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Chapter no 50 – KAZI

Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2)

Tonight I woke. Or maybe it was a dream. But my eyes seemed to open. The room was as black as the deepest, darkest hole in the world, and I was falling into it, a hole that had no bottom, but through the attic window, a light shone, the brightest light I had ever seen.

Hold on to me, Kazi. Let me show you the stars.

I watched a sparkling galaxy pass by the small window. From the lowest star on the horizon to the highest one in the heavens. Some were horses racing across the sky. Don’t look down. Keep your eyes on the stars. That one there is Thieves’ Gold. And over there is Eagle’s Nest. I watched them glitter, listening to Jase whisper the stories of the universe.

Hold on to me, Kazi. I’ve got you. I won’t let go.

“I know, Jase,” I answered. “I know.”

 

 

She’s still shaking.

Give her more.

I’m not sure it will help.

She has to walk out there on her own.

A hand roughly patted my face.

Wake up, soldier. On your feet.

More liquid was pressed to my lips. I gagged.

Drink it.

I don’t think she can hear you.

She’s half dead already. She’s not going to make it to the gallows. The crowds are waiting. She has to make it.

More cold liquid. More coughing, choking, but the shaking stops. Blurry shapes become people. The same people.

“This is your last chance to save yourself, soldier. Give them over to us. The Ballengers have only betrayed you. We know there’s another entrance. That’s where you were going when you were caught. Tell us where it is.”

“The temple. The stables. The arena. The—”

Montegue grabbed my arms and shook me. “Why? What makes this worth your life?”

“A vow. Jase.” “Jase is dead.”

“Only to you,” I said.

“Her mind is gone!” Banques snapped. “Let’s get on with this.”

 

 

A door slammed shut. I was in some kind of cart. The wood planks beneath my hands were damp. No matter how hard I tried to focus, I felt myself slipping, losing my hold on the world.

You are going to die with nothing. Be nothing. Montegue was mistaken.

Maybe sometimes life and fantasies and family did all go completely wrong. But I had loved and been loved deeply and completely, not once but twice in my life. I would not trade that for all the riches that Montegue had to offer.

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