The Warlord's Secret (CHAPTER THREE, page 2 of 23)

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Tiyan, above all else.


The first arrow planted itself firmly in the rump of Sirian's spirited grey. The horse whinnied and bolted. It shoved Rissa's horse off the trail in its haste, where a branch knocked her to the ground. Her guards watched in surprise as Sirian and his horse disappeared around the bend. She scrambled to her feet, drawing her sword.

White and black feathered arrows suddenly poured from the surrounding forest.

Taran met the first attacker head on with his sword and sought to turn his horse with his legs. The panicked animal fought him for its head instead, refusing to obey him. He caught a glimpse of Rissa through the melee and wrestled the horse for control. He struck down another attacker.

Three guards surrounded Rissa, whose writhing, squealing horse was as much of a menace to her as the attackers flooding from the forest. She struggled to mount behind one of the guards shielding her, when an attacker's blow landed solidly against his horse's flank. It bolted, leaving the woman exposed.

Taran shoved his way through the attackers, hacking as he went, determined to reach Rissa. Finally, he landed a sharp blow to his horse's rump and made the beast dart in the direction he wanted.

He reached Rissa and threw himself from his horse, keeping a hold of the reins as he smashed blows into one of the three facing her. Rissa blocked the blow of the second and dropped, rolling as an axe split the ground near her head. She darted to her feet and threw one of her daggers.

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