The Amulet Saga
Volume Two: The Defector
What Came Before:
Taurin stretched. The girl, Rose, knew her healing arts. He felt better than he had before the injury. He watched her in the corner, trying desperately to match the motions of her friend as they built a fire and prepared dinner, but she clearly was unaccustomed to such work.
She’d been nobility, of that he was certain, except that made no sense, because she claimed to be from Zyan, a land without distinctions between classes. Kirland seemed more likely, except that she knew magic, and Kirland was almost as strict as Sunnland when it came to regulating magic use. Where she was from, who she really was, remained as much a mystery now as it had been two weeks ago when they met.
She must’ve felt Taurin’s eyes on her, for she turned toward him and smiled. Rose wasn’t particularly beautiful—her friend was by far the prettier of the two—but that smile was blessed by Nyn herself.
Rose ladled a bowl of soup and came to sit beside him. She handed him the bowl. “I’m afraid it’s the best we can do until we can afford to buy more supplies.”
Taurin smiled and took a bite. “It’s wonderful.”
“Speaking of…” Rose twisted her hands in her lap. “I fear we have taken advantage of your hospitality long enough. Your wound is nearly healed, and we…we ought to be moving on soon.”
“Moving on to where?”
Rose shrugged. “I don’t know, exactly. We just need to get far away from…here. Settled somewhere safe. And I would hate to put you in danger on our behalf.”
Taurin raised an eyebrow. “Danger? You mean because you can use magic?”
On the other side of the room, Myrta coughed conspicuously.
Rose glanced at her, then looked back at her hands. “Yes. Because of that. I understand it’s outlawed here.”
Taurin nodded. “It is.”
“We were thinking of going west. Across the sea,” Rose went on. “Maybe all the way to the Silver Shores.”
“The trip across the sea is treacherous. If you can even find passage, it will be expensive. How will you pay for it?”
Rose shrugged. “I suppose we’ll have to work to save enough.”
“And where will you live in the meantime? In the city?”
Tears threatened to spill from her blue eyes, but she set her chin and said, “We’ll figure something out.”
Taurin frowned. Jyn would tell him these waifs were not his responsibility, that they couldn’t be trusted, that he’d be better off letting them leave. But something in the way Rose bravely made her decisions, the way she tried hard to learn skills that were clearly new to her, the way she risked herself to help him—she was intriguing, to say the least. And the gentle touch of her hands as she worked to heal his wounds endeared her all the more.
He wasn’t quite ready for her to disappear forever…
What comes next:
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