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Chapter 9


Jo rolled over and screamed. A pain ran through her head and down her shoulder.She rolled slowly until she was on her hands and knees, then she waited for her stomach to stop spinning.

Crawling to the stream, she sat down and felt over her throbbing head gingerly. Feeling something dry and crusty she didn’t even have to look to know it was blood.From the size of the matted area, she’d bled a good bit.“That old relic hit me good.” She moaned as she laid back and let the cold water wash the wound.She loosened the stiff blood with her fingers, and let the water carry that away.

Soaking and still sick, Jo went and picked up her sword. A muttering sound brought her gaze over to a mound not far from where she had fallen.The wild man.

A bruise covered the right side of his face, the correct size for the flat of her blade to have done it. Jo went and got her water skin and the rope.Tying him firmly, she dumped water over his head until he sputtered and opened glaring eyes.“Liddle varlet, knock me out, eh?”Jo sat back before she could fall back.The trip to get the water and the effort to tie him had drained her.

“I think the feeling’s mutual.” She touched her cut, glanced at the red on her fingers, and knew it was bleeding again.The man gave off a laugh that put her in mind of nails going over cement.His voice was equally harsh.He looked her over in an abrupt way.“Where’d you pinch that sword?Good thief you are, carrying off a thing that large.”

Jo sucked in some air and tried to steady her shaking hands. Her head hurt enough to be a concussion.“I’m not a thief, that sword was a gift.I was trained in Mordgorden.”

“Likely story, so, who trained you?”

The girl dumped water over her own head and cringed. “After you tried to kill me, why do I have to answer any of your questions?”

“I seen Dirkorin’s solders and you aren’t one of them. But you sure aren’t Fher’denish, or a Mordgorden born soul either.Where’d you come from?”

“Kansas, U.S.A, other side of the door.” She rubbed her hand over the handle of the sword. “I’ve been in Mordgorden for a while now.”

“Leave someone to come out here did you?”

Jo nodded, “I’d have to.”

“Try to follow in the steps of King Mordgorden, find out what happened? That’s a lost cause.Greater have come for that, and they met the same fate.”

“I’m not here to follow anyone; I’m here to get to Gal Gor. I only found out that King Mordgorden came here when a Man called Wheatsore showed me a medallion the king had given him.”Her eyes met his.He was trying to understand something, and she was trying to understand him.“Why’d you jump me?”

“Raiders. They come through and make things a little rough.I give them a scare and they run off, so when you didn’t I thought you were an assassin.”

“I’m no assassin.”

He snorted. “I don’t even need to see you to know that, you can’t fight.”

Jo bit back a retort. She knew that her skills were untested, and she had no right to the any kind of tittles “I’m Jo, who are you?”

He smirked. She sighed and picked up the staff before going over to her pack.


She glanced over. “What?”

“I am Mordgorden.”

Jo gave him an incredulous stare and he started laughing. “It’s true!I’ll tell you what was on the back of the medallion Wheatsore had.”She waited, and he started reciting slowly,

Mordgorden, son of Bran,

Grandson of Seagoth.

Going to the Place of the Unknown.

“The path can be easily seen by those who seek.”

Jo blinked. “Do you know who trained me?”

He gave her another smirk. “My guess is Stalker.He was a child when I left, but his mark is clear on you.”

The Kansan looked at the ground then, walked over and removed the rope. “Greetings Sir.”

He nodded dryly. “Now, if we’re going to tramp around here together, let’s start answering some questions.”

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