Jack sat still in horror for a moment. Dragon went to gallop forward, but Jack reined her back, shaking his head. “No, Dragon, I can’t challenge Castamir. I’m not doing it. It’s not worth it. She can take care of herself. It’s her own fault! She got herself into this, and she’s gonna get herself out! I don’t have time for this. I have a job to do.”
“But you care about your job, Jack, and you also care what happens to her.” A new, soft voice broke the silent woods. Jack whipped around on his saddle to see a woman with soft auburn-brown hair and a simple dress with traveling boots approaching. She led a sandy-tan colored horse behind her.
“Who are you? What are you talking about?”
“But you do, don’t you?”
“You have no idea who or what I’m talking about! And no I certainly do care anything about her! She’s been a pain to drag along with all the trouble she gets us in! I only care about getting this job done.”
“Jack, its me, Austel. I know a lot about your adventures, some contributed from Sabor. I know you will get this job done at any cost, but I just learned right now from you talking to your horse that you care what happens to Rowen as well.”
Jack stood in a silent fury at Austel. Yes he knew her, and yes he knew she was right, but he wasn’t about to admit that.
“Get out of my business, Austel, you meddle too much in things that don’t concern you. I thought you would have learned that lesson from last time,” Jack added scornfully. Austel narrowed her eyes and scowled at him.
“Well obviously I haven’t,” she replied haughtily. “Look, you, I didn’t come all this way just so you could slap me with ridicule.”
“Then what did you come for?” Jack asked.
“None of your business.” She said with a slight grin.
Jack threw up his hands and rolled his eyes.
“Oh, you are impossible!” He stated. Immediately this reminded him of Rowen, how she had said the exact same thing to him when he refused to tell her what was going on. Jack smiled at the memory, then looked up to see Austel’s grinning face.
“I rest my case,” Austel declared triumphantly, watching the looks on Jack’s face as he flashed back to memories.
“Look just leave me alone! You people have all screwed up my life enough!” Jack turned to leave, but Austel stayed his horse.
“Jack, you can’t leave her with Castamir!”
“Watch me.” Jack called over his shoulder as he wrenched the reigns from Austel’s grasp.
“Jack!” Austel screamed, now frantic. “Jack! H-he’s… he’s taking her to the Iron Hills!”
Jack stopped his horse.
“He’s taking her to the dragon caves. He’s taking her to his kind. They want her to persuade the dragons. She’s going to be at the mercy of Castamir’s kind. Oh, Jack! He’s taking her to the dungeons of the Seerganash!”
Chapter 1: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9127.html
Chapter 2: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9141.html
Chapter 3: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9184.html
Chapter 4: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9263.html
Chapter 5: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9297.html
Chapter 6: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9307.html
Chapter 7: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9356.html
Chapter 8: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9422.html
Chapter 9: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9472.html
Chapter 10: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9530.html
Chapter 11: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9566.html
Chapter 12: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9603.html