Black Rising By: Kevin Adams & Steve Bolin


Black Rising
Chapter 2 – Part 2
By: Kevin Adams & Steve Bolin

“King Yadin, I think you should come down to the dungeon.”

Yadin turned to see Merik Ladien standing there with a pleading look on his face. Like the wizard’s smile, no expression he wore ever seemed to reach his eyes. Yadin was in the armory, talking with Sergeant Brodin about the upcoming death sentence. The King didn’t appreciate being interrupted. “What is it, Merik?” he asked.

“The prisoner in your dungeons, his name is Dakmar Lancer. I think you’ll be most interested in seeing him this morning.”

King Forsythia opened his mouth to tell Merik that he wasn’t interested in hearing pleas of mercy from the assassin. Before he could speak a single word, his scarred palm began to itch furiously. He closed his mouth and scratched.

It was impolite to talk to Merik so rudely. After all, the healer was responsible for saving the lives of both his son and wife; he deserved the courtesy of being heard. No, now that he gave it further thought, he’d follow Merik to the dungeon. Sergeant Brodin could handle things here. There was no reason for him to stay; he’d just get in the way.

“Very well then, Healer, take me to Dakmar.”

“Thank you, King Yadin,” Merik replied. “And by the way, you may call me your Master Wizard from now on. It seems a bit less formal, don’t you think?”

Yadin didn’t think that at all, but was unable to voice his thoughts. He found himself quickly following Merik who’d already taken leave. They moved toward the staircase leading to the dungeons below.

Minutes later, Yadin stood beside Merik in front of a dimly lit cell. Sitting on the edge of an old wooden cot was a man he’d never seen before. His hair was in dreadlocks and his face looked thin from starvation. He looked battered and beaten. His clothing was nothing more than an ensemble of tattered rags. He stared vacantly at the floor, giving no indication that he was even aware of their presence.

Merik motioned a hand toward the prisoner. “King Yadin, this is Dakmar Lancer, the man who killed your father. I felt you needed to see him.”

Yadin Forsythia felt overwhelming anger at this man he’d never even met. If it weren’t for the bars separating them, his hands would be wrapped around this filthy assassin’s neck, choking the life from him. His emotions came back into check when Merik commanded the prisoner.

“Dakmar, come forward and present yourself to the King.”

Silently, the ragged man came forward, never once lifting his eyes from the floor. He stopped at the cell bars and stood expressionless, acting more like a puppet obeying its master. Perhaps he thought Merik controlled his strings.

The Master Wizard reached through the bars and took hold of Dakmar’s right hand. The prisoner offered no resistance of any kind as his hand was pulled outside the bars and turned palm up. “Do you recognize this scar, King Yadin?”

Yadin nodded his head. Though the man’s palm was dirt stained, he clearly recognized the scar. It was just as Sergeant Brodin had mentioned to him the night before.

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