Lying With Scorpions by Aleksandr Voinov

Lying With Scorpions by Aleksandr Voinov

Author:Aleksandr Voinov [Voinov, Aleksandr]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fantasy, Romance
ISBN: 1626491119
Amazon: B00HXR0AZ8
Goodreads: 19615779
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Published: 2014-01-18T08:00:00+00:00

Kendras followed Adrastes up the stairs of the city tower. He’d been summoned just after returning to the Scorpions’ quarters and had barely enough time to get armored and armed, though Selvan’s nimble fingers had helped in that effort. When he’d reported to Adrastes, he’d found him wearing his own black plate armor in preparation for the king’s walk.

In the early morning after the coronation, while the streets were still littered with late revelers groping for their belongings in a haze of alcohol, Adrastes had to walk along the walls as a symbol of his power and majesty. Kendras found the early morning light entirely too bright, especially as the sun was still so low that it cast long shadows. Everybody knew the king’s walk would happen, and reporting Adrastes’s exact whereabouts to an ambitious assassin with a crossbow would be just a small thing.

Adrastes stepped outside the tower onto the wall and blinked against the sun. Thankfully, at least, the walkway itself was wide enough to allow two or even three armored men to stride alongside, though Kendras didn’t want to have to decide which side to protect.

Adrastes stepped onto the outer side, so Kendras walked where Adrastes wordlessly ordered him to. The walk itself was more of a march, slow, deliberate, to the beat of a drum only Adrastes could hear. This was the part of the wall that towered over the Kanenti, and Adrastes surveyed the river below them for a while, a deep blue band glittering in the sun, with a lot of Jaishani ships anchoring where the dark Kanenti met the clear ocean. They looked very much like war ships, now peacefully scattered across the water as if they had nothing to fear. Maybe their sheer number kept them safe, maybe they harbored a surprise for anybody who’d challenge them.

Adrastes moved again, and Kendras could sense the man’s thoughtfulness. They’d barely exchanged a word since the coronation, but Kendras didn’t feel it like censure. With the Jaishani in the city and camping outside of it, Adrastes likely had more pressing concerns than where Kendras had slept last night.

They continued onward, and Adrastes stopped again when they were overlooking the untidy underbelly of the city scattered over the hillside between Dalman and the harbor.

“This is where you come from,” Adrastes said quietly.

“Yes, my king.” And yet—it wasn’t the truth. He hadn’t been born there. Although, for what he was now, it didn’t matter what had made him tough and fierce. That cesspit of humanity would do.

“I’ll make this part of Dalman.” Adrastes’s narrowed gaze swept over the houses and shelters like that of a raptor. “In your honor.”

Kendras swallowed. “They cannot afford the taxes. Or they’d live inside the walls already.”

“They will. I am giving them work.” Adrastes reached out and touched the stone wall. “They will build the second wall. Dalman has trusted for too long in just one. We’ll build another, expand the city, give everybody citizenship.”

“Which means more people for the draft.”

Adrastes glanced at him.


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