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Chapter no 37 – JASE

Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2)

“What are we going to do with the horses once we reach the cave?” Synové asked.

“There’s room,” I answered. “They can go in too, at least a good part of the way.”

“So does this make us family?” Wren asked. “Because I don’t need any more family.”

“It makes us something,” I said. “You can decide.”

“Family, as I see it,” Synové answered. “This is a pretty big secret. The hidden entrance,” she said with hushed drama. “We either have to be family or you have to kill us. Isn’t that how these kinds of secrets work?”

Wren took out her ziethe and spun it. “There’s alternatives.”

“Family,” I confirmed. Wren’s alternative wasn’t appealing. But the truth was, they were Kazi’s family, and that made them mine too. And they were laying their lives on the line for her—that made them an even deeper kind of family.

Wren stopped her horse and put a finger to her lips.

We all stopped and listened. Footsteps. Scrambling footsteps. And grunts. We signaled one another, and I quietly slipped from Mije. Synové nocked an arrow.

There had been a lot of soldiers combing the mountain, I assumed in search of the gray-haired woman. We had encountered one group, but once they questioned us, they let us continue on our way, convinced we were only hapless Kbaaki trying to return home. But these footsteps sounded different. Someone alone. And in a hurry.

Maybe the woman who had escaped? If she was in trouble with the king, it meant she was probably a loyalist. We could help her. We got a late start leaving town, but we would make it to the vault before nightfall if we didn’t encounter any problems. She could come with us.

The rustling footsteps grew louder. It helped mask my own footsteps. I held my finger to my mouth, signaling Wren and Synové to remain quiet as I crept close to the ridge. The noise was just below me. I looked down the small embankment to another path that paralleled ours.

Someone was scrambling up the slope. My head pounded as I tried to decide between staying concealed or leaping over the embankment.

I leapt.

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