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Into Battle (The Seventh Tower, Book 5) Garth Nix CHAPTER ONE High on the They only managed to recover by taking a series of tiny, hopping steps that. Bestselling author Garth Nix's amazing Seventh Tower series is back--now with a great new look!The Underfolk are restless. For a long time, they have kept. The Fall (The Seventh Tower, #1), Castle (The Seventh Tower, #2), Aenir (The Seventh Tower, #3), Above the Veil (The Seventh Tower, #4), Into Battle (Th.
Just curious. Now Tal spoke, but it was a spell that he chanted, not an answer. He did not know what the words meant, for he had been taught them by rote, and they were not of a language used by the Chosen. Because of this he had practiced Speaking the Words almost every day for years. Binding a Spiritshadow was the act that marked the beginning of his adult life, and the type and strength of the Spiritshadow he gained would greatly influence his ability to rise through the Orders of the Castle.
Tal suppressed a sudden image of himself trailing through the Red Corridors, while everyone laughed behind their hands, whispering, "Look at his spirit shadow. He bound a Storm Shepherd, can you believe it? She threw herself forward so violently that the Storm Shepherd holding her had to use its third and last finger to bring tier under control. In that moment, he lost track of the spell.
The words had to be said exactly, without pause. He had felt the power building in them and had known he would be able to bind the Storm Shepherd.
Now, as the power of the words dissipated, the bounds faded, too. Milla had spoiled his one chance to bind the Storm Shepherd. If he'd managed it, he could have set his new servant against the other Storm Shepherd. They wouldn't have to choose who had to die.
He tried to roll over to Milla, but the cloud finger held him fast. Surprisingly, the Storm Shepherd did. I was Speaking the Words. I was trying to bind the Storm Shepherd and save your stupid life! It is forbidden to everyone else. Olof would not accept the judgment of the Crone Mother, and she had to say the prayer. All the lightning that it had held in its hand was gone now, and its eyes sparked more brightly. Asteyr was one of the words in the binding spell, repeated several times. But how could the Chosen's binding spell be the same as the Icecarl's Prayer to Asteyr?
Which of you is to die? As the Storm Shepherd finished speaking, Milla suddenly struck at the one holding her down, plunging her bone knife into the creature's middle finger. The knife sank hilt-deep into the cloud-flesh and then bounced out again, the cloud reforming. He'd been thinking about the Storm Shepherds' curious reluctance to actually go ahead and kill one of them. The girl has offered her life, and we will take it!
But only if Milla helps find the Codex and takes it back to Ebbitt so he can find Gref. It sounded confused. One life, one gift. That is the rule of the hill.
One life is taken, one gift given! The pressure on his chest was lightening. The Storm Shepherds obviously found it harder to crush people they'd been introduced to. Now that he knew their names, Tal could see differences between the two Storm Shepherds.
Adras was taller by several stretches and wider, and had more lightning running along its puffy arms and hands. Odris was slighter and there were many more sparks in its eyes. From their shapes, Tal could tell Adras was male and Odris female. Tal knew that the great majority of the creatures of Aenir were bound to particular places, or to follow certain paths, or to roam within severely limited boundaries.
Within these bounds, they were also constrained to follow age-old spells and rituals. If Tal could work out the exact nature of the binding, he might be able to save himself and Milla. The Storm Shepherds looked at each other.
Then they lifted their hands and billowed back. Tal and Milia stood up and wiped the mud off their bodies. Most of it was on their backs. After a moment's hesitation, they helped each other get the worst of it off.
If blood is spilled here, hen you must come and ask for a life and give a gift in return. They have said they are bound here. Once off the hill we will be safe. He was getting impatient again. His question surprised the Storm Shepherds. Thunder crackled around them, and they bowed their heads together. They obviously thought their whispers could not be heard, but even whispering, their voices were as loud as a human speaking normally.
He hesitated before he continued. What he said next would seal his future and could not be unsaid. That made him feel guilty, too. How could he even temporarily value that more than Gref's freedom, or his mother's life? She looked at Tal as if he had suddenly turned into a Merwin.
It bound itself freely to a Chosen, and so became free of the bonds that held it to a place. Of course, the Chosen who let it wasn't allowed to bring it back until it was rebound to be an actual servant, not a companion… anyway, if they volunteer, we don't have to Mark the Bounds or Speak the Words.
We just Share the Shadow, which means giving them our natural shadows ". Her hand was on the hilt of her Merwin-horn sword. But do not think you have made me like you. I will not give up my shadow. I would rather die. Tal shook as he held back angry words.
He couldn't believe Milla was being so stubborn. Everything depended on this. Their own lives. His whole family.
Besides, he was honoring her, giving her the opportunity to get a Spiritshadow, to become almost like a Chosen! You must take both of us to be Spiritshadows. Tal stared at her. Their eyes met, but neither Chosen nor Icecarl blinked. It was a test of wills. Tal was sure that asking the Storm Shepherds to voluntarily join them as Spiritshadows was the only way to avoid either himself or Milla being sacrificed.
They were still staring when the ground beneath their feet suddenly shook, dropping at least a stretch. Tal and Milla both fell over again. Milla went over backward, and struck her head on a stone. He reached forward and placed his hand around Tal's shadow, as if he would pick it up. But he did not close his fingers. Odris did the same to Milla's shadow.
Tal expected the Icecarl to protest or move away, but Milla had struck her head sharply. She groggily tried to sit up, but her shadow didn't move enough to evade Odris's grasp.
Both Storm Shepherds paused. The ground continued to quake under Tal's feet, and he saw thin cracks suddenly run through the mud. Then they grew wider and joined, till one huge crack ran under Tal and Milla. Tal tore his attention away from the quickly widening crack under him. It was opening like a mouth, to swallow him up. He looked at Milla for an instant and made his decision.
He raised his Sunstone above his head and called the light that was used in the final part of a Spiritshadow binding, the light that moved through all seven colors, the light, that shared the shadow. The Storm Shepherds picked them up and thrust them into the middle of their cloud-bodies, where their hearts would be if they had them.
Tal felt a wrench as his shadow disappeared, and a rush of cold air that seemed to pass through his head. Immediately he became more aware of the amount of moisture in the air, and of the wind and sky. Small sparks shot out of his fingers and around his Sunstone. On the ground, Milla was also briefly surrounded by crackling sparks. Tal teetered on the edge, flailing his arms as he tried to regain his balance.
Milla, still half- unconscious, slid over the edge in a fountain of loose dirt, mud, and stone. Both fell into the dark earth. As Tal and Milla fell, the Storm Shepherds dived after them. Swooping down, they grabbed their new companions and shot back out of the crevasse.
Just as they cleared the rim, the giant crack snapped shut, spraying earth, stones, and mud into the sky.
Or you will be when we get back to the Castle. He wasn't sure what the procedure was now. If he'd bound Adras to him in the usual way, the. Storm Shepherd would be a servant and would have to do what he was told. But he was a free companion. Somehow, Tal thought, every time he got himself out of trouble he created a whole lot more for himself as well.
Nothing was ever simple. Thinking of trouble made Tal look across at Milla. She was hanging limply in Odris's grip, clearly still dazed by the blow to her head.
They'd gone up a long way very quickly and it was cold. Old Hrigga Hill was far below them, with the new lake surrounding it. He could see the forest, the one where the trees had walked away. They had stopped on higher ground, quite a long way south. The sun was almost down now. It had settled behind the line of hills to the west. The stars were quite clear above the hills, gleaming in the constellations of Aenir, many of them familiar to Tal from his early childhood.
There was the many-starred cluster called the Jewel Box, and the triangular formation known as the Dragonhead, though Tal didn't think it really looked like one. It was easy to keep staring at the stars, but that would not help his mission. Tal looked away. He had to think of what to do next.
He had to forget about his lost Spiritshadow and focus on finding the Codex. Where shall we alight? Tal peered down. There was the lake, the forest, and wide patches of bare grassland. He could see a ring of standing stones, but that was probably best avoided, for strong magic and stronger creatures made such places their home.
There were also some low hills, but Tal didn't like the look of them, after his experience with Old Hrigga. That was the trouble with Aenir, he thought. You could never tell when a hill was just a hill. It looked like a fire had raced through within the last few days. Hopefully this meant that the earth was just earth, and anything else that might have lurked there would have fled the fire. The Storm Shepherds began to drop down. Tal noticed that Adras got quite a lot colder as they fell, and that he kept looking across at Odris and adjusting his rate of fall to match her speed.
Tal sighed. It was already clear that Adras who would be his Spiritshadow back in the Castle -was not the smartest of Storm Shepherds.
Big and powerful, but a bit of a Dimmer when it came to brainpower. It was even worse than he feared. A smart Spiritshadow was of enormous help to an ambitious Chosen. A stupid one was quite the reverse. Are you all right? The fire had been recent, because he could still smell it. The odor of burnt grass was very strong. Tal hurried over. Milla must have hit her head harder than he'd thought. He knelt down beside her and mentally ran over the healing spells he could cast with his Sunstone.
But if she had a really serious head injury there was nothing. Suddenly he found himself on his back, with Milla's knee on his chest, and her bone knife at his throat. She leaned close, her eyes wild and her mouth set in an animal snarl. Milla was really going to kill him this time, he suddenly knew. The knife hurt and she would need to slide it in only a little bit more. She returned the knife to her sleeve. Tal sighed in relief. But his sigh was cut off as Milla suddenly pushed her thumbs against two nerves on his neck.
She pushed quickly three times. On the third push, Tal's eyes closed and his head fell back. Adras shrugged. She drew her Merwin-horn sword and cut at Odris, but the sword just went straight through the cloud-flesh. The bright Merwin horn could cut shadow, but here in Aenir, Odris was not a shadow.
I will go with you to your ". But her furious blows only exhausted her. Odris bore them without flinching. Adras merely watched Tal, crouching at his side like a huge statue carved from fog.
Finally Milla stood back and took several very slow breaths. She was using a Rovkir exercise, to prevent the onset of berserk fury. Milla stood staring into space for a moment, then she whispered, "I cannot be an Icecarl without my shadow. I cannot be a Shield Maiden without my shadow. I am no one without my shadow. Before the Storm Shepherd could continue, Milla turned and ran out into the star-flecked darkness.
Odris sighed, a big sigh that swept up a cloud of charcoal dust that blew over Adras. He growled, and puffed himself up a few times to shake it off. She sounded a a bit surprised. And don't go across to the Dark World without me.
The two Storm Shepherds slowly billowed their arms out to touch palms. Then Odris leapt up into the sky. She drew the wind around her and set off after Milla. Adras sat back down and looked at Tal. Somehow he could feel that the boy was all right. He was only sleeping now. It was odd being bound to a person, Adras thought, as his own breathing matched Tal's, and he felt his lightning-charged eyes begin to close. Storm Shepherds rarely slept, but he felt like it now.
As his eyes closed, his body lost its form, arms and legs spreading till they joined. The dark, threatening cloud in his middle smoothed into fluffy white. Within minutes, Adras became a circular mass of low cloud, hovering above the sleeping Tal.
Out in the darkness, three creatures looked upon the sleeping boy and considered what he might be like to eat. Tongues flicked in and out, sampling the air. There was a bitter tang to it, something to do with the cloud. Something that hinted of danger. The creatures hesitated. Perhaps the sleeping Chosen was not the easy prey they sought.
They touched tongues, exchanging information. Together they would decide whether to attack… or not. Milla fled through the darkness. But it was not the darkness she knew. There were tiny lights in the sky, stars, as Tal called them. There were unfamiliar scents in the air. Strange sounds, the calls of creatures that she did not know. She didn't even know which direction she was running in.
It was an unusual feeling for her. She had never been lost on the Ice, not for an instant. There was always a smell, a sound, the texture of the ice, the direction of the wind or the Selski migration. Milla was lost in a strange land. Another world. She had lost her shadow, and with it, her future. She had always wanted to be a Shield Maiden, dedicating her life to all the clans, and the protection of all Icecarls.
Free-willed shadows were one of the things the Shield Maidens swore to protect their people from. Back in the Dark World, Odris would be just such a shadow. Milla could never return to her people with Odris. But perhaps, she thought, if she could get back to the Dark World and the Ruin Ship without Odris following, the Mother Crone would be able to get her normal shadow back. Milla scowled. Here she was in a strange world, and she was distracting herself with dreams that could not be.
Her duty was clear. Return to the Dark World, deliver the Sunstone ring to her clan, report to the Mother Crone, and give herself to the Ice. Something rustled ahead of her, and Milla froze.
She had no idea what it could be. There didn't seem to be anything there, but she was sure she'd heard something. The starlight was bright enough to see a silhouette at least unless whatever made the noise was lying on the ground. Milla drew her sword and advanced slowly. The glow of the Merwin horn was enough to light up the ground under her feet, but no farther. She halted every few steps to listen and look carefully ahead of her. There was nothing to see.
The burned grassland had stopped twenty or thirty stretches behind her. Now there was just short green and yellow grass ahead. Too short to hide a creature bigger than Milla's foot. Milla took a few more steps forward. Something didn't feel quite right, but she wasn't sure what it was. There was a faint smell, something different than the burned patches or the usual smell of the grass.
She sniffed experimentally. The smell was close. It was the scent of slightly rotting meat, overlaid by the fresh scent of grass. It was very close. Milla looked at the Sunstone ring on her hand. She didn't really know how to use it, but she thought she could probably raise some sort of light. Tal and Ebbitt had shown her how to concentrate on the stone. The ground rippled slightly under her feet. Milla frowned. She still couldn't see anything in this starlight, and she didn't know what she was smelling.
She raised her hand so she could look directly at the Sunstone. It reflected the starlight, but there was also the faintest hint of yellow fire at its center. Milla stared at it, willing it to grow brighter. It did start to grow brighter. Milla smiled. She could feel it in the middle of her forehead, and could think it brighter.
So she did. It grew brighter still, till she couldn't see her hand for the brightness. It was a harsh light, very different from the soft illumination of Icecarl moth-lamps. Milla raised her hand above her head and looked around. She still couldn't see anything threatening. The only oddity was that she was standing on a large, irregular square of grass that was greener than all the rest….
She jumped forward, just as the Hugthing writhed up from the ground, wrapping its flat, mossy body around her legs and waist like a blanket. Milla fell forward. If she hadn't jumped she would have been totally smothered by the Hugthing. But even with her arms and head free, the creature held her in a grip that was too strong to escape. Milla kicked and struck at it with her sword, but the moss simply absorbed the blows and tightened even more.
The Hugthing squeezed tighter, and Milla felt her muscles being crushed as she tried to resist. It was climbing up her stomach, too, and would soon have a grip on her lungs. Fire was probably the only thing that could hurt it. Milla suddenly realized that someone had tried to burn this monstrosity back where Tal and the Storm Shepherds were.
That was why there was a trail of burnt grassland. Milla pushed her Sunstone against the moss and focused all her will on it, instinctively falling into the correct Rovkir-breathing pattern to shut off the pain of being crushed. This time she wanted heat as well as light. She wanted the Sunstone to burn as hot as its namesake. Even if she lost her ring finger, she would escape this terrible living trap. The Sunstone grew brighter and brighter, so bright that Milla had to half close her eyes and turn away.
But the stone didn't get any hotter, and the Hugthing squeezed and squeezed and Milla felt her joints cracking and the air slowly being forced from her lungs…. There was a sudden rush of cold air above Milla. A cloud blotted out the stars, and then a jagged bolt of lightning lit up the sky.
It struck the green mossback of the Hugthing and Milla felt a strange shock go through her body. The creature reared back, let out a high whistle, and immediately let go of Milla. More lightning struck and thunder boomed. Milla crawled rapidly away. Her legs and ribs hurt, but as far as she could tell nothing was broken. She was just bruised, and that was nothing to an Icecarl. Above her head, Odris sent down a dozen more lightning bolts, driving the Hugthing farther away.
But even though it rippled and undulated across the ground at a frightful speed, it didn't seem badly hurt. It was clearly afraid of the lightning, and each strike did leave a blackened mark on its green mossback, but that was all. Milla watched it flowing off and shuddered. Something that hard to slay was very dangerous indeed. At least she knew the smell of it now. Fresh-cut grass mixed with rotting meat. She hoped she had a flaming torch and a bottle of Selski oil in her hand next time she saw one.
Odris sent one last bolt of lightning after the Hugthing, then circled back and settled down near Milla, growing two long legs to anchor herself in one place. But they are vicious hunters of anything made of… meat. It had been a mistake coming to Aenir. She should have tried harder to leave the Castle and deliver the Sunstone to her clan. Now there was a chance she might not be able to get back at all, and the Far Raiders would soon have nothing but moth-lamps and glowjellies to light their way.
Her chances of returning would be better if she let Odris help her. She hadn't properly thought everything through before. She'd panicked something she never thought she'd do. Milla frowned, and forced herself to go back and think the problem through from the beginning.
Her quest was to deliver a Sunstone to the Far Raiders. She had forgotten that, letting herself imagine even greater triumphs, returning to the Ship with information even the Crone Mothers did not know.
She had wanted to be a famous Shield Maiden, the one who had gone to another world and learned of new dangers to the clans. That ambition had led her from her duty. Neglect of her true purpose had destroyed her dream of being a Shield Maiden. She had wagered her future and had lost her shadow, all for pride and ambition. She had demonstrated to the world - and to herself - that she was not fit to be a Shield Maiden.
She knew she had to get back as soon as possible, deliver the Sunstone and then… the Ice would judge her. The one that shines a little blue? That is Norrin, sad star of the east, who weeps for company. I do not know why that one is blue. But Norrin always shows the way east. The Dark World was not strange to her, but for the first time she wondered why it was so. The Veil was not a natural thing. It had been made, placed in the heavens to block out the light.
Who had made it? And why? I will count my breaths and wake when it is my turn. We have long dozed above and around Old Hrigga Hill, so I am rested.
She made her Sunstone brighten and carefully examined the grass all around. It was satisfactorily brown and uneven, but she still felt a faint buzz of fear as she lay down. It was odd to sleep without heavy furs, but the night was warm. Milla made sure her sword was under her hand, and then she began the process of telling herself to wake up after fourteen hundred breaths. That done, she sank quickly into sleep. Odris yawned, surprising herself.
To keep awake, she launched herself into the air. She hadn't expected to feel sleepy, but it made sense. She could feel Milla's shadow inside her, and the connection from it to the sleeping Icecarl. Odris could also sense some part of Milla's dreams. It was like seeing something out of the corner of her eyes. She kept getting fleeting glimpses of a great expanse of ice, and strange creatures, and men and women in furs, and a ship….
Odris blinked again, shutting the images out. Then she shot around in a wide circle, exerting herself in order to keep awake. There was no sign of the Hugthing, but there were many creatures that roamed the night in Aenir. Odris kept some lightning crackling in her right hand, and her eyes on the ground. Tal woke to find Adras floating above him, blocking out the sun.
Judging from the heat and how high the sun was, it was late morning. Tal looked around at the grass blowing in the light breeze and sighed. Perhaps there was something else he could have done, Tal thought as he massaged his neck. But he couldn't think of anything, even now.
Besides, what was done was done. The more he thought about it, the more convinced he was that he'd been absolutely right and Milla was merely a barbarian who didn't understand. She had no right to try and strangle him. After all the things he'd done for her.
She had a Sunstone. Now she would have a Spiritshadow as well. She was practically a Chosen, and she owed it all to Tal. Her silly Icecarl superstitions weren't worth bothering about. He supposed she was an enemy now. If he saw her again he'd have to blast her before she could attack him. He wished he hadn't thought of that. His anger melted away, and he felt depressed. And hungry. Still rubbing his neck, Tal walked out into the sun.
Its heat cheered him up a little. He reminded himself that what he had to do now was work out where to go and what to do. A large flying beetle, all blue and gold, buzzed up and Tal brushed it away from his face. As he did so, he saw part of the Storm Shepherd's shadow move.
There was an area there that was darker, in the outline of a boy. Tal moved his hand again and that darker shadow moved, too. Tal had not been taught about this in the Lectorium. He walked a few paces farther away, and moved his arms up and down. The darker boyshadow in the middle of the Storm Shepherd's shadow moved its arms up and down. Tal walked even farther away, but the boyshadow stayed exactly in the middle of Adras's shadow. It mimicked his movements, but did not follow him as a real shadow would.
Tal shook his head. There was so much to try and understand. Only a few months ago he had thought he knew pretty much everything he needed to know. He had supposed he was well on the way to becoming a Shadowmaster. Now he only knew how much he didn't know. The cloud shivered and then started to reform into man-shape again. It grew darker, and lightning began to flicker in the shape of eyes.
It took a few minutes to completely regain its form, then the Storm Shepherd bobbed a few stretches away from Tal. His huge hand narrowly missed Tal, who was blown back a step by the sudden rush of air. It's some sort of book. It can answer all sorts of questions. Have you heard of it, or where it might be? Adras scratched his head, small lightnings flickering across his scalp. The beetle circled Tal's head, almost as if it was listening.
Is there anyone who can help me find the Codex? The beetle flew around Tal's head the other way and then made a series of strange up and down movements that Tal ignored. Now there were two bugs, and then a third flew in, followed by a fourth. They were flying into a pattern right in front of his face. Tal was no longer really listening. More and more bugs had flown in, and now they were landing on the burnt ground at his feet and moving into a very deliberate pattern.
Tal looked down at it, perplexed. Fifty or sixty bugs had formed an arrow pointing southeast, and there were at least as many building up some sort of symbol next to the arrow. The symbol was about three-quarters formed when Tal realized what it was. A letter of the alphabet the Chosen used for Light Magic.
The letter C. He leaned forward to look at the bugs. Unfortunately his breath blew half of them away, just as they were forming another letter, obviously in answer to Tal's question. It looked like a Y, but the bugs were blown away before it could be finished. Tal took a very deep breath. The bugs weren't doing anything organized now. They were crawling around aimlessly, or taking wing to disappear in all directions.
He pointed in the direction the temporary arrow of bugs had indicated. Tal hesitated. He had no way of knowing who had sent the bugs, or how it was done.
But finding the Codex was everything. With it he could find out who held his brother, Gref, captive, and a lot more besides. He looked down at the scars on his wrist, the marks of the oaths he had sworn with Milla. Then he deliberately pulled his sleeves down over them and started walking. Milla woke exactly as she had ordered herself, on the exhalation of her fourteen-hundredth breath. Night was ending, and the sun was starting to rise.
Milla stared at it in fascination. It really was like a gigantic Sunstone climbing above the hills. Milla looked across at the Storm Shepherd. It was not so bad now, but every time she looked she imagined what the creature would be like as a shadow. She simply flew off a short distance, to give Milla more space. Milla did some stretches, ignoring the pain from her bruises. In the light of day she saw that her legs were mottled with dark patches and scratches.
There would be swelling, too, in her joints. It would not be easy for her to walk. I need to drink and wash. Odris reached down and gripped Milla's forearms with her puffy fingers. Then she rose up in a series of jerks, trailing Milla only a few stretches above the ground.
They headed east, but Odris could not lift Milla very high. Every now and then she actually dropped down far enough that Milla's feet touched, which hurt, since they were flying quite fast.
Milla noticed that Odris seemed able to change the wind so it always blew behind her, driving in the direction the Storm Shepherd chose. The grassland continued for a long time. Odris started to dip more often and Milla's feet got quite sore, until finally they saw a small lake ahead. Bright blue, it glittered in the morning sun, an irregular patch of water about as big as a full-grown Selski and much the same shape. Once again, Odris complied without speaking. She dropped Milla gently enough, right by the water's edge, then shot sharply up to rest fifty stretches or more above the Icecarl.
Milla looked at the water carefully. On her world, open water was rare and very dangerous. Apart from a few permanent areas near hot springs, it only occurred where the living sea of the Selski met the Slepenish that came up through the ice.
The result of that encounter was always a vast swath of broken ice and choppy seas. This water was very clear. Milla could see right down to its sandy bottom. She could see no sign of any fish, but there were small clumps of weeds.
Even so, Milla was cautious. She drew her Merwinhorn sword. Keeping it in her right hand, she knelt down to dip her left hand in the lake and take a drink of water. As her fingers touched the surface, the water suddenly frothed and a current began to swirl violently around the edges. Milla snatched her hand back and retreated, sword at the ready. The water continued to swirl.
Then a huge shape suddenly rose out of the middle of the lake. For a moment Milla thought it was something like a Merwin emerging. Then she saw that it was actually more water, but water that had risen in a definite shape. A second later, Milla realized that it was a nose. And there were two deep black holes that were eyes, and ridges of eyebrows made of darker, greener water. The mouth was only a few stretches away from where Milla had knelt.
It opened. Water pushed up to form lips, and drained away at the same time to create a throat. The lips moved and a gurgling roar came out, accompanied by a fine spray that splashed over Milla. She winced and drew back. It took her a while to recognize that the gurgle was actually speech, and that she could understand it.
As she backed away, her left hand suddenly thrust itself forward, without her control.
Milla grimaced as the jolt ran through into her shoulder. It felt like her hand was held by an invisible rope, but all she could see were a few drops of water where she'd dipped it in the lake. There was magic at work here, magic that worked through the water her hand had touched. For a moment, Milla considered cutting off her hand. But that would reduce her chances of surviving long enough to return to the Ruin Ship and deliver the Sunstone.
It might have to be done, but she should try everything else first. Milla looked up, but Odris had come no closer. Either the Storm Shepherd was biding her time before coming to help, or she was sulking over Milla's behavior toward her.
It would mean nothing to this strange water spirit. It is lonely here, and I am forbidden to slosh my way to more interesting parts.
I am bound here, and must play my part. You have come here, and must play yours. It is destined to be your new Spiritshadow, I would guess, and you a Chosen who has recently bound it. Though it could do much to a Chosen. Milla tried to lift her foot, but the water was like glue.
She could only get her heel a few finger- widths off the ground before the water sucked it back down. The Icecarl considered cutting at the water, but that was almost certain not to work and would only make her look foolish.
Once again she regretted not knowing how to use her Sunstone. A proper blast from that could boil the lake like Selski blubber in a melting pot. She didn't think the Face would enjoy being turned into steam.
But she didn't know how to blast it. And she couldn't fight it. It was a very strange feeling. There was nothing on the Dark World she couldn't at least try to fight. If you can answer three riddles, I will let you go.
I will even give you a gift. For each riddle you cannot answer, you will stay with me for a hundred days, and we will talk. As I said, it is lonely here. Too many travelers know of my fondness for conversation. Riddling was popular among Icecarls, but Milla had never been good at it, or particularly interested.
Riddling was Crone-work, really, or for singers and Sword-Thanes. She could not possibly let herself be trapped here for even one day, let alone a hundred. It pouted its great watery lips. Her long tresses hang toward the sky Hair that burns when it is dry Food to man and creature's lair Name both her and her hair.
Milla listened without expression, committing the words to memory. Odris drifted down toward her. She didn't want to waste the Storm Shepherd's help so early. If the Face asked her a riddle that depended on some knowledge of Aenir, she would have to rely on Odris, much as she hated to do so. I wish I'd picked the other one. Milla ignored her. She was going over all the riddles she knew, in case they inspired her. The answers to most of the Icecarls' riddles could be found in their everyday lives.
That might be the case here. But what would the everyday life of this strange Face in the water be like? There was nothing here except the lake and whatever was in it…. In it. That was the clue. Milla laughed as she looked into the water. It had been staring her in the face all the time.
A tricky riddle for a smart Chosen, yes? Once again thunder smothered her words, but the lightning struck the earth on the far side of the lake. Whatever Odris was playing at, she was being careful. Milla frowned as she also recognized that she now knew much more about lightning than she ever had before.
No one had told Milla about this. She just knew it. For the first week, he is carried south. For the second week, he carries others. In the third week, he flies up into the sky. Epub electronic overview of the book Castle The Seventh Tower, 2 by Garth Nix total ebook assessment survey by site site collections. Castle The Seventh Tower, 2 by Garth Nix issues tutorial complete character types report with examination instruction dummies making use of all chapters gratis, sparknotes author, component introduction.
Kundeservice; Se din ordrestatus;. Bog, paperback. Write Review. Add to favorites. Author s Garth Nix. Genre s General Fiction. Age Range. The Fall The Seventh Tower,. The Seventh Tower 4.