Bloodline (Cradle #9) - Will Wight Page 0,1
longer anyone left to cry out.
She hadn’t won anything.
She had only delayed defeat.
Mercy sat at her brother’s bedside, carefully peeling a fruit. She offered him a slice with trembling fingers.
“Pride…” she said softly. “Would you like this? Only if you feel up to it, okay? Don’t strain yourself.”
Pride snatched the rest of the fruit from her hand, leaving her holding only the slice. He bit into its flesh with an audible crunch.
He was trying to prove how strong he was, and that effort touched her. She almost teared up again, thinking of the suffering he’d been through when she failed to protect him. Juice dribbled down his chin, and she reached out with a napkin.
He slapped her hand away. “What are you doing?”
She spoke in a quiet, soothing tone. “You don’t have to prove yourself to me. It’s okay. You can relax.”
“That’s enough. Get out of the way.” He tossed the fruit aside and slid out of the bed.
“No! Aunt Charity said you have to rest!”
She wrestled him down, and initially she overpowered him. Until four Enforcer techniques flowed through him, and then he broke her grip, seized her by the shoulders, and shoved her back down into her chair.
Now that he stood over her for once, he glared down. “How injured do I look to you?”
Not at all, she had to admit. Her brother was a compact and heavily muscled man, which fit his Book with its many Enforcer techniques. He looked healthy as ever, ready to wrestle a bear, and his purple eyes had a sharp gleam.
He wasn’t injured anymore, and she knew that. In fact, as she understood it, Charity had restored him to the point that he had never been hurt in the first place.
“She still told you to rest,” Mercy insisted, and it sounded like a plea.
“Not to strain myself,” Pride corrected. “Straining myself is fighting two Overlords at once.” His voice caught on that sentence, darker emotion bleeding through, but he continued as though he didn’t notice. “I don’t need someone spoon-feeding me.”
Mercy hung her head. She knew all that, she just didn’t know what else she could do for him. Charity had emphasized that, while his physical and spiritual wounds were gone, the mental and emotional consequences were difficult to determine.
Coming from the Sage of the Silver Heart, that warning had sounded dire indeed.
More than just a shadow on his heart, this experience could impact his willpower and slow his future advancement. And it was all Mercy’s fault.
She had apologized over and over, until Pride had hit her on the head to stop her from talking. Now…she only wanted to help her little brother. She just didn’t know how.
Shakily, she offered him the one remaining wedge of fruit.
He sighed before taking it.
A shadow passing over the room was all the warning they had before Uncle Fury popped into existence between them, screaming loudly enough to hurt their ears.
Mercy was on her feet, readying Suu with an arrow of madra, and Pride fell back onto his bed with hands raised defensively.
Fury’s scream trailed off. “Sorry, sorry!” He rubbed the back of his head sheepishly, his hair drifting like black seaweed caught in an unseen current. “Not used to that yet. I thought I was about to fling myself into the center of the earth.”
Mercy straightened to meet his eyes, though she wasn’t quite tall enough. She ground the butt of her staff into the floor, and the dragon-headed Suu hissed. “What were you doing? Do you see what you did to Pride?”
Pride had already straightened and was brushing off his clothes. “I’m fine.”
Fury looked more embarrassed. “I didn’t mean to. It’s not as easy as Charity makes it look. How you feeling, Pride?”
“Oh, great!” He glanced at Mercy’s face before coughing and continuing to speak. “Ah, yeah, but wounds can be deeper than you realize. Even when the healing is done exactly right, sometimes time is still the best cure.”
“I think he’s pushing himself too much,” Mercy insisted.
Fury blinked. “By standing up?”
Pride gave her a look of superiority.
“He can handle it.” A trace of rage crept into Fury’s face, and his crimson eyes burned. “I came to let you know that we’ve captured Seishen Daji.”
Pride ground his teeth, and even Mercy felt a cold anger. She had known it was only a matter of time before the family found the Seishen Lords, but they had produced results even faster than she expected.
Now they would face justice.
“The trial’s in a few hours. Mercy, she wants