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   Chapter 105 No.105

The Book of Deacon By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5299

Updated: 2018-01-20 12:02

Myranda started to relent, trying to gather her mind for a renewed effort, but as soon as she did she felt the heat fade and the stone began to harden again. She couldn't rest, or she would lose ground. It had to be done all at once. Myranda poured all that she had into making the heat as intense as possible.

The second drop fell, followed by a third. Soon, a steady flow had formed, but she knew she couldn't last much longer. The stone had settled into a thick pool of bright orange glowing fluid with a ribbon of the stuff leading from the stand to the mold. A dizziness was swirling in her head that threatened to rob her of her consciousness, but she was too close to fail now.

As she turned to look at the crowd, they seemed to be moving in slow motion. She could barely muster the strength to grip the crystal. The pool of metal was now receding into the center of the stand. Just a few more drops.

After countless eternities, it seemed, the last drop fell and she released her mind's grip. The world rushed back in a dizzying swirl of awed whispers and enthralled faces. Solomon took away the stand and the mold. Had anything but a dragon done so, they would have been horribly burned. Myranda fought to remain awake as dry leaves were scattered on the ground before her. Atop the leaves there was placed a piece of parchment, and atop that more leaves were spread.

"To complete your test and prove to all that you have a masterful knowledge of this discipline, you must prove the dexterity of your mind by burning the paper without touching the leaves, " Solomon said

he usual places are empty. All the drop spots. Everything. Half--half of the places aren't there anymore, " Kel sputtered nervously. "Commander, I think I heard something."

"Easy, Kel, " she said, looking over the notes.

After fumbling through the scattered pages until she unearthed a quill and an ink bottle, Caya attempted to make a mark on one of the maps, only to find the ink frozen. She placed the bottle on the lamp and looked at the map.

At its height, the Undermine had agents in nearly every city. That was when her father had been running things. In the weeks after Myranda's arrival on the grand stage, they had very nearly equaled that. Now things were falling apart. As the ink melted enough to be useful, Caya digested the pages she'd brought with her. One by one, names were crossed off. Cities, safe houses, and informants were scribbled off of the map. By the time all had been considered, there were only a handful of names left, and only two marks on the map. Caya sagged, but the eyes of the others looked to her expectantly.

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