Pawn Of The Planewalker (Book 5)

Free Pawn Of The Planewalker (Book 5) by Ron Collins

Book: Pawn Of The Planewalker (Book 5) by Ron Collins Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ron Collins
but that didn’t preclude them from being right in one fashion. Sorcery should be an art rather than a convenience.
    He licked his lips then. They were dry and chapped, an old man’s lips, he thought. When did he get old man’s lips?
    Hirl-enat shook his mind of these ruminations and began instead to prepare himself.
    Not everyone could hold the encapsulation for long enough to complete the kidnapping. Ettril would understand this fact. If the exercise succeeded he would be in the High Superior’s favor for a very long time.
    He took his place in the diagram and spoke his words of old magic, stepping across the floor in a dance-like pattern. The room filled with the gloriously bloody smell of Koradictine magic. And Hirl-enat threw his head back to enjoy the rapture of magestuff as it burned through his body.
    Across the manor yard, an invisible shell formed over Dorfort’s government center.

Chapter 15

    The guard leading Fil to the kitchen was young, and trying perhaps too hard to impress him. He went out of his way to talk about each of the tapestries that hung on the walls, giving the full history of both the artist and the stories behind the artwork’s origin. Fil thought them merely over-wrought.
    A wave of heat that smelled of baking bread hit before they arrived at the kitchen. The smell of fresh diced celery and stewing onions came next, a combination that did tricks inside his stomach. For the briefest of moments, he forgot he was nervous.
    “Good afternoon, Daventry,” the guard said. “This is Fil, mage of the Koradictine order. He is in need of a quick lunch.”
    The cook stood over an open grill and wiped his hands on a clean rag. Three others chopped vegetables and cleaned cook pots. Lunch would be served in the royal hall, and dinner would come soon enough, so this request was additional work in a room full of people who had plenty to do.
    “It was a very early breakfast,” Fil explained, in hopes his apology came through.
    “All right, then,” Daventry said. “Let’s see what we can rustle up.”
    He was a cheerful man with ruddy redness in his cheeks and a bare wisp of hair that was damp with sweat. His cheeks were made for a man bigger than himself. They spilled over his jawline like those of a bulldog, but a grin seemed to be perpetually pasted to his face.
    The kitchen was laid out in the shape of a letter L.
    The central nook consisted of a long grill and an open pit with a kettle and a roasting stand. A large hood opened to a chimney, its stone and mortared surface blackened by years of greasy smoke. A row of working ovens belched heat from the shortest wall. A longer counter was cluttered with rows of pots, pans, graters and other utensils that looked like implements of torture.
    Fil’s eyes strayed to the bay windows that opened to view the manor.
    “Those are Lord Ellesadil’s stables,” the guard explained.
    “How many horses does he keep?” Fil asked. He wanted to keep the guard talking.
    “It varies with the time of year. Ellesadil’s policy is that any man who needs a horse can have one. But he must give his word for its return. So, early in the summer season, we’re often left with a bare few. This time of year, though, the stables are nearly full.”
    The building across the manor was large. There were four others of similar size. Two guards per building. Ten people. Each would need to be unconscious for as much as half an hour.
    “I had heard of your lord’s generosity before,” Fil said, “but was never sure if the stories were true or not.”
    “Oh, they’re true, all right. I would follow Lord Ellesadil anywhere.”
    “That speaks volumes all to itself.”
    The guard smiled.
    Fil lowered his voice. “Before your cook finishes gathering my meal, would you be able to show me to a privy?”
    The guard’s smile widened.
    “This way,” he said, leading him out the doorway and to a small room adjacent to the stables.

    In order to avoid the guard’s most intense

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