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The Book of Deacon By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5034

Updated: 2018-01-20 19:02


Myranda was hardly at her best. She had only just regained the strength to walk. She wouldn't be able to fight nearly as well as she normally would, which wasn't nearly well enough to exact the revenge she so desired. It didn't matter. She wasn't in control of her own actions any more. Lain lasted even longer than she, and he was unaccustomed to the mental fatigue that she had come to expect at the end of a training day. Perhaps, just this once, the balance would be tipped in her favor.

The first blows began to be exchanged. Myranda was slower and sloppier than she had been in weeks. Lain's speed was not what it had been either, and his movements were, for the first time, less than graceful. Still, he managed to raise his weapon to block each attempt. As Myranda's anger stirred, she got sloppier. Soon she was paying no attention to anything but attacking. Lain landed punishing blows, hammering her ribs and legs--but in her mind, the pain was nothing. He had done more through his single decision to forsake his purpose and allow the war to continue than he ever could with his weapon.

Myranda put every ounce of strength she could into each attack. Either through fatigue or lapsed concentration, Lain's weapon was only barely able to block them after a time. Then came the moment. Myranda managed a single sidestep to take her out of range of a mighty swing by Lain. The force of the attack took him off balance, and there it was. Her chance. Time seemed to stop. Her weapon was ready and

had and more.

She had not killed him, but the fact that she could have, the fact that she wanted to, burned her mind.

She entered her hut. Myn was with Lain. The dragon would need some time to forgive her for what she had done. The room seemed too empty. Myranda was tired. She should sleep but. . . no. She couldn't. Not now. The dreams. Silence and solitude were all she wanted now. A knock at the door broke the silence, and the man on the other side broke the solitude. She opened it to find Deacon leaning heavily--very heavily--on both the door frame and a staff. It was clear that the chief white wizard was right. He'd needed at least another day. He managed a weak smile.

"Hello. May I come in?" he asked.

Myranda would have said no, but he clearly had put a lot of effort into the trek to her hut.

"Please, " she said with a rather unconvincing attempt at joviality.

He hobbled in, dropping heavily to a seat.

"My goodness. I haven't had to use a staff in ages, " he said.

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