Another day brought more people seeking Korin’s help, and in and among the coughs and fevers and sprains was another person who had been healed by Korin before—a person who had been injured again by magic.

Ádan had stuck around for breakfast, but had left soon after, saying he needed to check in with Nikki and Varajas. Korin considered going to the safehouse to ask all three what they thought about this new phenomenon, but in the end, it was wizard business and Korin needed wizard advice.

Sadly, the one wizard he knew wasn’t much help. “I don’t know what to tell you, Korin.”

Reneé was at her shop today, organizing and cataloging. Korin’s offer of help had been immediately accepted and now he was walking behind her with a box as she pulled random objects off crowded shelves and dropped them in with no rhyme or reason Korin could track.

“Someone is doing this on purpose. I’m sure of it.”

“I’m certain you’re right.”

“But who? And why?”

Reneé was examining a bundle of springs that seemed tangled together beyond recovery. She frowned, turning the lump this way and that, before shrugging and throwing it in the box. “I don’t have any more information for you today than I did the last time we had this discussion.”

The box was starting to get heavy, but all it took was a line of energy into his arms, his shoulders, and his back, and the pressure was gone. “People are getting hurt. Whoever this is, if they want to come after me, they should come after me. There’s no excuse and no reason for them to be making other people suffer.”

“It certainly is suggestive, though, isn’t it?” Reneé murmured.

Korin stepped back, pulling the box out from under her hand and forcing her to look at him. “What does that mean?”

“Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. But I’ll tell you this much, kiddo. If I were trying to craft some plan to upset you, to throw you off balance, I’d definitely aim it at other people rather than directly at you.”

“So you’re saying….”

“I’m saying this person knows you. Or at least, knows how to get your attention. And it’s your attention in specific they want.”

Someone looking for his attention. Who might or might not be pissed off about the healing he was doing.

Korin set the box down. “Excuse me. I have to go.”

Reneé raised an eyebrow. “Have an inkling who it might be?”

“I do. And I hope I’m wrong. But if I’m not…” He sighed. “I guess I need to go yell at an Archwizard.”


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About the author

Barbara J Webb


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