This is a raw excerpt from Curse of the Dark Wind and it’s for Nyx who was tied with Sari, Selenia, and Yola Biggs. This is more of a group scene from the book, but it does deal with Nyx. Kind of hard to find a spoiler free scene with her that I haven’t done before. Enjoy the fun.
An hour after finding Nyx’s trail again, Delvin holds his fist up to get everyone to stop as they come out of the trees into an expanse of snow mounds. They can see the caster kneeling over a prone figure in the middle of the clearing, but her horse is nowhere to be seen. Their mounts shift uncomfortably, the subtle scent of something making them anxious. Delvin dismounts and ties his horse to a tree, gesturing for the others to follow suit. He watches Nyx shudder in the cold, the half-elf not using her magic to keep warm.
“Do you smell anything, Timoran?” he quietly asks.
“Nothing clear, but I hear a small buzzing. It is nothing more than bees from a few hives in the area,” the barbarian answers. He steps out from among the trees, gaining the distant caster’s attention. “It looks like she found an injured traveler. Judging from the form, it appears to be a man, so she may need help lifting him carefully.”
They watch as Nyx slowly rises to her feet and waves for them to leave. She swings her arms around at the hilly clearing, but nobody can figure out what she is trying to say. The prone figure touches her ankle, causing her to crouch again and rub the traveler’s back. She blows on her hands, a brief spark coming off her lips and warming her hands.
“I’ll take the lead,” Delvin whispers, moving ahead of the barbarian and drawing his blade.
“Wait. Something isn’t right here,” Luke hisses, inching over to the other warrior. “Nyx came in here with her horse, but I don’t see it. I can’t see any trails showing that it left the area either. It disappeared without a trace.”
“Maybe Nyx got in a fight with a predator and the horses are hiding behind one of the mounds,” Sari suggests, drawing two daggers from her boots.
“No signs of any combat magic going off like melted snow or disturbed piles,” the forest tracker replies, rubbing his palms against the pommels of his sabers. “I guess a flying predator could have carried the horse off. It looks like a struggle might have happened off to Nyx’s right, so it’s entirely possible. Though, why is Nyx and that traveler staying there?”
“We can argue this all we want, but it’s pointless,” Delvin snaps, unsheathing his blade and shifting his buckler into position. “The longer we talk, the more danger they’re in out there. If anything, that traveler could be dying of severe injuries as we talk. I refuse to let that happen because we’re busy arguing.”
“I agree, but it won’t help if we get trapped too,” the half-elf insists. He glances at Nyx again, wondering why she is gesturing for them to leave again. “There has to be a way to get them without putting ourselves in danger.”
Timoran cocks his head to the side and puts his hand on Delvin’s shoulder. “I agree with Luke that danger may be lurking nearby. Yet, we cannot leave our friend and that traveler in the open. If we move quickly, grab them, and continue running to the far trees then we can circle back for our horses.”
“Sounds like the best plan we can make in such a short time,” Sari says with a shrug.
Delvin sheathes his longsword to free his hands to grab Nyx and leads the group through the snow mounds. He weaves around them, every step crunching on brittle sticks that are hidden beneath the powder. The loud crack of a snapping branch under Timoran’s boot causes everyone to stop and hold their breath. All they hear is the buzzing of the nearby bees, so Delvin continues moving. Staring ahead, they watch Nyx wave her arms and signal for them to turn back, her gestures becoming frantic. By the time they reach her, she is red-faced from the biting cold and her barely controlled fury.
“You idiots,” she hisses, punching Delvin in the shoulder. “Now we’re all in trouble. I was whispering not to come over here. Why didn’t you hear me, Timoran?”
“The buzzing of the bees is rather deafening,” the barbarian replies, worry etched into his face.
Sari bends down to examine the groaning man dressed in leather armor that is covered in bite and claw marks. She is surprised to find a finely crafted scimitar on the man’s belt, the hilt polished to a shine. A bear fur cloak is draped over the traveler, but he is still shivering with blue lips and ashy skin. Pushing a lock of blonde hair away from the man’s neck, she finds a small puncture wound below the edge of his jaw.
“Those aren’t bees,” Nyx angrily growls.