to him.

“Ah, I see.” Boojohni stopped dancing and cocked his head. “And is he of use to ye, Bird?”

The question caught me by surprise, and I had no response. Was Tiras of use to me?

“He has freed ye,” Boojohni prodded gently. “Surely that is worth something to ye.”

He kidnapped me!

“True. But he has freed ye too. Admit it, lass.”

He taught me to read . . . and write.

“That he did. And he sees yer gifts.”

He is using me.

“That seems to bother ye, Bird. Why? He doesn’t have to make ye queen to use ye. He is king. He can take what he wants.”

He could. And he often did.

“He knows your secrets . . . do you know his?” This time Boojohni wasn’t smiling, and I remembered how the conversation began. I nodded slowly.

Yes. I know his secrets.

“Ye know where he goes?”

Yes. Do you?

“He is very careful. But I am very quiet. And curious.”

And protective.

Boojohni nodded, admitting as much. “That I am.”

Why do you ask if you already know?

“Because ye love him. And I needed to know if ye understand who . . . and what he is.”

I didn’t bother to argue with him. Boojohni was as stubborn as I, and he had convinced himself of my feelings.

“Are ye afraid of him, Bird?”

No.



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