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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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Others. I ran back to the other side, staring at the vast army quickly approaching the point. No, not two hundred. Three hundred or more. No banners.


The armies were heading toward each other, but with the point projecting between them, they’d have no warning what they were headed into. Walther had to be warned!


I spun. It was Kaden, Eben, and Finch.

“No!” I said. “Not now!”

I ran out to the point, but Kaden was right behind me, snatching at my arms. He caught the shoulder of my shirt, and the fabric ripped away.

“No!” I screamed. “I have to stop them!”

He grabbed me, circling his arms around from behind and squeezing me to his chest. “No!” I cried. “It’s my brother down there! Let go! They’ll all be killed!”

The Vendan army was almost to the point. In seconds, they’d be on top of my brother’s small platoon, three hundred against thirty. I pleaded with Kaden to let me go. Kicked. Begged. Sobbed.

“You can’t reach them from here, Lia. By the time we get there—”

The Vendan army surged around the point.

I strained against Kaden’s hold. “Let go!” I screamed. “Walther!” But the wind threw my words back in my face. It was too late.

My world shifted in an instant from lightning speed to slow, stilted motion. Movement and sound were muffled as in a dream. But this was no dream. I watched two kingdoms meet, both taken by surprise. I saw a young man charge forward on a chestnut and white tobiano. A young man I knew to be strong and brave. A young man who was still in love, but consumed by grief. The one with the easy, crooked smile who brought me along to card games, tweaked my nose, defended me against injustices, and showed me how to throw a knife. My brother. I watched him draw his weapon to bring justice for Greta. I watched five weapons drawn in return, a sword swung, and another, and another, and I watched him topple from his horse. And then a final sword stabbed his chest to finish the job. I watched my brother Walther die.

One after another, they fell—three, four, five against one in what wasn’t a battle at all but a massacre. The updraft was merciless, delivering every cry and scream in a windy rush. And then there was silence. My legs went limp, as if they weren’t even there, and I fell to the ground. Moans and screams filled my ears. I tore at my hair and, my clothes. Kaden’s arms held me fast, keeping me from going over the edge of the cliff.

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