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   Chapter 64 No.64

The Book of Deacon By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5617

Updated: 2018-01-19 19:02


By first light, the forest that should have been more than a day away was in sight. Such was the ability of a tireless steed. Of course, the toll that was spared the mount was taken on the rider. Myranda was barely awake, each stride threatening to knock her from the beast's back. As she fought for each moment of consciousness, she also wrestled with what she had seen. That soldier, the elf woman. Sometime, somewhere, she had seen her before. The image of her face burned in Myranda's mind. Something from long ago.

The dappled shadows cast from the branches passing overhead prompted Myranda to wrestle her eyes open again. They had arrived. Wind shook the clinging remnants of the night's rain from the trees. The horse, sensing that this was indeed their destination, had slowed to a trot, then to a walk. Myranda stopped the steed entirely. She didn't so much dismount the creature as fall from it.

From the looks of things, they had made it quite far into the woods before she had become aware of it. The weary girl pulled herself to her feet. She had to move away from the trail that they had made thus far, and, alas, abandon the horse. As long as it seemed that she had remained on the steed, the pursuers would follow the hoofprints. All that needed to be done was to move a fair distance without leaving tracks.

This was no simple task, though. The rain had muddied the ground. Tracks would be easy to find. She led the horse to a stream, the bed of which was composed of smooth stones. As it took a well-deserved drink, she stepped ankle-deep into the icy water. Myn looked with curiosity. It took a bit of coaxing for the dragon to join in the unpleasant but u

iced something that the scarce light had hidden from her before. There was an impression in the ground--almost undetectable, but undeniable. It was a footprint. The rain had nearly washed it away, so it must have been left before the sleet and rain had started. From the shape, it could only be a boot print. Nearby there were a few more accompanied by hoofprints as well. They could have been left by anyone. Perhaps hunters or woodsmen who had moved through the area a few days earlier. Deep inside, though, Myranda knew that there was something sinister behind these prints.

While she pondered the worst, Myn stirred, padding over to Myranda and flopping down again, offering her head for the usual stroking while she gnawed at her new toy. This helm was different from the one she had left behind. It was more carefully detailed with gold, with a nose guard in the shape of a dragon's head. The dragon had focused her attentions on this piece in particular and managed to snap it off in short order. Before long Myn's hunger got the better of her and she trotted off to seek out a meal. Myranda called after her.

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