Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
MariaVSnyder would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Night Study (Excerpt)

By MariaVSnyder All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Fantasy

Excerpt

After a day and a half of hard riding, we reached the location of Leif’s disappearance. A few hours of daylight remained.

Janco dismounted and examined the ground. Ari and I allowed him to do his tracking mojo while we walked the horses. They had set the brutal pace. Patches of sweat stained their coats. Their nostrils flared as they caught their breaths. Once their breathing smoothed, we watered and fed them. By this time, Janco had finished his investigation. He stood in the middle of a number of scuff marks on the right side of the road, scowling.

“What did you discover?” Ari asked him.

“It wasn’t a typical ambush.” Janco pointed to clumps of grass and dirt between two trees. “Somebody went to considerable trouble to stage an accident. They overturned a wagon and made it appear as if it was stuck.” He strode closer and crouched down. “And here’s evidence of a freaked-out horse.” Janco straightened. “They knew their mark.”

“Janco,” Ari warned.

“I’m trying to be dispassionate. Leif’s my friend, too.”

I concentrated on the information and ignored my emotions, which threatened to let that voice of doom speak. “Why do you think it was set specifically for Leif?”

“`Cause of the elaborate setup. Being a Sandseed horse, Rusalka would have alerted him of people hiding in the woods.”

“Unless they were waiting downwind,” Ari added.

“Not this time of year. The prevailing wind direction is from the west.”

Ari and I exchanged a glance. Impressive.

Janco huffed. “Ya know, it’s not all…tracker mojo. There’s a lot that goes into it. And there’s some good news.”

My heart jumped. “You know where he is?”

“I wish. They headed west, but the road’s surface is too hard packed and well traveled to distinguish their tracks from all the others.”

“The good news,” Ari prompted.

“There’s no blood.”

“That makes sense if he was taken by the Cartel. They wouldn’t want to harm him until he refused to join them.” And my stubborn brother would probably never agree to work for them. Which meant we had a limited amount of time to find and rescue him before The Mosquito bit.

“Another thing about the setup is they knew Leif would be on this road at a particular time,” Janco said. “Who else knew his location, other than Master Irys?”

“Bain and the Councilors, who might have informed their aides,” I said. Plus all the people who bribed the aides for intel. In other words, too many.

“Janco said they continued west. We didn’t pass them on the road, or else Rusalka would have smelled Leif. Is there another road that branches off this one?” Ari asked.

I considered. “There’s a shortcut about a day west of here that leads to the main southern road. That route follows the western edge of the Avibian Plains, but they could have veered off into Stormdance or Greenblade lands. And they have a three-day head start.” Frustration welled.

“That’s also the way to the Jewelrose lands,” Ari said.

If Bruns Jewelrose is dumb enough to amass his magician army in his own backyard,” Janco added. “I doubt he’s that stupid.”

“What’s our next move?” Ari asked.

Guessing would get us nowhere; we needed reliable information. I stifled a groan. My earlier mistake—the one that had led to us sitting in a cell wasting time for five days—returned for another kick of recriminations. “Fisk.”

“But if he knows where Leif and the others are, why doesn’t he tell the Council?” Ari asked.

“For the same reason we don’t trust the Council,” Janco said.

“And the reason is?”

“They’re ineffective idiots!”

“He probably doesn’t have any proof,” I said. “These are wealthy businesspeople who have a great deal of influence and power. Fisk has probably cobbled together bits of information from his sources and determined what’s going on.” At least I fervently hoped so. “We need to talk to him. Let’s go.” I stepped toward Kiki, who grazed nearby.

Ari grabbed my shoulder, halting me. “No.”

“But time—”

“We haven’t slept in over a day.”

“We’ve been resting for five days.”

“A few hours is all we need.”

“Leif—”

“Leif’s clever. He’ll play along, knowing we’ll come rescue him. But you won’t be able to help your brother if you’re exhausted.”

I peered at him. He’d gone from using we to you, meaning me. “Let me guess, Valek—”

“Doesn’t have to order us to protect you. You are family. That goes beyond orders.”


Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, MariaVSnyder
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Alice Liu: Whoa! I've been wondering how would the Maurauders react to Harry's life and here we go! YOU ARE THE BEST! All the characters are consistent with their personalities shown in the book! I love how you compare Lily with Molly and it's definitely true for her being a mother! I wish Peter comes have ...

Lauren Suzmeyan-Raine: I'm so glad you found a place to post your stories. I was horrified when I saw yours had been taken down, they are definitely the best 'reading' stories I've ever read. And I've made it my business to read every one I can. Well done.Lauren

internathunal: I was held captive by your sense of style. I would love to see more from you. I enjoyed this immensely.

MegaRogueLegend666: I love this story so much. It's impossible to describe my excitement with each new chapter in words. The author has such a good writing style, very good descriptions of the fighting and character descriptions/emotions. the plot is also amazing! This fanfic could be a side anime show or novel ......

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

PurpleInkling: Hippocrite is spelt hypocrite.Also it is an awesome story! A good one after so long. I was hoping someone would write a good fanficiton playing off what Ron said at the station. You are doing a remarkable job. It would have been interesting if Albus had also ended up in Ravenclaw though that mig...

Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...

JWalker: I loved this story from start to finish! It flows at a really nice pace and the story world feels so real. The fight sequences are a treat especially when Isanfyre is training to become a warrior. I found the names really cool and thankfully easy to pronounce. Personally I have always struggled w...

Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...

More Recommendations

europeanlove: I gotta hand it to you. I love reading. I read books everyday. When the book is good I can read it in probably 13 hours. Your story was amazing. Great prose, very imaginative. Incredible dialogue. I am deeply impressed. Keep it up.

Felisa Yoder Osburn: I really enjoyed the story. Civil War stories are some of my favorites and the intertwining of the past with current times was wonderful. I look forward to reading the next stories.

Deleted User: This is a very clever story in the style of 19th century (and turn of the century) Gothic writing, very reminiscent of Stevenson's The Body Snatchers or even of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (less so of Frankenstein itself, since the author is more minimalist than Shelley's florid, Romantic rhetoric). ...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
Iosaghar

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."