Home > Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9)(13)

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9)(13)
Author: Ilona Andrews

“You speak as if it’s some outside force that tortured and murdered these people. As if it’s some disaster that was inevitable, and you, through your benevolence, tried to hold it off, but your subordinates failed you. But it’s you. You decided to kill them. You decided to crucify them. You. You are the source of this evil. It’s your fault, not his. You are the sick bastard who decided that he has the right to mass murder.”

Roland recoiled. His eyes blazed. His magic shot out in a furious torrent, boiling like a thundercloud around him.

Screw it. I let go. My power burst out of me, matching his. The castle wall shuddered under us.

I glared at him. “You have no right. Have you ever wondered why you always have to burn and kill your way to power? Why nobody ever comes and says, ‘Please, mighty Nimrod, lead us’? It’s because your reign brings pain and suffering. Nobody wants you in charge.”


His magic splayed out, shooting up. Wind tore at me, raging out of nowhere. The stones under us rattled. Several stone blocks slid out, tumbling over the edge. In the courtyard, people cringed.

“You’re a usurper, Father. You keep doing horrible things for the greater good, but there is no greater good. There is only this.” I pointed at the crosses. “This is what our family stands for. Not for peace, happiness, or progress. This is your legacy. You’re a tyrant. The evil creature that people use to scare their children at night. On this entire planet, you are the only person who thinks you are fit to rule.”


The blast of magic hit me, nearly taking me off my feet. Oh no. He would not shut me up. I had things I needed to get off my chest. They’d been building for months.

My magic surged back. If it had a voice, it would’ve roared.

“You can’t handle any authority but your own. Even now, it gnaws at you that I have this city. You can’t let it go. You scheme, and manipulate, and push me, and when I’m forced to retaliate, you’ll placate your guilty conscience by telling yourself you gave me a choice. If only I would go along with your blatant disregard for your own word, none of it would happen. You’ll pretend it’s really my fault. It’s yours, Father. Your own sister chose to die rather than live in the world you wanted to create.”

His hand shot out, but I saw it a mile away. He was a wizard, but I was a professional killer. The slap never landed. Roland stared at my hand blocking his.

“I’m leaving now, Father. I’ll come for Saiman. You took him from me, I will take him back, and then we’ll be even and you’ll have a choice to make.”

I turned and walked off the wall. There was nothing else to say. People fled from my path. The two fighters from the wall had disappeared. A storm spun above the castle, dark clouds churning. I couldn’t have cared less.

Derek and Julie waited for me, standing still in the human chaos, as Roland’s people tried to secure the castle against the rising wind. Julie’s face was bloodless. She was holding the reins of her and my horses, trying to keep them in place as they eyed the storm with rising panic. Derek’s expression said nothing, flat and impassive. His eyes shone yellow-green. He was on the edge of violence. I marched past them, out the gates, and to the cross. They followed me. My father was still where I had left him, watching.

I looked at Derek and pointed at the cross. He moved behind it.

I pictured my father’s face in the wood, took a step, and hammered a side kick into the base of the cross. I sank all my strength and fury into it. The wood cracked. I kicked it again and again and again. The cross toppled down, with the man on it, and Derek caught it. I pulled a knife out of its sheath and sliced through the rope on the Iron Dog’s ankles and wrists. Derek pulled him off the cross and slung him over Cuddles’s back. I swung into the saddle and rode off, Derek and Julie following me.

Behind us, dark clouds boiled, hiding the sun.

Chapter 3

WHEN WE RODE to the meeting spot, Curran’s group had gained two new members. Barabas, his spiky hair standing straight up, was playing cards with Evelyn, one of Jim’s scouts.

Ella eyed the Iron Dog slung over my saddle. “That’s not a cookie.”

Curran saw my face. His expression hardened.

“How’s the bridge?” Barabas called out.

“There is no bridge.”

Barabas opened his mouth and closed it with a click.

“When is he coming?” Curran asked.

“I don’t know.”

Derek took the Iron Dog off the horse. Hugh’s man looked dead.

Derek slapped his face lightly. “Hey.”

The man’s eyelashes flickered.

Derek looked up. “Water?”

One of the mercenaries passed him a canteen, and Derek held the flask to the man’s mouth.

The prisoner came to life and gripped the canteen, drinking.

“Not too much,” I said, dismounting. “He’ll vomit.”

“Who is this?” Curran asked.

“Hugh’s second-in-command.”

Curran stared at me for a long second.

“What was said, exactly?” Barabas asked.

“I told my father that he had to give Saiman back. He gave me this man as a consolation prize. Roland had ordered him to murder some people. The Iron Dog refused, so my father decided to torture and slowly kill him. Then my father condescended to explain to me that when people didn’t play ball, things like that happened. I told him what I thought about that.”

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