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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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We aren’t going to make it, I thought. The horse and I will both be crushed. The roar became deafening, smothering even my own screams. All I could see was blackness, dust, and a gruesome end. The knoll. Higher ground. And then thunder boomed at our backs, and I braced for the crush of hoof and the gore of horn, but they charged past … behind us. We made it. We made it. I kept the horse going until I was sure we were a safe distance away, and once we were on top of the knoll, I stopped.

I turned to see what the crushing mass of hoof and horn actually was, because I wasn’t yet sure. I was already breathless, but the sight still took my breath away. A wide stream of bison reaching east as far as I could see, pounded past us.

They moved as one unified deadly force, but as my heart slowed, I saw the details of the animals, magnificent in their own right. Enormous humped shoulders, curved white horns, bearded chins, and anvil heads streamed past. They bellowed a moaning war chant. I swallowed, struck with astonishment. It was a sight I would never have seen in Morrighan and one I’d probably never see again.

I looked over the charging animals, trying to see to the other side, but clouds of dust obscured my view. Did the others all make it? I thought of Eben and his horse’s tender leg. But surely if I had made it to safety and with farther to go, they did too.

I wouldn’t have long before the bison that separated us were gone and Kaden would become the one who charging after me. I turned my horse and disappeared over the knoll, widening the divide between us.

CHAPTER SIXTY-THREE

KADEN

It was getting dark. I knew she had headed south, and I knew she’d head for the woods. It might give her the cover she wanted, but it was the last place she should go. We always circled wide around the plateau forests because we knew what lurked there. If we didn’t get to her before dark, she wouldn’t survive the night.

Griz and Finch were convinced she was only separated from us in the confusion. I knew better. They were equally sure that she had saved all our lives and her gift was as real as the ground beneath their feet. I wasn’t sure if it was coincidence or a genuine knowing. If you fake a gift as often as she had, your timing is certain to get lucky eventually.

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