Teacher

Chapter 13 Part 9 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Temmin scrambled back from the book, knocking his chair over in his drive to get away. He knotted his fingers in his hair and pulled to keep himself from screaming, but a choking sob broke through. "How--how dare you--!"

"I told you, when I chose this story I did not know what would happen to your mother," said Teacher, arms folded behind.

"Uncaring, unfeeling whoreson!" Temmin shouted. "Pagg damn you, you bastard, you block of stone! You don't even remember your own mother! Get out of my sight!" Teacher didn't move. Temmin charged, and hit the wall of air he'd unconsciously expected. He staggered back. "Coward! Drop your shield! Fight me like a man, damn you!"

Chapter 13 Part 8 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

The day after he committed his father's body to the Hill, Tennoc rode down from the Keep to Tremont City for his hasty, simplified coronation, his father's reluctant lords at his back. Hanni followed behind, holding the reins of a white bull calf. They climbed the long winding switchbacks on foot up Pagg's Hill to the Temple at its top. He could have lifted himself to the top had he wished--Teacher had taught him to raise himself on a column of solid air--but he did not wish to leave his lords behind. He had lords now. What a strange thought. Would that he could depend on them.

Chapter 13 Part 7 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

The discovery of the guards' bodies put Gwyrfal in an uproar. "How could Tennoc have defeated three of my best men?" fretted Dunnoc. "Three men he trusted!"

"He had to have been warned, sire," said Daevys ar Ulvyn. "There's no other explanation, though perhaps it was his plan all along. He took them by surprise like a coward." He helped Dunnoc drink from his cup. The King shook now more than ever. His legs were growing stiff; he never left his rooms but for meals at which he presided but did not eat for fear of spilling food and drink down his front in public.

"Who could have done it? Who betrayed me?"

"We shall discover the man, sire. Or woman."

Chapter 13 Part 6 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

The Keep was a short ride down a wide, well-tended way called the War Road. "Our armies ride to battle from here, six abreast," said Teacher from a perch behind Tennoc. "These are the King's Woods. Only the King hunts here--and now you, if you please."

"I wish for nothing but a roof over my head at this point."

The trees thinned, giving Tennoc his first view of Tremont Keep, a stone fortress that was new in his great-grandfathers' day built into the living rock that sheered above the confluence of two rivers. Four rounded towers stood at each corner; the side closest to them bowed out toward the forest. A fifth tower rose just behind the bowed wall, higher than the other four. It looked out over the King's Woods and the foothills, and in the other direction, the Capital. Tennoc wondered how it stayed up; he'd never seen anything so tall.

Chapter 13 Part 5 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Teacher met that night with the nervous Duke, his fidgeting heir and the new Prince. No one in the room seemed at ease around the pale figure in dark robes; Teacher took their fear in stride. When a servant made a furtive sign of Amma--head, heart and groin--Teacher may even have smirked. "We leave tomorrow, Your Grace," said Teacher.

"The boy should rest, counselor, do you not think?" said Gonnor. "It's been a long journey for him…and I would like for Prince Temmin--Tennoc," at his grandson's lowering look, "to know his homeland and family. He's been on the road for more than two weeks already, surely a rest before such a long journey--it's the better part of a spoke to Tremont City."

"We will go back the way I came," said Teacher.

Chapter 13 Part 4 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Tennoc left the room much disturbed and ran almost headlong into Fallik. "Do you have a habit of listening at doors, cousin?" said Tennoc.

The cords stood out in the bigger man's neck. "You are a rude, dishonorable cur. I've half a mind to challenge you!"

"By all means!" answered Tennoc; his new power crackled and sang within him. "Name the time and place, if you ever find the other half."

Chapter 13 Part 1 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Meals at the Estate were still catch-as-catch-can; no one seemed up to being in company. Temmin and Jenks sat in his drawing room over a cold luncheon of cheese, fruit, ham, a loaf of good bread and a dish of pickles; the Estate's own dark amber ale foamed in mugs before them. "How is your pupil coming along?" said Temmin.

"Young Mr Wallek I believe has come far enough to spar with you, sir--if you've kept up your form at the Temple?"

Chapter 12 Part 10 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Tennoc's new power crackled in Temmin's hair and skin as he left the story; shadow pain stabbed at his side. "It never occurred to me Tennoc would get magic when he crossed the border."

"It never occurred to him, either. He knew both Dunnoc and Kenver had magic, but Kenver's was limited--blocking the spring at the siege of Maalig took all of it. Dunnoc was stronger, but men's magic is tied to the lands they control. Just the Heirs of Tremont held more even then than the kings of Kellen ever did. Were Dunnoc to ride into Whitehorse, his magic would vanish in any event, just as Tennoc had none in Kellen."

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Chapter 12 Part 3 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Once he arrived in his sitting room, Temmin called, "Hullo, Jenks, are you here?" No answer. His mother's influence extended to his rooms at the Estate, more to his taste than his grand apartments at the Keep: brighter and more open, the furnishings nimble--lighter and less formal. Few books graced the shelves here, and those that did contained the finer points of equine management, exciting Cavalry stories, or both. Ranged among them were his schoolbooks--most with near-pristine bindings, some with uncut pages.

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Chapter 9 Part 5 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Teacher paused. "Before we go, I must caution you against Maeve's son."

Sedra said nothing about her encounter with Connin. "Will he try to prevent me from taking the Traveler Queen to Mama?"

"No, no, but I cannot stay to bring you back. He must do it--he possesses much of the same power I do, and he is not bound to the King as I am. He will help you, but be aware he is a sly one." Teacher reached to touch her cheek; Sedra reflexively flinched. Teacher's hand dropped hastily away to take her own, and they swirled through the mirror.

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