The Hidden Blade by MarieMullany | World Anvil Manuscripts | World Anvil
Master MarieMullany
Marie Mullany

Table of Contents

Prologue Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3

In the world of Sangwheel Chronicles

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“It is given to every man to live not one life but many, until his spirit comes to understand the great truth that lies behind the Wheel.”

 Wisdom of Viero

The horse screamed as it collapsed under Gaspard and he jumped from its back, jerking his feet clear of the stirrups. He tumbled across the forest floor, coming up with his sword in hand. It was a poor weapon with which to face a boar, but his huntmaster would surely have heard the shriek of the dying horse as the boar gored it. He only needed to survive until they caught up with him.

The boar was huge, and it stank to the heavens. It had a double row of tusks that were as long as daggers and gleamed crimson from his eviscerated mount. The boar’s mane bristled with hair flared upright as it snorted and prepared to charge.

Gaspard put his back to a tree and brought his sword up into the guard position. Where was the hunt?

The boar charged him! Gaspard dove out of the way. He almost cleared the beast, but felt the searing flash of pain as the boar’s tusk ripped across his hip, and he grunted. A spray of splinters and the crack of wood punctuated a brief halt to the boar’s charge. He tasted blood as he drew on his elämää and brought his dusang abilities to bear. Light gathered in his hands and he flared it at the boar, hoping to blind the beast and signal the hunt. The animal snorted in confusion and Gaspard took the opening to run. The Talten River forked no more than fifty paces ahead. If he could put water between himself and the boar, he would stretch the wick of his candle enough for the hunt to catch up.

He flooded what remained of his elämää into his legs, the hot power lending him strength.  With his arms held up to protect himself from the lashing branches and slashing ferns, he ran through the forest as fast as the footing allowed, gritting his teeth against the pain in his hip.  The tassels of his ducal sash caught on a branch and he ripped himself free, the sash left behind – what else would be lost today? The boar stayed hot on his heels; he could hear it crashing through the undergrowth behind him.

He broke clear of the trees crowding the top of the small cliff that bordered the river fork and hurtled over the edge, his legs and arms windmilling.  He hit the water and the breath exploded from him as he plunged down into the green depths. Clamping his mouth closed against the burning needs of his lungs, he kicked desperately for the surface. The water held the chill of spring and ate hungrily at the strength in his muscles, even though summer had come to the land.

Gaspard surfaced and looked back, gasping. The boar stood atop the cliff, snorting in the wind. He gave a shaky, relieved laugh between gulping breaths and struck out for the far side of the stream. Despite the freshness of the fast-flowing river, he suddenly smelt the tang of blood in the air. He struggled against the current as he tried to identify where the smell was coming from.

He heard an elemental roar and jerked his head towards the sound. His eyes widened in terror as he saw a wall of water bear down on him from higher up the river. He scrambled for the bank, kicking and yelling, his fingers just touching the reeds and scattering dragonflies.

The wave broke over him and his vision waned as the water pounded him down, tumbling him into the stones of the riverbed, forcing the air out of his lungs. Strangely, he could still smell the sweet tang of blood, even as his body surrendered the battle for life.


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