Read The Seer Online

Authors: Kirsten Jones

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Contemporary, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Contemporary Fiction

The Seer

The Seer

K
L Jones

 

 

 

Copyright
©2013 K L Jones

All
Rights Reserved

Cover
design by Rob Francis of
http://www.ink-corporated.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/isleofdreams

Other
titles in this series:

The
Assassin’s Tale

The
Assassin’s Destiny

Eternal
Winter

Tribe

Fallen

 

 

 

 

 

‘We are no other than a moving row
Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go
Round with the Sun-illumined Lantern held
In Midnight by the Master of the Show’
The Rubaiyat of
Omar Khayyam
LXVIII

 

 

Sight

‘And what’s he thinking?’  Phantom demanded for what
felt like the hundredth time, his glittering green eyes alighting on a warrior
neither of them knew.

Mistral closed
her eyes and ignored her brother until she could no longer stand his impatient
thoughts, ‘Oh please, no more,’ she sighed wearily. 

‘Come on
Mistral!  I’ve waited two years for you to get on with mastering the
Sight!  The least you can do is humour me a little!’

‘Really? 
Tell me this Phantom!  When you and your brother got your gift sorted, did
I ask you to make Floris give me free drinks every time I went to the bar?’

‘Only once.’
 Phantom admitted.

‘Did I?’ 
Mistral asked in a surprised voice. 

‘You were
pretty drunk already.’  Phantom mused.  ‘Not too sure how well that
reflects on your new standing though, the inebriated Lady De Winter attempting
to defraud an honest bartender –’

‘Floris? 
Honest?  But let’s not mention that one to Fabian then shall we? 
Now, you wanted to know what that warrior over there was thinking.’ 
Mistral said quickly, letting her gaze rest on the warrior at the bar. 

‘Yes please,’
Phantom breathed, his eyes shining with anticipation.

Mistral exhaled
slowly, dispelling every thought from her mind and leaving it completely free
to focus on the vision of the warrior’s aura.  She was instantly rewarded
by a shimmering haze of colour appearing around his head; silver wisps drifted
across a deep blue, like lazy clouds in a summer sky.  Mistral’s eyes slid
out of focus as she concentrated harder, pushing her mind to see beyond the
aura, to hear the warrior’s unspoken thoughts; to
See ...
She sighed
heavily and blinked, breaking the illusion.

‘And?’ 
Phantom demanded in an urgent whisper.

‘Oh, just the
same as everyone else you’ve made me read in the tavern today.  He’s
wondering who the new Divinus will be and when the Council delegation will
arrive, oh, and he also wonders whether the girl from the saddlery is free
tonight –’

Phantom
laughed, ‘That’ll please Xerxes!’    

Mistral
shrugged, ‘It’s high time he had some competition.’  

Phantom eyed
the dirty-looking warrior critically, ‘I’m not sure he would actually qualify
as being competition, he looks like he needs to take a Contract to have a
bath.’

‘Talking of
which, can I stay at yours again tonight?  I can’t face the cold showers
up at the dorms and I don’t want to ride home – Fabian will be back in the
Valley tonight.’

‘Finally you
ask for permission!’  Phantom exclaimed.  ‘You and that horse-sized
dog have been at ours every night since your Mage left for the Council. 
Mind you,’ he added resentfully, ‘since you actually bought the house in the
first place I don’t really feel I can refuse.’ 

‘I know you
don’t mean that,’ she grinned.  ‘I can hear you hoping I’ll cook dinner!’

‘Can
you?’  Phantom looked displeased.  ‘I thought you would have to at
least look at me to be able to read my thoughts.  I think you had better
tell me exactly how your gift works Mistral, or I’m never going to feel
comfortable thinking anything around you again!’

Mistral sighed
and reached for the tankard of ale on the table in front of her, taking a long
drink before setting it back down again, ‘I can only hear Fabian all the time
without trying to.  Well, I
could
hear him, up until he travelled
beyond the edge of The Velvet Forests … then he faded away,’ she sighed and
plucked distractedly at the sleeve of the shirt she was wearing; Fabian’s
shirt.

‘So, you’re
gift isn’t as powerful as the Divinus’ yet then?’  Phantom asked, sounding
slightly relieved.

‘No, I need to
have already read someone’s aura before I can hear their thoughts.  The
Divinus could just hear anyone he chose to no matter who or where they were.’

‘So, if I was
out of the room you wouldn’t be able to hear my thoughts?’ 

‘Sorry
brother, but I know you too well already.  All I have to do is call up the
image of your charming, smiling face and I can hear you without too much effort
at all,’ she said, grinning at his obvious discomfort.

‘But you could
choose not to?’  He demanded sulkily.

Mistral
nodded, ‘Yes, believe it or not, I don’t share in your burning desire to know
all the sordid details of people’s lives … my own are bad enough.’

Phantom gave her
a sly grin, ‘And just how is married life suiting you now?’

‘Just fine
thank you,’ she replied primly, bending to stroke her huge dog sprawled at her
feet.

‘I must admit
you seem to be coping well with your Mage’s absence this time.  He’s been
gone what … two weeks?’

‘Two weeks,
three days and four hours.’  Mistral confirmed, sitting back up with a
deep sigh of longing.

Phantom raised
an eyebrow, ‘Not that you’re counting.  Having your honeymoon cut short by
the Divinus dying must have really annoyed you.  In fact, I’m surprised
that you haven’t had one of your famous tantrums.’

Mistral
shrugged and swung her legs up onto the stool in front of her, ‘It’s different
now I can hear his thoughts, it’s like he’s still with me,’ she leaned back
against the stone wall with a sigh.  ‘Anyway, he’ll be back tonight with
Mage Grapple.’

‘He’s cutting
it fine!  The funeral’s tomorrow and it wouldn’t look good if the Head of
the Mage Council missed it!  I mean!  Can you imagine the scandal?’

Mistral nodded
disinterestedly; funerals in the Valley were commonplace enough, she couldn’t
really see why Mage Grapple had to attend this one in particular, even if it
was the Divinus’.  She let her gaze rove over the busy tavern while
Phantom prattled away beside her.  The messenger service the three
Contract Agencies offered had obviously been effective in sending out news of
the funeral; Mistral had never seen so many warriors in the Valley at one
time.  Some wore deep suntans that spoke of long missions abroad, but most
were just heavily scarred and dishevelled.  One or two were different,
although dressed in the Ri uniform of jerkins, black shirts and moleskin
trousers they had a well-groomed look about them, rather like the twins did;
making her wonder if they too had some kind of gift that guaranteed them less
dangerous work.  Mistral recognised the familiar ravaged features of
Samson leaning against the bar talking to Floris.  He caught her eye and
grinned; she smiled and waved lazily back, too content sat talking with Phantom
to get up and speak to him. 

The door
banged open again, Mistral and Phantom both turned to watch three female
warriors walk in and head straight to the bar.  Their long limbs and
fierce expressions spoke clearly of having amazon blood.

‘I hope Xerxes
tries his luck with them!’  Phantom whispered and Mistral laughed.

‘I think he
likes his women to be a bit more compliant than those three.’ 

‘Compliant? 
Doormats more likely!  Honestly, I can’t believe what he gets away with –
Mistral!’

‘What?’ 
Mistral jumped at the sudden excitement in his voice making Prospero growl in
his sleep.

‘Let’s have
some fun with Xerxes!’

‘Er, I’d
rather not –’

‘No, not like
that!’  Phantom said with a grimace.  ‘I meant, you read his thoughts
and my brother and I can change them!’

‘I am not
listening to Xerxes’ thoughts.  Seeing the look on his face is bad
enough.’  Mistral said firmly.

‘Oh come
on!  Let’s get him to propose to one of his sweethearts!’

‘He does that
anyway!’

‘Oh, you’re
right.’  Phantom deflated slightly.  ‘I forgot that he’s already been
married twice … how about making him decide that he’s sworn off women?’

Mistral pulled
a face while she considered, ‘No, I think that might have rather dire
consequences.  He might actually spontaneously combust or something.’

They laughed
loudly making a table of miserable looking first year apprentices look round at
them and quickly look away again when they saw who it was. 

Mistral and
Phantom regarded them with pitying expressions.

‘Poor things,’
murmured Phantom, reaching for his tankard.  ‘Their Qualification has been
put on hold until a new Divinus is elected, and the funeral is being held on
the winter solstice so they won’t even get their traditional night of wild
revelry either.’

‘Hmm, all that
hard work and they still don’t know if they’ve Qualified … still, they’ll get
to enjoy a few good nights in the meantime.  The Cloak’s been heaving
every night since the notice went out about the funeral.’

‘I’ve never
seen Xerxes sweat so much!  He was running three card games at once last
night.’

‘Was he?’
 Mistral muttered moodily.  ‘I didn’t notice.’

‘Oh dear, are
you still sulking about the fact that he won’t let you play now you’ve mastered
your gift?’

Mistral folded
her arms tightly, ‘No.’

Phantom smirked,
‘I don’t have the Sight, but I think you’re definitely still grumpy about that
one.  Don’t worry, he’ll get over it.  Cain told me he’d lost a load
of money in a knuckle bones tournament with some goblins last month and he’s
desperate to make it back as quickly as possible – I think his sweetheart army
is costing him a bit of money in upkeep.’

‘I don’t see
how!’  Mistral snorted derisively.  ‘He only ever takes them to the
hayloft!  And unless Clovis has started charging an entry fee, that
doesn’t cost anything.’

‘Yes, he is a
true romantic.’  Phantom sighed in agreement.  ‘But apparently
they’ve all started demanding gifts now ... you know, dresses, ribbons for
their hair, that sort of thing.’

‘Not really.’
 Mistral said looking disinterested.  ‘What would I want with dresses
and … what were the other things?’

‘Ribbons.’
 Phantom muttered, looking suddenly very interested in his empty tankard.

Mistral sat
upright and stared at him, her face growing stonier as his thoughts filled her
mind, ‘Is that where Phantasm has been all afternoon?  This “appointment”
he had?’ 

Phantom
shrugged and looked uncomfortable.

‘Oh, please
tell me he hasn’t!’  She cried.

Phantom looked
half-guilty, half-defensive, ‘He wants you to look the part.’ 

‘I can’t
believe him!  Oh, I wish I’d read his thoughts before he left the
house!  I’d have killed him!’  Mistral exclaimed loudly, drawing
several nervous glances from the first years that’d been on the receiving end
of her volatile temper all year.  She shot them a black look and continued
to rant at Phantom.  ‘He’s really had a load of dresses made for me? 
Your brother’s lost his marbles!  When the hell am I going to wear
them?  Hunting?’ 

‘You know,
when you’re doing official work ... as the Ri’s Seer.’

Mistral
abruptly sank back against the wall, tilting her head back to stare moodily up
at the ceiling, ‘The Ri’s Seer,’ she echoed dully.  ‘I suppose everyone
will look at me differently when they know I’ve got the Sight.’

Phantom gave
her a sympathetic look, ‘It does change the way people behave around you, I
know.’

Mistral
nodded, keeping her eyes fixed on the smoke stained ceiling, ‘This last week
has been like a holiday,’ she said quietly.  ‘I finally mastered my gift,
but nobody knows … yet –’

Phantom sighed
and leaned his head back to gaze up at the ceiling with her, ‘It certainly will
after the funeral.  Master Sphinx is planning some grand unveiling of his
three protégées.’

‘Wonderful.’
 Mistral muttered wearily.  ‘Just what I love, being some kind of
brooch for Leo to wear on his cloak.’

‘It won’t be
that bad, you’ll have us with you.’  Phantom said quietly.

‘I know
brother.’  Mistral turned her head to look at him.  ‘I wouldn’t be
able to do it without you, either of you … despite your brother’s wretched
obsession with trying to make me wear a dress.’

‘I’m just glad
it’s you and not me.’  Phantom grinned and grabbed his empty tankard from
the table.  ‘Another?’

Mistral didn’t
reply.  She was staring across the smoky tavern with a vacant look on her
face.

‘Mistral? 
Phantom repeated with a frown.

‘Oh!’

‘What?’ 

Her eyes
suddenly widened, ‘I’ve got to go!’  She cried and leapt to her feet,
narrowly avoiding standing on Prospero who sprang up with a yelp of
surprise.  ‘He’s nearly here!’ 

‘You’re still cooking
dinner aren’t you?’  Phantom called anxiously after her as she hurried
across the room and flung open the door, closely followed by Prospero.

Shrugging on
her cloak and pulling the hood up against the snow swirling through the air,
Mistral ducked her head down and began to hurry across the village square only
to slam straight into another warrior.  ‘Oh sorry!’  She began and
looked up; her expression abruptly hardening when she realised it was Xerxes
she had walked into.  ‘Brother.’  Mistral greeted him curtly and
strode past.

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