Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Assassin's Retirement: Chapter 34, Part 2 #amwriting #ION #gentleman #blogstory


Welcome Back to Assassin's Retirement. Finally! What are mantles? So it begins. :D

Copyright Lexi Ander


Skyld's grunt was filled with disgust. "We will find a way to get rid of him before he can do anything with what he knows. Even if I have to follow the ION agents back to San Diego, we will eliminate the threat he poses."

Zane hoped so, otherwise the body count would climb with every person Duvan came in contact with outside Denise, Beck, and Diego.

"There is nothing we can do about him now. Let's take a look at these mantles. I might be able to identify where some of them belong before I contact grandfather."

Zane agreed, though he hated having a threat like Duvan unresolved. He placed two of the cases on the floor, leaving one on the desk.

"These are runes, aren't they?" Zane indicated the symbols made by the brass tacks in the leather.

"They are protection runes, keeping magic practitioners from divining what the cases hold," Skyld replied.

"It doesn't hamper that murmuring," he commented, examining the latch for a trap. He wouldn't put it past Elle to have some kind of poison trigger.

"Since you and I are of the blood of scions, we will always be able to hear the call of unclaimed mantles. These protections are dampening the sounds, muddling the words so only those this close can hear them. That we can hear them at all is a testament to how powerful the mantles are." The more Skyld spoke, the angrier he became.

"Then I guess we need to get them back to where they belong." Determining there wasn't anything odd with the latch, Zane flicked it and the murmuring went suddenly quiet. But when he flipped the lid up, he staggered back at the sudden boom of numerous exclamations. That quiet murmur had turned into a cacophony of desperation that caused Zane to want to draw his guns and start shooting. They were all speaking at once, demanding Zane's attention.

"Please hear us, Scion!"

"Scion!"

"We are saved!"

"Help us!"

"I want to go home!"

"Where is my family? They are unprotected without me!"

"Please help!"

"Where are we?"

"No, where is she?"

"We must escape!"

"Hurry, before she returns!"

A headache bloomed in Zane's temples. For every plea he understood there were six more he could not comprehend. "Enough!" he snapped, unable to take any more.

Unexpectedly, the voices stopped, and he breathed a sigh of relief. Prying his eyes open, he glanced at Skyld who looked ghostly pale.

Feeling as if he should explain things, he looked into the interior of the case. The black velvet was hidden by dozens of smaller boxes of various shapes. "Elle is gone," he started, felling like an idiot, but he continued. "She is dead, and I have been given the task of making sure you are returned to your… families."

"Not to House of Odin's Runes?" one voice queried.

"Defiantly not them," he responded.

Realizing this was going to more complicated than he had anticipated, Zane glanced at the monitors. He should return to his guests soon and sorting the mantles felt like a day long endeavor. Skyld could help him, but ultimately, Anatha had made him responsible.

"For right now, we are going to pull you out of these cases. When I have more time, I will sit down with you and contact your families."

"Oh, thank you. We hate being locked up."

Skyld helped Zane empty the three cases onto the desk. Since they anticipated the rush of excited voices from the other two case, they were better able to deal with and subdue them. Those already freed helped, and Zane experienced a surreal moment he couldn't shake when the inanimate objects talked to each other. Eventually, Zane came to the end of what he could endure and rushed from the room after promising to return.

Skyld was on his heels, and when he closed the door, they were standing in the freezer. Zane stopped and took a second to gather himself, breathing in the chilled are as if he had been holding his breath. Of everything that had happened, that was the hardest to wrap his mind around. His headache only grew each time he tried.

"When I was a child, I used to love to listen to our mantles speak to each other," Skyld said, watching Zane closely, reaching over to squeeze Zane's neck. "I grew up with the natural phenomenon. But even I was overwhelmed by their need and fear."

"I have never heard your mantle… err… say anything." Zane glanced down at Skyld's wrists where the wide leather bands rested.

"She doesn't say much. Mantles, once they choose a scion, typically only speak with their person. Unclaimed mantles are the chatty ones. But when Paul sent you to me, I asked her to be careful. There wasn't a reason to say anything when there wasn't a chance of you claiming a mantle of your own when you came of age." Skyld sounded worried, as if he expected Zane to be angry. He wasn't, well, at least not at Skyld. Elle's house, on the other hand, he was furious with.

"No worries," Zane replied, making sure to meet Skyld's eyes, allowing him to see he spoke the truth. With a sigh of relief, Skyld squeezed Zane's neck again.

Before leaving the freezer, Zane grabbed some items to thaw. He had many people to feed for the next few days. He hoped that doing something mundane and domestic would help calm his nerves. Sometimes he did his best thinking while doing simple tasks.

Back in the kitchen, he loaded the instapot with one of the frozen roasts. He searched the refrigerator for root vegetables, washed them, and set out the cutting board. As he chopped, his mind wondered. Perhaps he could use el Chupacabra to lure the Grendel hunter out into the open? While he took care of the psychopath, Skyld could put down the el Chupacabra. Zane grinned to himself and popped a hunk of carrot into his mouth. See, it was already working. By the end of the day, he would have a great plan that would tie up all loose ends.

Table of Contents


Chapter One - Retirement
Chapter Two - Normal is not supposed to be this hard
Chapter Three - Caught
Chapter Four - Crimson Comet
Chapter Five - Mountain Magic
Chapter Six, Part 1 - Harbinger of a Nightmare
Chapter Six, Part 2 -
Chapter Seven, Part 1 - Stolen Answers
Chapter Seven, Part 2 -
Chapter Eight, Part 1 - No such thing as heroes
Chapter Eight, Part 2 -
Chapter Nine, Part 1 - Dead is supposed to be... dead
Chapter Nine, Part 2 -
Chapter Ten, Part 1 - Gathering Allies
Chapter Ten, Part 2
Chapter Eleven - Combustible
Chapter Twelve - Standing His Ground
Chapter Thirteen - Choices
Chapter Fourteen, Part 1
Chapter Fourteen, Part 2
Chapter Fifteen, Part 1 - To kill, or not to kill
Chapter Fifteen, Part 2
Chapter Sixteen - Maricoxi Guardians
Chapter Seventeen - Coincidence?
Chapter Eighteen, Part One - Guns Ablazin'
Chapter Eighteen, Part Two
Chapter Nineteen, Part One - Reckoning
Chapter Nineteen, Part Two
Chapter Twenty - Mercy
Chapter Twenty-One
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part One
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Two
Chapter Twenty-Two, Part Three
Chapter Twenty-Three
Chapter Twenty-Four
Chapter Twenty-Five, Part 1

Chapter Twenty-Five, Part 2
Chapter Twenty-Six
Chapter Twenty-Seven, Part One
Chapter Twenty-Seven, Part two
Chapter Twenty-Eight, Part One
Chapter Twenty-Eight, Part Two
Chapter Twenty-Nine, Part One
Chapter Twenty-Nine, Part Two
Chapter Twenty-Nine, Part Three
Chapter Twenty-Nine, Part Four
Chapter Thirty, Part One
Chapter Thirty, Part Two
Chapter Thirty-One
Chapter Thirty-One, Part Two
Chapter Thirty-Two
Chapter Thirty-Three, Part One
Chapter Thirty-Three, Part Two
Chapter Thirty-Three, Part Three
Chapter Thirty-Four, Part One
Chapter Thirty-Four Part Two
Chapter Thirty Five


Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

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