Betrayal: Twelve

“Keep still or the scar will be ugly,” Regida said as she cleaned the wound on Kehnan’s jaw.
“A scar is no matter,” the muscular warrior replied through gritted teeth. “When I return to Bahteel, I’ll have the whole jaw lopped off and regrown, scarless and whole.”
Regida froze at the audacity of the warrior’s words, her eyes wide and round. Three full breaths passed before she squeezed her eyes closed and said, “You are a fool.”
“No fool, Regida, just a man who has seen the secret temple of Taahl, hidden in the city’s catacombs. Just a man who holds the ancient priests in his debt. Just a man who has seen the miracles they make commonplace. Their god gives them power over flesh and bone like the primal sculptor of the world. I have seen men with both legs trampled by elephants stand taller than me by the time the priests had finished their prayers, their useless stumps relegated to useless memory. Injury is of little consequence in Bahteel,” Kehnan said, as if it were a passing comment on the weather.
Regida could not keep her eyes from straying to the empty space where her own right hand might have been if it had not been destroyed by the Onyx Python. She swallowed hard, trying to force down a hope that had not touched her heart in far too long. Forcing her attention back to the task at hand, she pulled a thin spinter of wood from Kehnan’s jaw, the loose grain died crimson from his blood.
She moved to toss the splinter aside, but Kehnan’s voice stopped her, “I would keep that sliver of wood. it reminds me of …” The big man closed his eyes and smiled. “It reminds me of the cheering crowds in the arena of Vert.”*

*–Sabit’s time in the arena of Vert is detailed in Wayfarings of Sabit: Broken Justice

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Wayfarings of Sabit: Betrayal is copyright (c) 2017 by Michael S. Miller. All rights reserved. New chapters post every Thursday. You can support this and other stories on Patreon,, or at