Page 100 from Book 3 of the Tome Series

By AJCulpepper All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Adventure

Page 100

“It seems you're rather optimistic, Ogon' Kulak. But the fact of the matter remains that a shadowmancer, rising or not, has taken it upon herself to attack one of my secondary fortresses and acquire soldiers from my collective from the Tower of Shields. In so doing, she has turned the stability of my rank-and-file on its ear with the rippling effects of its consequences.” Tainyi's scarlet eyes rose to meet the gazes of those before her. “This has been a declaration of war.”

“And she used verminancy to do it.” Led sniffed. “A loathsome, pathetic magick practiced by the weakest of individuals in an effort to boost their own power.”

“I will not permit my shadow fortress to be imperiled. Nor will I allow those left behind by the massacre of West Fortress to become bez khozyaina. They are mine, my shadows bind them as one and while the loss of their links may affect them, they will remain assimilated. After all, West Fortress was merely an extension of Central and it's still standing. I’m still standing. As for the cadets missing from the Tower of Shields who are undoubtedly from West Fortress...this opportunistic shadowmancer may find her hands full. Even if she manages to replace their link with one to her, it will be a constant battle to keep it secure so long as I breathe.”

“There was evidence that a shadow warrior was also involved, my shadowmancer” Narezka reminded quietly in his first willing contribution to the conversation. “That raises questions that need to be addressed.”

Again the room went quiet.

“Maybe it wasn't a shadow warrior.” The words left Medved's mouth before he had the sense to stop himself. Suddenly the center of attention, he looked to his shadowmancer. “What I mean is, the one who used the katana in the attack -”

“If it wasn't a shadow warrior that only leaves the Junin” Led remarked, folding her arms across her chest. “Somehow I doubt a Junin of either variety would be found working in the company of a Tien. Particularly a shadowmancer and especially one so weak she was reduced to supplementing her power with verminancy.”

“Shadow warriors are exclusive to the Shadow Army” Glaz pointed out.

Crossing his arms, Ogon' sighed dramatically with a confident smile that Medved' didn't fully understand. “There's us.”

“But it wasn't us” the East Commander snapped. “And if it wasn't us…”

Something clicked and Medved’ looked up to find Tainyi staring at him.

“You were saying, Medved' Roka?”

“There's another possibility, my shadowmancer. A bez khozyaina shadow warrior. One that's forsaken their station in the Shadow Army.”

“Is that even possible?”

“There is no such thing as impossible, Glaz Yastreba.” Tainyi shook her head. “Not when it comes to bez khozyaina.”

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