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Pearson Mary E, “The kiss of deception”, public translation into English from English More about this translation.

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Just who were the barbarians now? The Vendans or the Morrighese? What kind of father ordered his own daughter’s murder? Even wolves protect their own cubs. No wonder she ran.

Killing in the name of war was one thing. Killing one’s own kin was quite another.

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

“One free morning! One free morning, and look at the trouble you get into!” Berdi said, dabbing at my neck.

Kaden sat beside me holding a bucket in case I retched again.

“It wasn’t as though I went out looking for bandits,” I replied.

Berdi shot a stern knowing glance at me. There were no bandits in Terravin—not on an upper remote trail, preying on a girl wearing threadbare clothing who had little money—but with Kaden sitting there, she covered for me just the same. “With the town full of strangers right now, you have to be more careful.”

The knife had scraped my neck more than cut it. Berdi said the wound was no bigger than a fleabite, but necks are bleeders. She put a stinging balm on the cut, and I flinched. “Hold still!” she scolded.

“I’m fine. Stop making such a fuss over a little—”

“Look at you! Your neck is slashed from here to there—”

“You just said it was no bigger than a fleabite.”

She pointed to my lap. “And you’re still shaking like a leaf!”

I looked down at my knees, bouncing in place. I forced them to stop. “When you’ve tossed up your whole morning meal, you’re bound to feel shaky.”

She didn’t ask why I had tossed my morning meal. She knew I wasn’t squeamish about blood, but we all carefully skirted the subject of the body. Kaden had simply told her Rafe was taking care of it. She didn’t ask what that meant. I didn’t either. We were just glad that the matter was being taken care of, though I wondered what he’d do with a body if not take it to the constable? But I could still hear the way he said it. He wasn’t taking it to the authorities.

There was no doubt the dead man was a murderous miscreant. Maybe that was all Rafe needed to know. He saw him holding the knife to my throat and saw the blood running down my neck. Why bother the constable when a convenient ravine was so much closer? Maybe that was the way of distant nameless regions. If so, I was glad.

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