Chapter no 70

A Court of Silver Flames

Bellius sent his warriors through the bottleneck first. A wise move, designed to wear Nesta down.

She had no choice but to meet them.

There were no hateful voices in her head. Only the knowledge that her friends lay behind her, beyond the line she’d drawn in the earth, and she would not cede that line to these males.

She would not fail her friends. She had no room for fear in her heart. Only calm. Determination.

And love.

Nesta’s lips curved in a smile as the first of the warriors ran at her, sword raised. She was still smiling when she lifted her shield to take the full impact of the blow.

Nesta slammed her shield into the first male, sliced the shins of the second, and dispatched the third with a parry that sent him careening into the fourth and both of them tumbling to the ground. One for each breath, a movement for each inhale and exhale. She stilled her mind again, let it root her.

For a heartbeat, she wondered what she might have done with Ataraxia in her hand. What she might do with this body, these skills trained into her bones. If she was worthy of the sword at last.

She’d opted for a name in the Old Language, a tongue no one had spoken in fifteen thousand years. A name Lanthys had laughed to hear.

Nesta engaged four of the Illyrians at once, then five, then six, and the males started to go down, one after another. Nesta held the line in a storm of unflinching focus and death, guarding the friends at her back.

Ataraxia, she had named that magic sword. Inner Peace.

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