Strength of the Shepherd Ch. 2 (Sc. 3.1)

“The gods have their own reasons,” Macthal said. Regardless of how stupid or petty those reasons might be, he thought. Though he couldn’t say it all, for some reason he felt he needed to say something. He didn’t like Lora talking badly about herself. Lora frowned though, dropping her hands from her figure and looking out at the Veil again. Maybe past it.

Strength of the Shepherd Chapter 2 (Sc. 1.3)

“You lost that fight, my woodsman. Your father’s armor still loose on you. That axe oversized compared to you. You lost.” Lora paused and Macthal remembered how his fight with Five-Eyes had not been the first time his other self had short changed him of his strength. “You were bleeding all over.” She touched his nose, his cheeks, and the side of his head. All where scars or long healed wounds lay from that fight. That first test of hers. “But even when Bonebriar’s ivory spear was over your bruised face, your scowl never went away. It never changed. You would have killed him, if your body could have still moved. If you’d had anything left.”

Strength of the Shepherd Ch.2 (Sc. 1.1)

“Well,” Macthal urged. The girl started weeping. “Hurry,” Macthal went on, removing his mask to crouch and whisper in her right ear. “A ghost, in these woods, haunts the last thing it sees,” he lied. “Unless it fears that sight.” Her sobs stopped, fear making her hold her eyes opened to meet Bor’s fading gaze. “You need to kill him.” The axe lifted a little from the man’s neck. It shook. It dripped. Then, when it raised to almost over her head, Lidia paused again.