Something happened last week, and it prevented our newsletter from deploying until Wednesday. But I, Ran, the ever cheerful son of Sarn, the Curse Breaker, am on the case, and I’ve come up with a few theories about what might have happened:
- The newsletter service we use to talk to you decided hold on to it. Maybe they wanted to read my diaper-clad escapades?
- The Newsletter-Dragon held it hostage for a wide variety of reasons. I never did name her. I was going to, but I might have gotten distracted by more important matters like sparkly magic. What? I’m just a kid living in a fantasy world where magic is a everyday occurrence. (Admit it. If you had magic on tap, you’d play with it too!)
- Uncle Miren held it up because he wants more page time.
- This is the most unlikely of all, but Papa made me include it. He think his magic, which I might have been teasing while I typed, short-circuited something. I don’t see why that would affect anything. I waited to play with his magic until after I did the whole scheduling thing.
- The time change messed up something in the newsletter service’s system. I did work on this shortly before this whole daylight-losing clock fall back thingy went into effect. (This is our Scribe’s theory.)
- Hyntra didn’t like me sharing details of her plan. (This is Robin’s theory, but I don’t buy it. It’s a little too convenient. After all, Hyntra did play a starring but not very flattering role last week’s excerpt of Rogue Night .)
- Robin sabotaged it because the excerpts threatened her mission. (You can guess whose theory this is. ^)
- I did it. (This is the Newsletter-Dragon’s pet theory since my fingerprints all over last week’s newsletter.) But we all know I didn’t do it.
- There was a problem with our account. This actually happened last month because the service didn’t inform us that they’d added a silly little checkbox on page 477 of their terms and conditions, which we HAD to check before they’d send our newsletter. I checked, but that long-winded document hasn’t sprouted any new check boxes since last month.
- The Adversary did it. He’s the big bad, but he’s our big bad, so I’m tempted blame this all on him. He does have creepy minions who could have pull off this caper.
- We have acquired a new villain for our newsletter adventures. This one is a definite possibility. The Newsletter-Dragon hangs out with the sketchiest of characters.
And those are our theories. Who do you think did it?
A Robin of Larkspur Novel (Book 2)
Chapter 3, Part 3
“Here, Huntress,” said a male faun from somewhere nearby, possibly even behind that fir tree. “You have need of me?”
“Yes, I’m going hunting. Gather up a small party of Hunters. Five or six of us should be enough to capture a wolf pup.”
“A wolf pup, Huntress? Whatever for?”
“For the spell, you dolt. It requires a shapeshifter’s child, and I know there’s one around here somewhere.” Hyntra had sent their parents off to chase the mother of that witchling.
For a moment, Hyntra wondered how that was going, then she shrugged off that curiosity. Either Robin would show up for a proper rematch, or she’d die. Hyntra didn’t care which way things went anymore. She had bigger plans.
“But catching them might be difficult. They do run so,” Heshen said, reminding Hyntra he was still behind that fir tree.
Why hadn’t he gone off and gathered a party of Hunters like she’d asked? Must she do everything herself? Hyntra planted her fists on her hips and glared at Heshen through the tree he hid behind. What a coward. “Yes, I hope they do run. I hope they lead me on a merry chase. I do so love to chase my prey before I pounce on it.” Hyntra licked her lips in anticipation. That would be just the thing to restore her. “Well, don’t just stand there, get a move on. I gave you an order. Now get. I want to be out of here in the next ten minutes, less if you can manage it.”
“Yes, Huntress, but what about their parents? Won’t they come after us?”
“No, they can’t, not while they’re still wearing those stupid collars. But I wish they would. What a chase that would be.” And oh, how she hungered for that. A delicious shiver went through Hyntra at the thought of someone as strong, powerful, and fast as those shapeshifters chasing her.
Maybe she’d let them catch her. What a fight that would be. If only, Hyntra sighed and dug around in her pocket for the finder stone. She had a feeling she’d need it to find those pups. Their parents had probably made their den somewhere she wasn’t likely to look, and it would be as secure a place as they could make it.
Maybe they’d found someone to guard their den in their stead. Hyntra hoped so as she pulled a lumir crystal from her pocket. She needed a good fight.
The crystal lying on the palm of her hand was a luminous green because it was filled to the brim with earth magic, which allowed it to do so much more than glow. The finder stone vibrated in her hand, as she thought of puppies who could trade their canine bodies for more human-looking ones. Though why anyone would want to give up their fur and claws, Hyntra just couldn’t fathom.
She’d never do it. Hyntra was far too fond of her body. It was a perfect amalgamation of supple, womanly wiles coupled with the speed and grace of a hind and the soul of a lioness. Her silver hooves matched her midriff-hugging, creative attempt at chainmail, not that she needed it.
Her sleek fur hid a tough hide that wasn’t easily pierced. So, her mail shirt was more like jewelry to adorn her perfect breasts, which were covered in a brown fur so fine it blended to look like human skin, but it was so much warmer and tougher than that.
A divided skirt covered the essential bits and nothing else because a little mystery was food for desire. A riot of brown curls tumbled down her back, and a leather band kept those locks out of her green eyes. The finder stone spun on her palm, cutting short her admiring thoughts about herself. It was shaped like an arrow, and it stopped when it pointed eastward and emitted a pale green beam to point the way.
Of course, Heshen was nowhere to be found nor was her hunting party. What had possessed her to give that task to him? Hyntra dropped the glowing green crystal into her cleavage and allowed herself a moment to admire the effect.
Its glow shot out from between her breasts, and she smiled at the admiring looks she got when she passed Dressen. He’d attached a stick to a length of cord and used that simple contraption to trace precise circles where the spell indicated. It had many detailed diagrams of how those circles should be arranged.
Hyntra could leave him to fix the design that damned baby had wrecked, or she could detail Heshen to do that and take Dressen with her on the hunt. Decisions, decisions. Oh, to hell with it. She’d rather have Dressen along then that bumbling fool, Heshen. “Get Heshen to do that. You’re coming with me if that wound on your side is healed enough for a ride.” Hyntra ran her gaze down his flank and tried not to purr. His side looked healed enough for a ride through the snow.
“I’ll gladly turn this over to him, but She-Anne will do a better job. She wants this to work as much as you do.” Dressen closed the circle he’d been tracing in the dirt.
He had a point, but She-Anne already had a job. She was supposed to watch the mage’s son and the witch’s daughter. “She-Anne needs to stay where she is. She’s got an important job already. Who else would you suggest for this?”
“Reshi. I know you don’t like her, but she’s as exacting as She-Anne about things.” Dressen set a handful of sharpened sticks in a variety of widths aside and stood up.
“Fine, fine, tell her this task is all hers. She can recruit anyone she needs to get it done, preferably before we return.”
“When do we leave? Oh, right now I guess,” Dressen said as he noticed the green beam emanating from in between her breasts.
Hyntra might have preened just a little. The stone’s green glow did refract rather fetchingly off her chainmail shirt. “Good, hand that task over to her, grab a few more warm bodies and get ready to ride.”
Dressen smiled. “Yes, Huntress. I’ll get right on that.”
“Good,” Hyntra said then she spun on her silver hoof and sashayed away to fetch her moose. She was fleet-footed and fast, but why waste her energy on the search when she could save it for the chase? After all, that was what she hungered for.
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