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Read an Excerpt: Traveler Hunted

Traveler Hunted will be the third book in the Veil series. Look for it later this year.


CHAPTER 3

The discordant emergency summons clanged through all of Oolos. Jarred by it, Eosin and his classmates rushed down the stairs to the common room of the Healers’ Hall. Heart pounding in his head, he scanned the room for Dedra and the other adherents of the Order of Spirit and saw the backs of their pink robes streaming out the front door.

“What do you suppose it is?” Iallo asked, out of breath.

“If it’s a translation event,” Eosin said, “I’m glad Dedra was here, with plenty of people to vouch for her.” The last thing she needed was more blame.

They rushed out to Erralami Avenue and maneuvered through the throngs of people staring toward the Academy and the thick smoke rising up beyond it. The market! This one didn’t have the heavy black smoke of the translation event he’d witnessed there. While that offered some measure of relief, any fire in the marketplace, with its wooden carts and stalls, could be disastrous. Mixed with the sickly green and yellow tones issued from warning beacons around the city, the smoke hung ominously over the throng rushing toward it.

Eosin spotted the adherents’ pink robes not far ahead and raced to catch up with them. He picked out Dedra by the darker shade of her new robe, which he’d noticed that morning when they’d had a few moments to talk. He’d almost caught up to her when a knot of men in brown farmer’s robes forced their way into the crowd between them.

Then came a scream.

Dedra! His pulse leaped at the sound of her voice, recognizing it even over the din of the crowd and the summons. “Let me through,” he yelled, pushing one of the brown-robed men out of the way. Then someone grabbed his arm from behind and yanked, hard. He stumbled backward, lost his balance, and went down hard. He looked for whoever had grabbed him, but no one was there.

Just then, the whistle sounded that collapsed the city guards’ reverberation shields to make them visible. A tall man in a brown robe flickered into view right where Eosin had expected to find his assailant.

A shielded farmer? That makes no sense at all. The man’s hood was up, the sun behind him, so Eosin saw only a silhouette. The man looked down at himself as if surprised to be seen, then turned and fled through the crowd.

Dedra his only concern, Eosin stood and pushed his way forward again. Just before he reached her, he saw a dark stain spreading on her right shoulder. She clutched her side, blood seeping between her fingers, then staggered and fell.

As adherents formed a circle to protect her from being trampled, Eosin dropped down next to her, ready to start a healing chant, but Yarina and another adherent lifted her up. Eosin didn’t understand what was happening, why they weren’t trying to heal her.

“Help us get her inside!” Yarina’s commanding tone cut through his panic. It was only then that he realized they were just steps from the modulence and the finest healers in all the dimensions.

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