Spy Glass Page 118

No! Unable to speak, I appealed to Devlen. He remained stubborn, but his eyes were wide as if he had been scared. “Opal, don’t—”

Before Galen could finish, a puff sounded. A strange clear dart struck my bicep. I teetered and Galen caught me as I collapsed.

“Heal yourself,” he said. “Push the drug from your arm. Now.”

I envisioned a little butterfly sucking the drug as if it were nectar. Liquid trickled down my arm. The Bloodroses didn’t wait to see if I was successful. They surged to their feet and chaos erupted as they attacked the guards.

Galen yanked me down as he crouched low. “Protect us from objects.”

I covered us with a glass barrier. Darts ricocheted off it and from within, I watched the fighting. Bloodroses wielded glass knives, glass darts and bamboo spears tipped with glass. The weapons might not be as strong as steel, but they were razor sharp and a slash across an unprotected neck did the job as well as a sword through the heart. I silently cheered them on.

Quinn threw glass balls that seemed ineffective at first, but must have been charged with heat. They ignited clothing and tablecloths.

“Idiots,” Galen said. He pulled me through the melee and we exited. “Secure the doors,” he ordered.

They slammed shut, trapping everyone inside. I looked away as black smoke poured from the chimney. The flames spread. Horrified, sick and disgusted weren’t strong enough to describe my torment. I huddled on the ground in misery. The black clouds overhead matched my mood until I realized they were thickening.

An explosion rocked the ground as the roof of the dining room blew apart. Then rain teemed from the sky. The incredible deluge soaked me in an instant and I choked on water, but I didn’t care as the fire sputtered and died.

“Damn Stormdancers,” Galen said.

He would soon have another problem. I spotted Valek approaching us. The clan members streamed from another hole in the dining room, but they kept their distance from us.

“Can you sense the Stormdancers?” Galen asked me.

“Yes.”

Kade and Heli worked to free the others.

“Stop them from helping the Bloodroses. Now.”

I projected my magic. As slow as possible, I smoothed it over Heli and then Kade, erecting a null shield around them. The rain lessened into a drizzle and ceased. But by this time, Valek had arrived.

Galen appraised the assassin with a critical eye. “Am I supposed to be scared of you?”

“With my reputation, you should be terrified,” Valek said.

“Because of your immunity? Didn’t Opal tell you about the null shields?”

“She did.” He flung a succession of darts at us.

Galen easily batted them away. His magic was strong enough for a few missiles. Then Valek withdrew glass balls from his pockets and lobbed them. They crashed around us, but the breeze carried the sleeping gas away. Valek stopped moving when Galen encased him in a null shield. Valek looked furious. But by then, Devlen, Ari and Janco had joined the Bloodroses outside, which, I suspected, had been Valek’s intent.

Before Galen reacted, a battle cry rose. As one they rushed us, screaming loudly. Galen shouted my name, but the noise from their attack drowned out the rest of his words.

Pushed and shoved, I was hustled along and up a slight dune of sand. I bumped into Quinn. He gave me a wild grin and thrust glass into my hands. An orb.

“We’re doing it, Opal,” he shouted. “Fighting together!”

Even outnumbered, Galen had magic and the skills to defend himself. He had cleared a space around him. From my position, I had a good view despite being boxed in by Bloodroses.

The mob shifted and I stumbled. A strong arm encircled my waist, steadying me.

Devlen pointed to the orb in my hands. “Can you drain him?”

I shook my head no.

“How about a null shield?”

Frustrated, I grabbed Quinn’s arm. Can you hear me?

He blinked in surprise. “Yes.”

Tell Devlen I can’t erect a null shield, but you can.

“I can’t. I don’t know how!”

I’ll help you. We can only do this together. All of us.

“But my magic is weak and it only sticks to glass.”

Stick it to that glass ball you made and use the black diamonds for a power boost.

“Oh. Okay.” He plowed through the crowd.

“Where is he going?” Devlen asked.

I waved him off, too tired to explain with gestures. Exhaustion tugged and I sagged against Devlen. Galen must be tapping my power to protect against the Bloodroses, and to keep Valek trapped.

“He’s big and bad, but don’t get me mad,” Janco sang out.

I glanced over at Galen. He fought Janco. The Ixian had donned a null shield jacket and had found a sword. Their swords clashed with a clang and I noticed Janco held his weapon with two hands. It was Valek’s broadsword. Why hadn’t Ari taken it? He could wield it one-handed.

But then Janco attacked with a flurry of strikes. Even with the heavy sword, his speed was impressive. Too bad Galen was the better swordsman. The match wouldn’t last long. I willed Quinn to hurry.

The young magician’s feet pounded on the sand. He wasn’t even out of breath. We found a quiet spot away from the crowd. I sat cross-legged in the sand and Quinn plopped next to me. Loophole number one—Galen never told me not to help Quinn.

Touching his arm, I said, Hold the glass in one hand and the diamonds in the other. Since he had worked with glass, I used his experience to explain how to build a shield. It had worked for me. I hoped it would for him.

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