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Crow: The Wrong Believer chapter 4 by Colin Spade
He replaced his glove and tucked his helm under his left arm. He stood. "I'll be there in a moment." He heard the man Sorkil scurry away. The Queen ordered me to the capital from fort east to search for Crow. It just had to be me. He mounted his steed in one smooth motion. He started the horse in a trot. As he was on his way he began to recall past memories. Crow was like a younger brother to me. No matter how old or wise he got I was still like an older brother. How now did the time change, I thought it would be me to revolt against the Queen, not he. Oh, but how it hurts, to kill someone that was like a brother. The Queen knew we were close, is that why I'm with the Seekers? Because I am the only one that still has trust from the Queen that is close to Crow? Does she think I will bring Crow to her feet swifter than any other man?
Ratin broke free of the forest; the noon sun was hot and bright. He saw three men huddled about three hundred paces to his left by a jack pine, staring at the ground. He saw four another one hundred paces before him in idle talk and five others laying to his right by the edge of the forest. The man Sorkil, short and wide shouldered was waiting for him. His face was calm and emotionless, his eyes grey, his face covered in a thick red beard, although, the bright sun changed the colour to a bright carrot orange. He bore armour identical to Ratin but for his helm bore no plume.
Sorkil ran to Ratin's left flank. He pointed to the huddled men. "We found a bolt, sir."
Ratin said none; he merely nodded to Sorkil and directed his steed to the men. He saw a tall man from the group look in his direction and turn back. Ratin felt the man's eyes upon him but felt no emotion at all in the glance. How could that be? He only felt such a stare from Cr... Right, Ratin remembered these men were trained under Crow, but how was he able to teach them to hide their emotions from their eyes? It is very difficult to teach your eyes how to lie, For Ratin knew from experience.
As Ratin reached the men the tall man ordered the men to part three paces back. They did so instantly. Ratin swung his leg over the saddle and landed smoothly he halted before the men.
"Captain Ratin," called the tall man to his left flank, "we found a bolt, it's possibly Crow's."
Ratin looked at the men, each looking confident they found the right trail. He made his way for the center. He gazed into the eyes of each man and saw the same in there eyes as the tall soldier, free of emotions, not one emotion shown through. How could he not accomplish such a feat that a number of others accomplished? He looked down, directly beneath him by his left boot lay a black bolt. He knelt, removed his right gauntlet and pinched the bolt from its head. He levered it with his eyes and examined it. He knew Crow's bolts well, they were made with his signature, three clean cuts at the base of the bolt, all his bolts possessed this quality. Not only that but from the size of the bolt, it would match the crossbow only used by the followers of Queen Nephenee.