Pursuit: Thirteen

Baza the slave-catcher carefully made his way through the bandit camp, picking his way between the rough lean-tos of logs and branches. He had heard from whispers at the common house that there was a small pack of bandits, harrying lone travelers in this parts, but Baza had expected better than this savagery if they were giving trouble to Sabit. He hoped that she had not killed too many of them, as even bandits would fetch a few bronze gersh at the slave markets of Bahteel.

Shouts from nearby drew Baza’s attention, and he made his way swiftly along a narrow path out of the bandit camp. The path led along the side of a hill, and to a rocky outcropping that overlooked the river valley. The expansive vista would give the bandits a view of the main road leading to Bahteel, and significant warning of any travelers on the far side of the river.

Another shout echoed from very close by. Suddenly a crossbow bolt lodged in a tree within arm’s reach of Baza’s head. Looking to the bolt’s source, he saw two bandits locked in combat with two others. The slave-catcher immediately recognized Qaansoole—the former champion of the forum of justice was empty-handed, but her whirling, leaping attacks kept her spear-wielding opponent on the defensive, driving him back. The other man must be Sabit’s lover, swinging an antler like a sword to keep his foe at bay.

But where was Sabit?

Baza approached the struggle, keeping out of sight as much as possible. A panicked scream called him toward a ridge next to several piles of bones. Looking over, he saw a depression like a funnel, the slopes of loose pebbles giving no purchase to the two figures rapidly tumbling toward the dark hole at its bottom. A man in leather pants and an ill-fitting silk tunic fell into the hole with a panicked scream.

A moment later, he was joined in the inky depth by the falling body of Sabit.



Wayfarings of Sabit: Pursuit is copyright (c) 2017 by Michael S. Miller. All rights reserved. New chapters post every weekday. You can support this and other stories on Patreon: https://patreon.com/michaelsmiller or http://ipressgames.com/fiction/