Chapter no 46 – KAZI

Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2)

Banques waited in the room, staring at the fire, a puzzled expression on his face. “Even I don’t know what he’s up to, but I’m certain it’s not something you’ll enjoy. I’ll give you a bit of advice. Tell him what he wants to know now. You will eventually. Save yourself the agony.”

“Let me go, Banques. You’re facing a more certain fate than I am. He’ll eventually kill you. He doesn’t even trust you. He’ll turn on you—it’s just a matter of time.” My voice sounded calm, but I was anything but that inside. My mind skipped from one thought to another, desperately seeking a way, one last way out, even pleading and begging, though I knew that was futile. Maybe that was what happened when you were about to die. You stopped thinking rationally and your mind scraped, clawed, and scratched for any last grain of sand that could keep you from falling over a cliff.

Banques turned to me and laughed. “Montegue needs me more than I need him. Do you have any idea how much power I have? More than I ever dreamed of. When I was a captain in Morrighan, I had dreams of commanding my own outpost one day. Colonel—that was the whole of my aspirations. Now I’m a general, and I command the most powerful army on the continent. And they only number five hundred troops so far. That’s what’s astounding. And soon we’ll be adding to our stockpile of power. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Beautiful? What kind of madman describes weapons as beautiful?

He continued on, absorbed in his machinations. “We’re devising a ballista now that could strike targets miles away. Every kingdom will be—” He smiled and shrugged. “Let’s just say, we will be the center of everyone’s universe now. Nothing could make me give up that kind of power, especially not for someone like you. I have dreams Montegue hasn’t even thought of yet. He is the perfect partner in this venture.”

Distant barking erupted, yelping, as if hyenas had found a rabbit and were tearing it apart. Banques turned toward the door. The barking grew louder and was accompanied by footsteps. Banques shook his head.

My back was still to the door, but I heard it bang open, and the room was instantly filled with wild snarling and barking. Montegue stomped forward and spun my chair to face it all.

A handler held the leashes of two straining dogs. Not just any dogs.


Sour saliva bloomed in my mouth.

Montegue untied my arms and legs, but my neck was still chained to the center pillar. “Stand up,” he ordered.

I did, and he pulled the chair away.

“Look how eager they are,” he boasted, as if he controlled them. “They’re drooling over you already.” He leaned close and whispered. “Is this getting my hands dirty enough for you? Whatever Banques had planned for you, I promise it would have been nothing compared to this. I’m told there is no death that is quite like it. Very slow. Very painful. Some liken it to being burned alive—but gradually. It can take several days.”

I remembered the few hours of pain I had endured when I was bitten by them in the Ballenger tunnel. It was unbearable. Jase told me the agony of such a death could last as long as a week.

“I hid your vial behind the bench in the pavilion,” I confessed. “I was going to go back for it but then I didn’t get the chance.”

“Good,” Montegue said, nodding. “That’s a start. We’ll check it out right away.”

He walked over to the handler and took the leashes from him. “If you’re finally telling the truth, you’ll get the antidote.”

And then he let the dogs loose.

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