- Author: Adam Scott
Book online «Restart Again: Volume 2 Adam Scott (most difficult books to read txt) 📖». Author Adam Scott
Written By: Adam Ladner
Artwork By: Alice Catrinel
Table of Contents (For Ease of Access)
3. THE GOLDEN THRONE
4. ONE DAY CLOSER
5. END OF THE WORLD
6. OLD EMOTION
7. A SIMPLE CONVERSATION
8. GETTING TO KNOW YOU
9. THREE WORDS
10. THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS
12. ONE LAST CALM
13. THE STORM
14. I DID SOMETHING RIGHT
15. WHAT COMES AFTER
17. OUR FUTURE
The crash of our wagon being driven up onto the rutted dirt road woke me from my sleep. An annoyed grunt escaped my lips as I sat up. Our escorts appear to be early risers. That’s my damn luck. Dim, predawn light filtered in from the small barred window that ran around the top edge of our wooden prison cart. With one last jolt the cart made it up from the side of the road, and the steady jostling of travel resumed.
Lia jolted awake on the bench beside me. She looked around in a panic, clearly unable to recognize her surroundings as her mind spun up to speed. I gave her a pleasant smile when she spun to face me. “Good morning, Lia. How did you sleep?” Her memory finally caught up with her and she turned away, her face red.
“Fine,” Lia whispered meekly. She pulled her legs up onto the wooden bench next to her and curled into a ball. The manacles connecting her hands and feet clinked softly as the wagon bounced her around. I reached out across the aisle and placed a hand on the metal cuff around her wrist.
“Please, let me remove the irons. You’ll be so much more comfortable without them.” The thoroughly shattered remains of my manacles clattered along the wooden floor as if to accentuate my point. “It’ll just take a second.” I had destroyed my own restraints in frustration while struggling to find a comfortable sleeping position. To my delight, the feat had been quite simple; a few seconds of meditation to suffuse the metal with mana and a single utterance of the word “Shatter” was all it took.
Lia recoiled at my touch. “No. I’m fine.” I saw a tear fall from the corner of her eye and land on her cheek. “Please, you don’t have to worry about me. I-I’m fine.” Her jaw clenched as she stifled a sob, and she buried her face in her crossed arms. Leaning up against the wall, she rocked gently along with the wagon in silence.
This is my fault. I withdrew my hand and watched her quietly, clenching my jaw at the sight of her pain. Lia had been inconsolable ever since we were thrown into the wagon in Atsal; although she had hardly said a word, I knew it was because she blamed herself for our capture. I tried to explain to her that it was my fault, but my words never seemed to reach her. I had failed to keep her safe in a fight I dragged her into and, more egregiously, I had made her a target for people looking to hurt me.
The guards had no idea who she was. She could have walked away and stayed safe. I closed my eyes and sighed as I leaned back against the wall. And yet, she stood by me. Though Lia constantly thanked me for my selflessness and generosity towards her, nothing could be further from the truth; I was indebted to her so fully that no amount of gifts or kindness could ever repay her.
Lia and her parents are the only people in this world who didn’t try to use me, kill me, or jail me the first time we met. If I hadn’t met her in that dungeon, I would still be the bitter, wrathful old man I was after arriving from Hedaat. I would’ve murdered my way out of that cell and been left wandering the countryside alone with my memories, without a purpose. I grimaced at the thought. How have I repaid her? I rebuffed her feelings for me, led her into a fight she wasn’t ready for, and got her arrested.
A jolt from the wagon pulled me from my introspection. We had stopped moving suddenly, and I heard the familiar footsteps of the guardsmen from outside. A gruff voice called out from behind the door at the back of the cart. “Back away from the door, prisoners. If you try to run, you’ll get no food for the day.” Heavy latches flipped and scraped, and after a pause the door opened. “If you need to relieve yourselves, speak now or—”
The guard’s hand flew to his sword when he noticed my manacle-free wrists. “Shit!” he exclaimed as his eyes scanned wildly around the interior of the wagon until he found the shattered remains of my irons.
I held out my wrists towards him and did my best to look contrite. “Sorry sir, my shackles broke. I think I need new ones.” Kicking at the metal shards, I cocked my head. “I’m not sure what happened.” Though I fought against it, a faint smile spread across my face.
His nostrils flared as his brow hardened, but his expression quickly turned to concern. “I need a new pair of shackles back here for the prisoner! A stronger pair!” he hollered around the side of the wagon, never taking his eyes off me. “I’m not sure what you’re playing at, but this sort of behavior isn’t going to be tolerated.” He straightened his shoulders and stared me down, but his confidence was undercut by the wavering break of his voice when he finished speaking.
“Sir, I really don’t think the irons are necessary at all. I’m not planning on