Hunted Chapter Twenty-Six

Hunted-600

She tried to warn them. They wouldn’t listen.

As a child, Terrin of Xell barely escaped a spirit from the Dark Forest. She knows better than to rely on magic. But with her schoolmate Chris accused of a magical crime he didn’t commit, she couldn’t let him face banishment alone.

So Terrin gets caught up in Chris’s quest to recover an ancient relic, with only magic to guide them. Naturally, everything goes wrong.

What lurks in the shadows, hunting Terrin and her friends? Or did the magic itself turn against them?

Hunted: The Riddled Stone Book Two is being serialized freely on this website at the pace of one chapter per week. You can buy the full novel at my publisher’s store or in ebook or paperback format at your favorite online retailer.


PART TWO

Click here to read from Chapter One. Or go back to the very beginning in Banished: The Riddled Stone Book One.

Chapter 26

Brayden

There was a soft bump as the boat settled herself into the dock. A minute later she was tied off and the plank had been lowered. Travelers hurried down first, some going to the side so that they were nearby to oversee the unloading of their belongings. Brayden walked down the plank, trying to control his bounce. He’d waited till the first crowd had thinned, so as to lessen his risks of a clumsy accident.

There were so many reasons that North Raec should be proud of their sister country, not angry. Looking around, he was impressed by the buzz of merchants from all over the world. Colyth was a remarkable city, one of the top five trading centers of the world — though that report was from last year. It was also the capital of South Raec.

Which was good, because Brayden didn’t want to travel much longer on his own. He had hardly trusted himself to keep track of his father’s letter this long.

Someone roughly pushed into him from behind. He tumbled forward, and then quickly moved himself towards the side of the street, as the sailor who’d bumped him cursed and moved on. Brayden tightened his grip on the satchel he carried, and continued onward, towards the back of town.

At first he made himself hurry, but soon he was taken in by his surroundings. He had never traveled far from home, besides the short hunting trips, and though Coricstead had a fine market, it was nothing compared to the sweet smells that now tickled his nostrils and the bright colors that attracted his eyes.

“Finest clothes from Diamond Isles!” called a loud voice, obviously accented.

“Sweeter fruits here than anywhere,” cried another.

So many people, all wanting to be heard over everyone else. It reminded him a bit of court life, all the nobles trying to draw the king’s attention. He chuckled.

It took him an hour to slowly make his way through the crowds. He couldn’t help but stop to listen to the street musicians or look at the exotic goods. He was constantly bumped, and eventually he moved his satchel forward where he could keep a better eye on it, and he was careful not to knock anyone over himself.

When he did reach the castle, he had to say it didn’t match the rest of Colyth’s bright colors. It was smaller than his father’s castle, though the courtyard looked bigger. The gray walls rose high above the murky moat.

Taking a deep breath, he started across the drawbridge. He was met by a short servant, who looked to be only twelve. His small, round face was topped with a bowl of brown hair, and he was dressed in a red tunic and red leggings. He had a big grin as he met Brayden.

“Greetin’s, sir. What be yer business?”

Brayden couldn’t help but grin back at the boy’s clipped speech, wondering if the servant always spoke like this or was doing it because he thought him a simpleton. No one could blame the boy for it. In his rugged traveling clothes, Brayden didn’t look much like a diplomat.

“I have a message for the North Raecan ambassador, from King Nylan Coric.”

The boy flushed a bit.

“Oh. I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t mean to be rude. ’Cour — Of course, I’ll take you right to him.”

“’Tis fine,” Brayden said, ’laxing his own grammar in an attempt to make the boy more comfortable.

With a quick bow, the boy led him across the courtyard. Brayden couldn’t help wondering how the lad would have reacted if he knew he was talking to a prince.

“I’ll take you to one of the lounges, and then go straight to fetch the ambassador, sir.”

“Thank you.”


Read chapter twenty-seven…

Copyright © 2015 by Teresa Gaskins
Published by Tabletop Academy Press.
Cover and layout copyright © 2016 by Tabletop Academy Press
Cover Photo Credits: “Girl with bow” by Yeko Photo Studio via DepositPhoto.com and “Forest, untagged” by Lukasz Szmigiel via Unsplash.com.

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.

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