The Wizard's Curse (Book 2)

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Authors: Jenny Ealey
think half my body fluid must have evaporated in the heat.”
    “Yes. You’re probably right.” Even as Stormaway replied, Waterstone held a stone mug full of cold water up to Tarkyn’s mouth and lifted him up so that he could drink.
    After a few minutes, Summer Rain came over and sat down next to him, “I’m sorry, Your Highness. I was incorrect in my surmises. I am sorry you had to go through all of this.”
    “Not your fault. How were you to know?” Tarkyn frowned, “What’s wrong with your hand?”
    Summer Rain gave a little shake of her head but didn’t answer.
    “She burnt herself on your shoulder, sending you the life force,” said Rainstorm over his shoulder from where he was setting the fire.
    Tarkyn pulled his other hand out from within the blanket. “Give me your hand,” he instructed.
    “No, my lord. You are not strong enough.”
    “Summer Rain, give me your hand.”
    The healer stared mutinously at him for a moment, before reluctantly unwrapping her hand and placing it in his.
    Tarkyn’s eyes widened. “My shoulder did that? Wow! I must have been hot! ” He looked up at her. “Thank you Summer Rain. It must have taken great determination to hold your hand there when it was burning. Now close your eyes and I will send you through som e ess e . Don’t worry. It will make little difference to my recovery. Ready?” When she nodded, Tarkyn closed his eyes and directed a small wave of power into her hand. “Better?” he asked.
    Summer Rain breathed a sigh of relief. When she looked down at her hand, the blisters had gone and the skin was already only slightly pinker than the rest of her hand. “Thank you. That is a great relief.”
    “Good. The least I could do.” Tarkyn looked around at Stormaway and the woodfolk standing around him. “I suppose it’s the middle of the night and you want to get back to bed but…”
    Looks of surprise on the woodfolk’s faces told him that returning to bed hadn’t crossed their minds.
    “I think we’re all a bit too shaken to go back to bed yet, Tarkyn,” said Waterstone dryly, shaking his head. “If you were about to say we need to sort a few things out first, I couldn’t agree more.”
    “Oh. Good.” Tarkyn raised his eyebrows. “So it’s not just me who’s a bit wound up at the moment.”
    A ripple of laughter greeted this remark.
    Waterstone smiled grimly at him. “Tarkyn, the forest has been badly damaged again by the oath’s vengeance. We have an unconscious, infectious woodwoman lying over there, under guard. Golden Toad and Ibis Wings are also being held under guard in their shelter until this is sorted out. And the forest is slowly dying around us as we speak. I don’t think any of us has any plans for sleep.”
    “Your Highness, you must explain to us what happened so we know what we’re dealing with,” said Stormaway.
    Tarkyn rubbed his hand over his brow. “I don’t know for sure. I think perhaps my power mutated the parasites. They certainly became stronger and larger when they fed on my power. When I cleared them out of Rushwind, I checked all through her body for damage and found none. But she wouldn’t let me into her brain. I accepted that because of her privacy but now I think a small colony of parasites must have escaped into her brain and warped her thinking, maybe even taken over completely. Just before you people helped me get rid of the parasites in me, they were heading toward s m y brain.”
    Tree Wind frowned, “How do we know they didn’t get there or that there weren’t already some in your brain and that you’re not acting under their influence?”
    Tarkyn didn’t take Tree Wind’s question amiss even though in the past she had been one of his severest critics. His eyes narrowed as he thought about it. “That is a scary question. When I realised what was happening, I did put up a shield, which Rushwind couldn’t have done. But what if some were already in there?” He shook his head. “How can we

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