The Aeolian Master - Book One - Revival HTML version
together—one an expert in daggers and the other an expert in the sword.”
“Thanks for the warning,” said Dahms. And she started up the path.
“Damn,” said Jimie as Ben passed him.
“Yeah,” said Ben.
Ben, Dahms, and Sam were walking side by side when they reached the top of the hill and looked down. At
the bottom and to the left of the path in a gully there was a large tree with big leafy branches. Small brown
objects, which appeared to be nuts, hung in clusters from the smaller limbs. And many of them had dropped off
and were covering the ground.
"Something moved behind that tree," said Dahms in a quiet voice.
"Yeah, I saw it," said Ben.
Gaal nodded his head as he stepped beside Ben. “Must be the dagger man.”
“Do you think he’ll know you?” asked Dahms.
“Oh yeah, he’ll know me.”
“Maybe he’ll let us go like the last guy did.”
Ben nodded his head. “Maybe,” he said.
Just then the man stepped out from behind the tree. He was wearing a blue and silver tunic with a matching
body suit. He had a leather helmet on his head with a blue plume sticking out the back. He was taller than most
of the men seen in Newusa although an inch shorter than Gaal, at about six foot three, and his arms were long.
The four of them walked side by side down the path until they were twenty feet from the man.
Dahms looked at him. "Do you know our friend, Ben Hillar?" she asked as she eyed him up and down.
"Yes I do.”
“Then maybe you’ll let us go like the last man.”
“Jimie Benz? If he let you go, then he’s a fool. Hurd will send him to the crystal pits, or at the very least
he’ll have him thrown in the city prison.”
“Better than killing needlessly,” said Dahms.
The man smiled and opened the cloak in front of his chest. He was wearing a vest with twelve daggers—six
on each side. “Who says it’s needless?”
“So you have no respect for human life?” asked Ben.
The man looked at Ben. “I never did like you much,” he said. “It’s actually going to be fun watching you
die. And more than that, I’m going to prove that the dagger is a more lethal weapon than the sword.”
“You sound a little jealous,” said Dahms. “What’s wrong—you never got the recognition that Ben has
The man gave her an angry look. “If you keep jawing, we’ll never get this over with,” he said.
“Spread out,” said Ben. “At least one of us should be able to get through.”
“Optimistic,” said the man as he pulled a dagger with each hand from the vest. “Unrealistically optimistic.”
He held them in a throwing position.
“We all attack at the same time,” said Ben.
“Yeah. Come on,” said the man. He took a step forward raising both hands in the air with the knives in a
throwing position. And that’s when the unexpected happened. The man’s foot came down on a little brown,
nut. It rolled under his boot causing his leg to kick high in the air. He fell backward loosing his grip on the
daggers as he tried to break his fall with his hands. His cloak flew upward, and as he crashed to the ground it
floated gently down and landed on his face.
“Fatal mistake!” yelled Ben. He and the others rushed forward.
The dagger man realized he was in trouble. He swept the tunic off his face and tried to regain his feet, but
before he could get further than a crouch there were four swords cutting through his chest.
Ben leaned over to use the dagger man’s cape to wipe the blood off his sword, but as he did he felt the whiff
of an arrow like a baby puffing against his face as it sped past his head and stuck in the tree.
“The archer,” yelled Dahms. “Let’s get the hell out of here.”
Without looking behind to see where he was, the four of them ran up the hill and down the other side.
"The archer will be wary about coming over the hill," said Ben. "So let's get going before he catches up."
Ahead of them was a series of small hills, more like rolling mounds, and then a large tree about fifty yards
away. "Another tree," said Sam.
"Yeah, and you know what's behind it," retorted Gaal.
"Yes," said Dahms almost in a whisper. “A dagger man and a swordsman.”