The Court of the Blind King by David Guymer

The Court of the Blind King by David Guymer

Author:David Guymer
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2019-10-09T10:18:12+00:00

Chapter Twelve

Lurien awoke with a groan, a stabbing pain in his ribs. His eyelids fluttered open, a ceiling of interwoven leaves and a syrupy odour welcoming him back to consciousness. Dappling sunlight illuminated a basket-like structure of wreathed branches that, judging by the occasional, sickening sensation of motion, was suspended some distance from the ground. Mossy curtains and brightly coloured toadstools decorated the curved walls. He was lying on a bed of some kind. It was prickly, but not uncomfortable. His head felt as though it had absorbed its own weight in mud, which had since hardened in the heat, and he turned it slowly against the pillow. The pale, haggard features of Filenduil frowned miserably down at him. The tide­caster’s eyes were bloodshot and rimmed with indigo rings. He withdrew something from Lurien’s side. The jab to the ribs had been Filenduil’s fingernails.

‘I hope Teclis finds you to curse you all over again, you old leech,’ Lurien said, his voice a dry whisper that he almost did not recognise as his own.

‘Feeling better?’

‘Mathlann, no!’

The tidecaster pursed his blued lips. ‘You look better.’

‘How long have I been unconscious?’

‘Almost an hour.’

‘An hour?’ Lurien attempted to struggle upright, only to think better of it as the weight of the realmsphere fell across his brow. His head spun as it sank back to the pillow. ‘You couldn’t have left me a little longer?’

‘We cannot afford to wait for you.’ Namaríel’s voice came from somewhere beyond the foot of the sylvaneth bed. ‘You are not the only one who suffers in this place.’

Filenduil clenched his jaw through a sneeze, settling back into something that Lurien could not see but which creaked like a chair. While Lurien, Éodrain and a few others carried small enchantments to continually replenish their ethersea, the tidecaster was the only one amongst them with the power to blanket the area fully, allowing their beasts to breathe and Lurien’s army to move freely. When his strength failed…

‘You have to negotiate the trade without me,’ Lurien said.

‘They want you,’ said Namaríel.

‘They should have considered that before poisoning me with their naluewka drink, shouldn’t they?’

Filenduil sniffed. ‘And we have nothing to give them.’

‘Can he swim?’ Namaríel asked the tidecaster.

‘I see nothing wrong with him.’ Filenduil placed his palms over his eyes and sighed. ‘I have done all I can, but I am no tru’heas.’

‘Perhaps we can pick up one of those in Dwy-Hor.’ Lurien dragged the hundredweight of his head from the bundle of soft roots that seemed to have been drawn from the floor as a pillow to regard Namaríel. She was clad in her shagreens, but had loosened the bodice and shed the cloak. ‘That is what we do, it seems. We accumulate the old and the stray from every enclave we pass.’

Spreading her hands along the foot of the root bed, Namaríel leant forwards. ‘If you prefer being stranded here to facing a little headache, then by all means, stay in bed.’

‘Let Éodrain do it. He can offer them whatever they want.


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