The Faith: Book I of the Uprising Trilogy

Page 26 of 45

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Finally, I reached the wood outside of Octen. I stumbled through the foliage until I came upon the way station. Creeping forward, I had just lifted my hand to knock on the door when a gun-barrel was pressed against my neck, the metal as cold as ice. A suave voice spoke in my ear, the clipped words dropping like hammer strokes against an anvil.

"Give me one solid reason why I shouldn't kill you where you stand, stranger."

I swallowed. "Because, Logan, you might regret the conversation you'd have with my mother afterwards."

My friend swung me about, chuckling. He slapped me on the back as he drew me into a bear hug. "Good heavens, I had no idea. Some man sneaks towards us in the darkness, and you expect me to know who it is? Some people."

I didn't exactly guffaw. The prospect of being blown asunder wasn't too laughable in the dead of night. Logan led me inside where we found Phillip asleep. "We take the night in watches," explained my friend.

Shaking the king awake, we gathered around the small table to trade stories. I explained my trip, my meeting with Joseph, and the rendezvous at the monastery. While Phillip had never heard of Simon Duval, the plan struck him as admirable. For his part, Logan gave me no end of grief for my tardiness.

"We're sitting in a cramped hut in the woods, and you're enjoying the hospitality of a pack of friendly monks," he said. But it was all in fun.

It made no sense to leave that evening, so we again settled into the hut. Logan returned to the woods, guarding us as we slept. After my journey, I readily agreed to the others' proposal that they cover the watches for the evening. The morning would bring more travel. Perhaps we'd finally start righting the mess that had fallen about us like a haze.

I wasn't sure we could, but sleep took me before anything more pensive grabbed hold.

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