Chapter Seventeen

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           A line of horses and wagons fed into the gates of Wyvernton, stopping for inspection by the Vanguard generals. Siobhan shifted beside Elias who held the reins. He wasn't any more relaxed then she was. One hand continued to wind the reins around it, only to release it and start again. She touched a hand to his shoulder and turned to look through the flap of their covered wagon.

"Keep quiet until we free you," she whispered, "they're checking all wagons."

There was a single knock from the meat locker holding a collection of pottery on top. She sighed and turned back to face front. Already they'd been in line waiting entry to Wyvernton for twenty minutes, stopping and moving as the line progressed and grew longer behind them. Never in her life had she needed to wait for entry to the city. Unlike Firnlan and other outer cities, the gates of the capital of the lowlands never closed. The bustling mecca was far too busy for regular inspections. With the amount of Vanguard generals and mages patrolling the streets, only a fool would cause a problem within Wyvernton's walls.

"I don't like this, M'lady."

"I know Elias. Keep calm and play the part of nomad here to sell our wares as we discussed."

"If they use mages . . ."

"I know. They'll sense the totems stashed with Wren to keep him warm in the meat locker. We'll just have to hope they mistake it for the ice totems keeping the upper bin cold."

She rubbed her hands against her knees and looked up. While the snow had stopped falling, there wasn't a single sign of the sun that was supposed to be high in the sky by that point. Dark clouds loomed overhead, threatening to unleash more fury upon the land. There were still a few more days of calm before the next storm, Siobhan hoped to be well clear of Wyvernton by that time and taking their chances with the elements on the road to Raiven. She sighed and looked back to Elias. One hand tugged his collar, making sure there were no sign of the gills.

Tops of the towering buildings rose above the high brick walls, they were the loan signs of the mecca on the other side. Square lookouts spaced evenly through the duration of the wall held Vanguard generals standing watch. Though the gates never closed, it was still the heaviest armed city in the lowlands. For good reason since the king took up residence within the spires.

Siobhan closed her eyes when the line moved again, bringing them within one horse of the heavy gates. Getting through the gates was merely a small test compared to what they might face in the spires. That didn't make her nerves boil through her any less. She released a breath and ran her hands over her pants again before opening her eyes. Their wagon jerked forward when Elias snapped the reins and pulled up to the Vanguard generals doing the inspection.

"What brings you to the capital?" the crimson-cloak asked.

"We be humble nomads here ta sell our wares and shore up for da rest of da winter," Siobhan said, batting her eyes and lacing her words with a heavy accent.

He nodded toward Elias. "What's with your eyes?"

"I fell ill with da plague when I be but a lad." Elias shook his head and touched his eyes. "Da witches brew dat cured me came wit' a side effect. Me eyes are forever tainted."

The crimson-cloak grunted. "Those damn witches! They'll get theirs when we finish . . ." He coughed and smoothed his hands over his cloak. "I'll need to see in your wagon."

Siobhan smiled. She knew not to ask what reason they had for their sudden inspection. To do so was as good as admitting to hiding something. The wagon shook as she climbed off the bench. Another crimson-cloak stepped up from the side, his hand resting on the hilt of his sword, fingers tapping against the eagles head. Three others remained by the gate, watching them. She clasped her hands to keep from resting them on the staff parts hanging under her cloak. Typical nomads didn't travel with any obvious signs of weapons, especially in the capital city. They were pacifists and Siobhan had to play the part even when every ounce of her was screaming to slit their throats and run.

Draygon Frost | Book 1  | ✔️Where stories live. Discover now